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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, February 4, 2019
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala
OPINIONS

Charity purifies and sanctifies

Rock & Refuge

We have to accept the fact that all of us are notoriousfor abusing the many good things we receive from God, our Creator and Father. Our intelligence, talents, health and whatever privileged endowments and blessings God has gifted us, are often used to simply pursue our own interest and personal goals, with hardly any reference to God from whom all good things come, (cfr. James 1,17) and to our duty towards others.

This is, of course, a grave anomaly that will do us a lot of harm sooner or later, even if it can give us some advantages and conveniences at the beginning. It is notorious for giving us a sweet poison that will turn us in eventually.

We need to be more aware of this anomaly and try our best to be guarded against it and to do something about it. The secret, of course, is to be vitally united with God. That is to say, to make the constant effort to be with him, which means that we should be full of love, since God is love, “Deus caritas est.” (1 Jn 4,8)

And this love has been shown to us in full by Christ who reminded us to love God with all our might and to love our neighbor as ourselves. (cfr. Lk 10,27) Later on, he perfected these indications by giving us the new commandment: that we love one another as he himself has loved us. (cfr. Jn 13,34)

From all these above-mentioned considerations, we can say that we really need to be more conscious of rallying all our human powers and blessings to give glory to God and to serve everyone. Yes, this is the real purpose of our human faculties and powers. Short of that, we would be misusing these divine gifts.

Also, we need to realize that if true charity is to inspire the use of our human powers, then we would use them to serve everyone, and not just some people. Everyone, including our enemies or those who oppose us or do not like us. This is what charity is! (cfr.Lk 6,27-36) It has a universal scope with no trace of discrimination at all.

It is this charity, as shown to us by Christ and commanded on us by him, that will enable us to use our faculties and powers properly. It is this charity that will purify our God-given endowments that have been stained by our sin. It is this charity that will eventually sanctify these powers and enable them to bring us to God and to serve everyone.

That is why we really need to continually rectify our intentions and to see to it that our actions would truly conform to the requirements of charity. In this regard, we have to forget ourselves and our self-interest, and to think simply of God and the others, always ready to follow Christ all the way to facing and bearing all kinds of suffering and eventual death.

We should not be afraid to do all this, because we have been assured that “if God is with us, who can be against us?” (Rom8,31) It is charity that will disarm our enemies, that will melt awayour weaknesses, that will heal the sin-inflicted wounds of our human condition in this world.

It is not enough that we be smart, clever, practical, etc. We need to live charity. Without charity, our smartness and cleverness can even pose as a grave danger to us. They can deceive us with the thought that we are doing well in our life when, in fact, we are heading through a sweet slide toward perdition.

We need to make many acts of charity before, during and after doing our tasks, using all our God-given human faculties and powers. And these acts of charity should be our vital contact with Christ!*

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