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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, February 26, 2018
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala

Rock & Refuge

with the world

Because we are told through our first parents to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living animal that moveth upon the earth,” (Gen 1,28) the world cannot help but to evolve with us as the motor of such evolution.

Of course, we can only carry out that task with God, following his will and ways, following his commandments. In other words, we are made his stewards of the world he created for us. We have a great responsibility over it.

Obviously, the world has its inherent God-given law, its God-given nature which we should respect and develop. What makes our task more exciting and challenging is that our sins — starting with those of our first parents down to those of us in the present — have left their mark in the world and we also have to contend with the effects and consequences of our sins, as we as its steward develop and care for it.

When we say that we have to evolve with the world, it means that we ourselves have to evolve to adapt to the continuing and changing challenges the world poses on us. We cannot remain in astatic way of handling the world, because the world is constantly evolving. We have to try to dominate it rather than be dominated by it. This is the constant challenge.

To properly evolve with the world, we have to be truly identified with God, its creator and provident keeper. Otherwise, there's no way but to be confused and to get lost. God in dealing with the world goes all the way to “send his only-begotten son” so that we do not perish but rather gain eternal life. (cfr Jn 3,16) Without him, we cannot dominate the world but rather be dominated by it.

God himself, in converting his eternal designs for the world into time to accommodate our human condition, has to send his son who became man. He completely adapted himself to the condition of man, including assuming all the consequences of sin without committing sin.

This is how we also have to evolve and adapt to the world. With Christ, we should be willing to go all the way to assuming the ways of the world that are affected by our sins without committing sin.

That's the ideal. The reality is that no matter how careful we are in dealing with the world, we always manage to err and fall into sin. And yet, as long as we return to Christ, quickly asking for forgiveness and his grace, what may seem impossible for us to do can become possible, what is broken is fixed. And we just have to continue dominating the world even as we evolve with it, following God's will as best as we can.

This can mean many things in practical terms. We have to learn how to be faithful and consistent in following God's will while being dynamic, open-minded and versatile in dealing with the world.

We should not run away from the challenges of the world, but face them properly, with due preparation. We should be willing to get dirty even as we try not to get dirty in what is important and essential to us. And if we get dirty inside, that is, if we commit sin, we can always find ways to clean up.

The world has to be dealt with the way it is, warts and all, and not the way we want it to be. With Christ, we can do all things, bear all things, etc.*

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