See as God sees

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

This is the ideal meant for us. We have to learn how to see things the way God sees them. We already have been warned that we do not see the way God sees, and, definitely, we have to do something about it. “God does not see as human beings see. They look at appearances but Yahweh looks at the heart,” we are told. (1 Sam 16,7) We have to correct this predicament.

Yes, we are meant to see things the way God sees them for the simple reason that we’re meant to be God’s image and likeness. In a way, we can say that how God is should also be how we have to be. How he sees things should also be how we should see things. It’s as simple as that.

Only in this way can we partake of the light of God, and thus become and behave as “children of light,” as St. Paul once said. (Eph 5,8) As such, we manifest the effects of being children of light, which are “complete goodness and uprightness and truth.” (Eph 5,9)

Now, how do we do this? How can we reach this ideal?

Since what is involved is mainly spiritual and supernatural in character, we certainly have to use first the spiritual and supernatural means. Of course, the human and natural means should never be neglected, but we have to give priority to the spiritual and supernatural means.

This means that we have to rev up our life of prayer and sacrifice, enlivening our faith and piety, because without these we can never expect to get to the first base. And more importantly, we have to have recourse to the sacraments, those mysterious and supernatural channels of the very grace of God.

In that way, even if we do not feel the supernatural effects of the sacraments, we can be sure that we are identifying ourselves with God as long as we receive these sacraments validly, that is, without impediment which is mainly mortal sin.

Let us hope that our faith and understanding in the sacraments are such that they would encourage us to avail of them, especially Confession and Holy Communion, as often as we can.

Together with the spiritual and supernatural means should be the recourse to the human and natural means. May our life of prayer and self-denial be a constant feature of our daily grind. We should see to it that our prayer and sacrifice would lead us to have a living encounter with Christ who is always with us and is very much interested and in love with us.

We have to grow in the different virtues, especially humility and simplicity, so that our thoughts and desires come out on the basis that we need God first before we need anybody and anything else.

We have to be wary of our tendency to expropriate as our own God’s special blessings and gifts to us, like our intelligence and the many other talents, thereby desensitizing us from our basic need for God.

To counter this, we have to have that attitude of the blind man, Bartimaeus, who earnestly requested Christ, “Lord, that I may see.” (Mt 10,51) We have to admit and confess our blindness, regardless of how keen our intelligence may be, because only then would we be able to see things as we ought, or to see things the way God sees them.

Let’s remember what Christ told the Pharisees who were cocksure that they were not blind: “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin. But now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” (Jn 9,41)

This is the paradox in our life that we have to learn how to be careful about. We can only say that we can see things properly if we see them with and through Christ. Otherwise, no matter how brilliant and keen in vision we are, we will miss what really matters in life.