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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, January 10, 2019
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala

Explore, adapt, innovate

Rock & Refuge

While we may have our own particular niche in life that is fit to ourpersonal condition and circumstances, we have to realize that we are not meant to be imprisoned there, but should rather have an attitude of openness to the flowing developments of the times.

That is why we have to feel the necessity to continually explore thethings, adapt ourselves to the changing circumstances and make the necessary innovations along the way.

Of course, we should remember that there are things that should beheld as permanent, absolute, unchanging. These are the essential things that define their nature as designed by God the Creator.

To guide us in this, we of course can use our sciences andtechnologies, but we should give priority to what the Church teaches, since the Church has been entrusted by Christ himself to define what is truly proper to our human nature. Because of this, the Church is dubbed as the ‘expert in humanity.’

But other than these permanent things, there are also many otherthings that can and should change as we cruise through life. These things are earth-and-time bound. They are expected to vary according to time and place, and other factors, like culture, age, gender, etc.

It cannot be denied that each generation, for example, has itspeculiar characteristics. We have to be as sensitive as possible tothese distinctions. We should not stick to our own usual ways ofunderstanding and doing things.

It’s in these latter things that we should try to monitor as closelyas possible and make the necessary adaptation and innovation. Thus, we should also do some kind of exploration so that we would know what are happening in the world as we go along.

We are told that there is actually nothing new under the sun, sinceGod is in control of everything and things are determined by their nature. Even in our case, with our power to go against our nature, things are still in God’s control.

As the book of Ecclesiastes would put it, “What has been will beagain, what has been done will be done again. There is nothing new under the sun.” (1,9)

Just the same, we also know that things vary and change from time totime, producing what may appear as new things. It is in these variations and changes that we should try our best to cope, to adapt and to make some innovations as a consequence.

Nowadays, we are quite privileged since we can now avail of the newtechnologies that are a big help in this task of exploration and monitoring. With Google and the social media, we can easily get in touch with people in far-away places and know the happenings there.

We should have the proper attitude regarding this need, and startdeveloping the proper skills. We have to be guarded though from the strong possibility of getting entangled in distractions and eventemptations that can appear irresistible.

It is reported that many people are hooked to the social media becauseof “constant psychological boosts” they get from it, and these boosts are not necessarily motivated from the proper spirit of love. They appear more animated by egoism, vanity, narcissism and the like.

So it can happen that instead of having a good view and monitoring ofdevelopments around the world, one is only reinforcing what he wants to see and know. He becomes more subjective than objective. He will surely miss the target.

With this problem at the get-go of the task, the succeeding stages ofadaptation and innovation would be gravely compromised. The only countermeasure for this is for one to be truly a man of God. That’s when he can become more objective, more discerning, more able to say no to distractions. Otherwise, he would just be at the mercy of his passions, biases and preferences.*

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