Receptive and responsive to God’s grace

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

CHRIST once told his disciples, and now us, that we should be the salt and light of the earth. (cfr. Mt 5,13-16) In other words, we should give the proper flavor and provide the proper light so all of us can be led to our proper destination.

This basic truth about ourselves gives rise to the duty that we have to help one another spiritually more than anything else. It is in our spiritual bond that actually gives rise to all our other relations with everybody else according to the different aspects of our nature.

This means that we should always give good example to others even to the point of inspiring them, i.e., giving them the proper spirit, the spirit of Christ. For this, we really need to have the very spirit of Christ ourselves, to be “another Christ” if not “Christ himself.”

Hopefully, we can echo St. Paul’s words: “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal 2,20) This is the ideal to aim at, because Christ himself said, “I am the light of the world…the man who follows me will have the light of life.” (Jn 8,12) This can happen if we would only know how to be truly receptive and responsive to God’s initiative to make us like him through Christ in the Holy Spirit.

We have to realize that we are not only meant to live a natural life, but rather also a spiritual and supernatural life. God has created us in such a way that we have the capacity to receive and to respond to God’s will to make us sharers of his divine life and nature. That is why we are endowed with intelligence and will, so we can know God and his will for us, and choose to love him and to be like him.

We need to find practical ways to learn how to be receptive and responsive to God’s grace, to his sharing of his life and nature with us. Like, right in the morning as we wake up, the first thing that we should try to do is to address ourselves to God, offering ourselves and everything that we will be doing for the day to him.

It’s important that right from the beginning of the day, we get strongly focused on God. He should be the center of our life, of our thoughts, desires, words and deeds. And all throughout the day, we should try our best to keep this awareness alive.

Thus, we should avail ourselves of some effective plan of life to drive this kind of awareness going. Some practices of piety like periods of mental prayer and contemplation, spiritual reading, receiving the sacraments especially the Holy Mass and Communion, and other devotional means, would be helpful.

The ideal is that the whole day should be spent with God who, in the first place, is always around. He is in us and around us. He is wherever we are, and his presence is actually active, full of solicitude for us. We need to perceive this reality and act according to it.

Let’s hope that we can end the day convinced that we have spent it with him and for him. In other words, to be receptive and responsive to God’s grace is for us to be true contemplatives even as we immerse ourselves in our earthly and temporal affairs.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com

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