By Fr. Roy Cimagala
IN life, there are times when due to unusual circumstances or emergency situations, we may have to do some unconventional things, going beyond the usual protocols and details of refinement, to meet our urgent necessities, especially the spiritual and moral ones.
We are reminded of this fact of life in that gospel episode where the friends of the paralytic had to climb the roof of the house where Christ was and bore a hole there to let the paralytic in a stretcher land right before Christ. (cfr. Mk 2,1-12)
Many other gospel episodes tell similar occurrences. A woman with an issue of blood, for example, had to struggle to get close to Christ and to stealthily touch the fringe of Christ’s vestment just to get a cure of her ailment. (cfr. Mk 5,25-34)
There also was the story of Zaccheus, a rich tax collector who, being short, had to climb a tree to be able to see Christ pass by. (cfr. Lk 19,1-10) He eventually had the fortune of having Christ in his house. The occasion also highlighted that beautiful message that Christ came “to seek and save the lost.”
Then that story of the blind man on the roadside (cfr. Lk 18,35-43) also teaches us that we should not just mind what some protocols may tell us. When we are in great need, especially of God and of some spiritual help, we should just do whatever we can without compromising what is truly moral.
Yes, in this life we may have to go unconventional at times. Also, we also need to be constantly innovative, in fact. And that’s simply because we have the notorious tendency to fall into routine, complacency and lukewarmness, which is the silent, steady and treacherous process of dying of the spirit, our true life principle.
If the spirit dies, we would be at best a living dead, a most radical contradiction we can have. And our spirit dies when it separates itself from its origin who is God. This is a truth that we need to be reminded of very often, since we always tend to take it for granted. Put bluntly, we cannot live as we ought without God.
That is why Christ gave us this indication: “Every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Mt 13,52)
We need to know how to blend the traditional and the innovative, the old and the new, the absolute and the relative, the more or less stable culture and the appropriate passing fads.
In a higher level, we need to know how to put into an organic whole the sacred and the mundane, the faith and the sciences, arts and the technologies, the eternal and the temporal aspects of our life, etc.
Given the naked reality on the ground, we need to examine and question the status quo of our life many times, since we tend to do well at the beginning of any endeavor, then start to deteriorate as we go along, until we end up badly.
This has always been our lot and we should not be surprised by it anymore. And much less should we feel helpless about it, since there are many things we can do to renew ourselves continually, neutralizing the bad effects of our complacency, if not taking advantage of it to produce a greater virtue.