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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, September 1, 2020
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala

We are always being tested

Rock & Refuge

We should never forget this fact of life. As long as we live in this planet, we are actually being tested to see if we love God or our own selves, if we choose to do good or to opt for the pleasurable or convenient evil, if we truly give ourselves to God and others or we are simply indulging ourselves.

We have to be clear that there is nothing in our life, no moment or situation where this test is not being done. We have to explode the myth that consists in the thinking that there are times when we are freed from this test. Even in our moments of rest and recreation, we are being tested.

Let’s remember these relevant words of Christ. “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” (Mt 12,30) There is no neutral ground in our relationship with God. We are either for him or against him.

And being created in the image and likeness of God, we are meant to be always with God, much like what Christ himself said about the vine and branches. (cfr. Jn 15,5) Otherwise, we die in the sense of living a life that is not proper to us, like the branches that are separated from the vine.

It should be like an instinct to us to refer everything in our life to God. Every so often, we can ask ourselves these questions: “Is this what God wants me to do at this moment? Is this how it should be done to please God? What does God want me to think, say or do at this time? How would God react to this event or circumstance?”

Such questions should prod us to know more about God. Such questions should also sharpen our desire to form our conscience well, since that is where we can hear the voice of God in our inmost self.

That is why we have to learn how to really pray and to become an authentic contemplative soul even while in the middle of the world. In fact, the more immersed we are with our earthly concerns, the more immersed we should also be in God.

But given our usual weakness that consists in being easily intoxicated by the tremendous endowments and privileges God has given us, we always tend to separate ourselves from God. This has happened since the beginning of humanity, during the time of Adam and Eve.

Thus, we always have to be guarded against our own selves, our own weaknesses, not to mention, of course, the other usual enemies we have: the temptations in the world and the tricks of the devil.

We have to remember that every event and circumstances in our life, no matter how mundane, is always an occasion to be with God, to love him. Our work and our other duties and concerns are actually the occasion when we can have an encounter with God who is always present and is always intervening in our life.

We need to realize more deeply that being aware of God’s presence and corresponding to his will always do not undermine our humanity and our freedom. We would actually be approaching what is ideal in our life.

We should always be aware that we are being tested while living in this world and that we need to pass that test!*

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