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Life is a journey

Indeed, it is. I even prefer to call it a pilgrimage, since this journey is not just a matter of going from one place to another. It is about going to our definitive home, not here, but in heaven. It has a strongly spiritual and religious character.

This life journey involves our whole being. It entails not just our physical and material aspects, our social and human sides. It covers the fullness of our nature and its intrinsic dignity that certainly goes beyond our earthly dimensions.

Remember St. Augustine ’s: “Lord, you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” Our rest, our final repose, our ultimate place where we find endless peace and joy is not here. It’s in God.

We need to acquire the relevant attitudes and skills. Our problem is that our human condition usually gives us a very limited, partial and shallow view of life.

Aside from our natural limitations, we have what are called the infranatural limitations—our sins and their consequences—that further distort our vision and weaken our capacity to understand life in its entirety.

So, very often we get stuck with earthly affairs. If it’s not the good earthly things—our successes, our accomplishments and achievements, etc.—then it’s the earthly bad things—our failures, our problems and difficulties—that bind us to a time-and-space life frame.

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We end up like pigs that’s always bent toward the ground, looking for food and comfort, with hardly any other terminus in mind.

We need to aim our eyes at a higher life object. We need to liberate our heart and senses from the improper confinement of our earthly conditions. We are meant for a greater goal.

And this is possible because, first of all, there’s God’s grace, and insofar as we are concerned, we have our spiritual nature that enables us to be raised to the supernatural destiny meant of us.

But we have to do our part. We have to enhance our spiritual faculties. We need to make our faith, hope and charity, which always go together and affect each other, grow strong everyday.

Without these, we cannot fly high and pursue the natural and supernatural consequences of our being persons and children of God.

We need to pray. We need to understand and live the objective value of sacrifices. We have to continually grow in the virtues. We have to learn how to be contemplatives even while being immersed in the things of this world.

All these will contribute to an abiding sense that we are journeying in this life. It’s true that at any given time, we’ll find ourselves in a certain place, in a certain situation. But we can’t stay there all the time. We have to move, not so much physically as spiritually. That’s the law that governs us.

So, no matter how exciting or depressing things may be at a given moment, we need to move on. We always have to have the mind of a traveler or a pilgrim. The Letter to the Hebrews says: “We have not here a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come.” (13-14)

We need to foster and reinforce this traveler’s attitude everyday. A prayer on the First Sunday of Advent can amply describe the proper attitude:

“Father in heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of his coming may find us rejoicing at his presence and welcoming the light of his truth.”

We need to guard our senses and our spiritual powers. We cannot allow them to be fully dominated by earthly affairs, even as we are immersed in them. This will require a certain training and discipline.

We have to find a way to be recollected, to rectify our intention. In spite of our drama here, we need to have a way to return our focus on our spiritual and supernatural goal.

Our day should be a microcosm of our life. We need to see to it that at the end of each day, no matter what happened during the day, we get into a spiritual and supernatural mode.

Only one word, said from the heart, can settle everything. By saying “Sorry,” we somehow get reconciled with God and get into his bosom. It’s the skeleton key to heaven.

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