By Fr. Roy Cimagala
IT’S a skill and art that we need to develop. We cannot deny that we have different aspects of our life that can be competing and conflicting, and we should just learn how to blend them as best that we could into some meaningful unity and consistency.
Our life involves both the material and the spiritual, the temporal and the eternal, the short-term and the long-term, the here-and-now and the last things, the biological, social, cultural, historical, economic, political aspects, etc. We have to learn how to orchestrate them together so as to lead us to our ultimate goal, which is to be with God in heaven.
We are reminded of this need in that gospel episode where Christ already talked about how he was going to end his life and complete his mission here on earth, and then later he was asked about whether he had to pay taxes. (cfr. Mt 17,22-27)
Pursuing this need for consistency and unity of life should be an abiding concern for all of us. Even if we have to contend with many aspects and dimensions of our life, it is only one life that each of us has, not two or three. And thus, to build and keep our unity of life is a daily task of ours. We can neglect it only to our own serious risk and damage.
We can manage to have this consistency and unity of life if we identify ourselves with Christ. Let’s remember what Christ said so clearly. He is the vine, we are the branches. We can only have life, let alone, consistency and fruitfulness in our life, if we are united to him. Outside of him, we can only expect death, inconsistency and sterility.
Yes, only in and with Christ can we have the real principle of unity and fruitfulness in our life. We would be fooling ourselves if we fail to recognize this basic truth about ourselves.
This, of course, is a truth of faith, not so much of science. And that’s where the problem lies. There is a crisis of faith in the world, especially involving those who rely more on their human abilities than on belief in Christ.
We have to correct that predicament by realizing more deeply that our life is supposed to be a life with God since not only are we one of his creatures, but a creature that is meant to be his image and likeness. We are meant to be like God through Christ in the Holy Spirit. That’s how we can have consistency and unity of life.
We have to reiterate the truth that we need Christ who is our “way, truth and life” with God to have a solid, genuine unity of life and an unwavering focus even in the midst of so many things in our life.
We just have to learn how to strengthen our relation with Christ, overcoming our natural awkwardness and difficulties, knowing how to pray, studying and assimilating the doctrine, availing of the sacraments, rectifying our intentions, developing the virtues, observing proper priorities, etc.
We need to be more aware of our duty to establish, build up and strengthen the unity in our life. We only have one life, made up of many parts, aspects, stages and levels, and subject to all sorts of conditions, big and small, favorable and unfavorable, etc. The challenge is how to put all these things together in harmony.