Without preconditions and ulterior motives

By: Fr. Roy Cimagala

OUR dedication and fidelity to whatever vocation or commitment of love that we may have, be it in single blessedness or in marriage, in priesthood or in lay life, should be so pure and completely gratuitous that we would pursue and develop it without preconditions and ulterior motives.

This is what is proper to us as shown in the life of the very pattern of our humanity and the savior of our damaged humanity, Jesus Christ himself. He gave himself completely to us in total obedience to the will of his Father.

Like him, we should just give our all, in spite of the ups and downs, the routine and surprises of our life. We should not count the cost, nor make preconditions and keep some ulterior motives.

We should be willing to give up everything to be faithful to our vocation. Remember Christ saying, “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple…whoever of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14,27.33)

But given the way we usually are, i.e., since we are always prone to count the cost, put preconditions and keep ulterior motive, we really would need to continually purify and renew our dedication and fidelity to our vocation. We have to be realistic about this fact of life. We have to learn to give up things for the sake of our commitments.

Such dedication and fidelity can only show the authenticity of our commitment of love, and of our faith and trust in God and in his providence. Whatever happens, even in the grip of great suffering and death, we simply should just stick to what we promised to God and to the others.

Again, let’s remember what Christ said about abandoning ourselves in his hands when confronted with great difficulties and trials. “Consider the lilies how they grow. They toil not, they spin not, and yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you…?” (Lk 12,27-28)

We know that God will take care of everything. What we cannot complete in spite of our efforts, he will complete. What we cannot perfect, he will perfect it. This conviction should always be with us.

And by doing so, we would be invincibly convinced that we are doing right. The ideal situation is that there would be no doubt or hesitation in giving ourselves completely to God and the others. Let’s leave behind any preconditions we may have in mind in dedicating ourselves to our vocation.

This, obviously, will require some training. We have to aim at having the proper understanding and attitude of what a commitment of love is. Let always remember that it is God who takes the initiative to call. He is the one who gives the vocation. And he takes care of everything.

Ours is simply to correspond. This correspondence should be based on God’s love as shown to us by Christ himself. We really have no reason to doubt our vocation and commitments, as long as we always refer them to God. And from there, we have to develop the relevant virtues and skills.

Yes, we should always have in our mind the example of Christ’s fidelity and dedication to his mission. Our understanding of dedication and fidelity that is short of its requirement to be identified with Christ would not go far. It would just be creating a bubble, a false concept of fidelity that would burst in a matter of time.

We have to purify our motives in dedicating ourselves to our vocation. Love, the love of God should completely inspire us in our dedication and fidelity. In that way, we can truly be fruitful and at the same time enjoy peace and joy in spite of the difficulties and sacrifices involved.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com