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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, January 5, 2019
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala
OPINIONS

Encounters with God

Rock & Refuge

We need to be most aware that every moment and situation can and should be an encounter with God. And this is no gratuitous assertion, considering that God is omnipresent.

Psalm 139 expresses this truth very beautifully. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to theheavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of thesea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold mefast.” (7-10)

Besides, he is full of love and solicitude over us. He is alwaysattentive to us. We just have to learn how to correspond to this basicreality about God and us. God actually begs us to give ourselves tohim. “My son, give me your heart, and let your heart delight in myways,” says the Book of Proverbs. (23,26)

Perhaps, many times we have to make a conscious effort to putourselves in his presence, because given our human condition, we tendto take him for granted, not really out of malice but simply out ofour human limitations. It takes God’s grace and time and effort beforewe can be real contemplatives, when seeing God in everything becomesautomatic and instinctive.

Fact is we are so easily dominated by our physical, temperamental andenvironmental conditionings that we ignore the spiritual andsupernatural reality of God. Not that God is not in our physical,temperamental and environmental world. He is all there. But he needsto be spiritually discerned before we can meet him. We need toexercise our faith, activate our piety before we can meet him.

Thus, Christ said once: “Ask, and it shall be given you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone thatasks receives. And he that seeks finds. And to him that knocks, itshall be opened.” (Mt 7,7-8)

We have to be wary of our tendency to think that there are moments inour life—in fact, the bigger part of our life—when we would just be on our own or that God is not present or is irrelevant. We have tocorrect that mentality.We especially have to be most careful when we find ourselves insituations of stress, tiredness, laziness, or when we are faced withproblems and difficult challenges, because these are the moments whenwe are most vulnerable to think that God is not around, thus openingourselves to the tricks of our wounded flesh, the world and the devil.

We need to realize more deeply that we need God more than anythingelse in life. We definitely need him more than we need air, food andwater. We need him more than our powerful arts, sciences andtechnologies. And we need him most especially in our moments of weakness andtemptation. Without him, we surely will end up sooner or later temptedand finally falling into sin.

We may be enjoying for a while thebenefits of our human powers, but without God, we certainly cannot gothe distance. We end up sinning.When we are with God, when we manage to make every moment as anencounter with God, we somehow would get to know what is essential inour life.

We can find redemptive meaning in any situation we can findourselves in. Even in the worst scenario of our life, we can alwaysfind reason to hope.Besides, we would notice that we can generate a spiritual energy thatgoes beyond what our food and all the other natural sources can giveus. We would not confine ourselves to the natural world, but canmanage to live in the spiritual and supernatural world.*

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