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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, September 15, 2020
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala

‘Without you, Lord…’

Rock & Refuge

Let’s count the endless sad possibilities we can fall into if we dare to simply be by ourselves instead of being with God always. This obsession of saying, “Without you…” need not only be expressed when thinking of missing a loved one or of being rejected by a beloved. The most appropriate object of such expression is when it is directed to God himself. Such gesture would certainly elicit the best results for us!

Without you, Lord, the only thing possible for us is to revert to nothing, and even less than nothing. You are everything to us, Lord. You are actually at the very core of our being. May this fundamental truth be seared indelibly in our mind and heart. May we be always conscious of it and moved to act on it properly.

Without you, Lord, the only thing we can think of would only be ourselves. And who are we? Are we not your creatures, your most beloved creatures whom you have created to be you image and likeness, meant to share in your very own life? How can we dare to think only of ourselves?

But yes, Lord, help us to always feel a yearning for you. Make us long for you with a passion, much like what is expressed in Psalm 41: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”

Free us, Lord, from being deceived by our own selves, by our own ideas and desires. No matter how fantastic they may appear in the eyes of men, if they are not inspired by you, Lord, we actually know that they are dangerous. Help us to overcome our tendency for self-indulgence and strengthen in us the desire for you.

We know that you, Lord, have given us a certain freedom and autonomy in our actions. But help us to realize always that our freedom and autonomy are your gifts, are your ways of resembling us to yourself, of allowing us to share in your life.

We should do nothing without referring our freedom and autonomy to you. Make us feel the need to offer everything we do to you, and to thank you always for whatever comes out of our free human acts.

Make us realize more deeply and constantly that our human acts are supposed to be a participation of your continuing providence over all your creation. We should never think that there are things that we do where you are not involved, Lord. Yes, even in our business and politics and in all our temporal affairs, you are there.

Without you, Lord, the only thing we can do is to sin. Without you, we would have no resistance to temptation, no way to handle properly our human weaknesses and the different predicaments we will encounter in our earthly life. Without you, we will never know how everything in our life, including the bad things, can work out for the good. We would easily be held hostage by fears, doubts, sadness, etc.

Without you, Lord, we will never know how to love as we ought. We would simply be trapped in our version of love that at best can never be true love, since true love can only come from you!*

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