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THE PASSERBY | Same spirit, different expressions



IT’S important that as we flow with the times, obliged to go with the different and changing developments and circumstances, we don’t get lost along the way and that we manage to stay focused on our ultimate goal which is to be with God in heaven, from whom we came and to whom we belong.

We have to learn how to relate everything to God. Whether, according to our human standards, things are good or bad, favorable or unfavorable to us, we have to know how to relate them to God and how
to react to them according to God’s will and ways.

This divine way of handling all possible situations and everything else in our life has been shown to us already by Christ. He identified himself with us and continues to do so up to now till the end of time, so that we would know how to behave in any situation we can find ourselves in, whether it is good or bad.

Christ precisely went all the way to make himself like sin without committing sin so that he could show us how to behave in our worst scenario. He also showed us how to behave when times are good.

For this, we have to have the spirit of Christ, which is actually given to us and reinforced every time we receive the sacraments. It’s just a matter of being mindful of this truth of our faith and of acting on it, by learning how to have constant presence of God, and conversing with him all the time.

Thus, it is important that we know how to pray and meditate and to become an authentic contemplative even in the midst of our earthly affairs. This is a skill that everyone of us should learn.
This is basic and indispensable if we want to be consistent with our identity as a human person and a Christian believer. 

This is when we can say that we have the same spirit even if that spirit is expressed in different ways depending on the circumstances that we would be in. A Latin expression articulates this
very well. “Non nova, sed novae.” Not new things but in different forms, etc.

St. Paul assures us that it is only in Christ that we can manage to be “all things to all men,” (1 Cor 9,19) which can be paraphrased into us being able to be adapt ourselves to all people, to any kind of situation, without getting confused or lost. St. Paul also assures us that it is only in Christ who can truly strengthen us so that we do not get lost along the way. (cfr. Phil 4,13)

We obviously have to acknowledge that this is not easy to do. In fact, it is impossible for us to do it if we only would rely on our own powers. But Christ himself tells us that as long as we are
with him, nothing is actually impossible.

And St. Paul reinforces this assurance of Christ by saying that “for those who love God, everything will work out for the good.” (Rom 8,28) Even our human mistakes and faults and what-have-you can be taken advantage of to derive some good.

We just have to stay the course, that is, to be with Christ. And this is always possible because Christ is always with us. Being our creator and savior, he cannot be absent from us. It is simply us who need to learn how to be with Christ all the time.

We need to train ourselves to relate everything to God by way of following the example, and more than that, also by identifying ourselves with Christ who makes this identification possible through
his grace, the sacraments, his word, etc.

Thus, we need to meditate often on Christ’s life, on his words and deeds. It should be a habit with us to spend some time daily for this meditation, so we can become familiar with all his ways of
coping with our human condition

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Fr. Cimagala is the chaplain of the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE), Talamban, Cebu City. E-mail him at roycimagala@gmail. com.

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