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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, August 28, 2020
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala

Nostalgia and expectation

Rock & Refuge

We need to have a good and healthy sense of nostalgia and expectation in our life here on earth. We cannot deny that we have our past and our future, and thus we cannot avoid having to refer ourselves to these points of reference.

Of course, in our life here on earth, there will always be some drama involved, some lights and shadows, joys and sorrows, successes and failures. But there is something in us that, in spite of the ups and downs of our earthly journey, would give us joy and peace always.

And that is to remember always that we come from God, we come from heaven, and that we are meant to be with God in heaven for all eternity. We need to see the bigger picture of our life, learning to see beyond the here and now, beyond the various conditionings we are subjected to now, beyond the limits of time and space. This is where our sense of nostalgia and expectation should be grounded.

Our life here on earth is just a test, to see if what God wants of us is also what we want for ourselves. And the test is in the way we handle our earthly conditions. For this, God has already given us the means and the power, but it is up to us to take them up or not.

To be sure, God has given us his very own Son, Jesus Christ, who is made alive in us through the Holy Spirit, and actualized through the many means and instrumentalities made available in the Church. We have no reason to be afraid, nor to worry, nor to think that our life is just one aimless venture that can be engaged just in any way we want.

Let’s remember that we are not purely material beings. We have a spiritual soul that is capable of transcendence and of being elevated to the supernatural order of God. That’s simply because God made us so. He created us in his image and likeness. That is why he did not only give us intelligence and will, the capacity to know and to love, but also his grace that enables us to share in his very own life.

It’s important that the awareness of heaven as our beginning and end is always vivid in us. We should do all to make that so, since that would be a genuine guide for as we go through the twists and turns of our earthly life.

One way to do that is to remind ourselves right at the beginning of the day, as we wake up, that we come from God, that we come from heaven. That’s why one of the first things we do during the day is to thank God for the sleep and to start planning out the day, making some kind of itinerary that would lead us back to God in heaven at the end of the day.

It’s also helpful that from time to time, we try to imagine how heaven would be like. We know that it is so indescribable that we are told that “no eyes have seen, nor ears heard, neither has it entered into the man’s heart, the things which God has prepared for them who love him.” (1 Cor 2,9) But that does not prevent us from trying to imagine it.

We can also repeat as some kind of aspiration that should spring from our heart, Psalm 27,8, says “Lord, I wish to see your face.” And everytime we see a baby, we should remind ourselves that this baby did not simply come from his parents, but from God. The same when we see a dying old person. We should think that he is going back to God in heaven for all eternity.

This is what a healthy sense of nostalgia and expectation should be. It’s a kind of homesickness that is based on our Christian faith!*

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