Sore loser, sure loser

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

WE cannot deny that in life we cannot avoid experiencing some defeats and losses, some setbacks, failures, disasters and crises. And all these possible scenarios can occur in spite of our best intentions and efforts.

Our reaction to all these should be, as much as possible, gracious, not bitter, sad or sullen. Like Christ who also suffered the worst defeat by being crucified as a criminal in the worst kind of injustice that can take place in this world, we have to go through these possible situations calmly and, yes, prayerfully.

We always have to remember that only with Christ, only when we unite our suffering with the passion and death of Christ, would our defeats and losses, our setbacks, failures, disasters and crises become a path to our own resurrection with Christ. Our victory is assured and guaranteed by Christ himself who takes care of everything.

Obviously, human as we are, we can neither deny that our reflex reactions to these negative scenarios would be anger or sadness, bitterness, cursing, and the like. But we should not stay long there. We have to cut it as immediately as possible. God will always understand us. He is a father who is omnipotent to provide us with all the graces and means to overcome those instantaneous human reactions.

We should not be sore losers, because to be one is also to be a sure loser. If we are always guided by our Christian faith, we know that the many contradictions we can meet in life are good, and even privileged, occasions to get closer to God. He actually pays special attention to us when we are in some difficulty. This truth of our faith should never be lost in our mind and heart.

We have to learn to train and purify our emotions and the other human faculties we have so they can conform to this wonderful truth of our faith. We have to learn to smile and be cheerful, sport and game, whenever some of these dark events come our way. We should always be hopeful, optimistic, bright-eyed in all this drama.

We should try to avoid playing the role of the victim, because there is only one real victim, and that is Christ, who turned things around by converting his passion and death into his way to his resurrection.

Of course, we also suffer. We cannot avoid it. But that suffering becomes sweet and meaningful when united with the suffering of Christ. May we learn to suffer with a smile on our lips, and an irrevocable confidence in the God’s mercy and love in our heart.

To those who may have caused us suffering and humiliation, we should always be nice and charitable. We have to drive away any trace of anger, hatred and rancor. We have to be magnanimous, offering the other cheek as Christ himself told us. (cfr. Mt 5,39)

In a sense, we should even be thankful for them because they are giving us the occasion to identify ourselves more like Christ. This is never a form of masochism, but rather a concrete expression of Christian charity. And so, we should even be welcoming to these situations whenever they approach us.

Of course, this does not mean that we provoke or cause our suffering, although as a way to prepare ourselves for the unavoidable suffering, we may actively submit ourselves to some personal mortifications. It is our duty to try to avoid suffering and to overcome it as soon as possible. That’s because in the end, we are meant for a life of joy and bliss which, though fully fulfilled in heaven, can be sought here also on earth.

So, instead of being sore losers, let’s be a good sport, knowing fully well that our defeats and losses, setbacks, failures, disasters and crises are only temporal. They do not have the last word. It’s God’s love and mercy that has it.