When things get toxic
HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - August 17, 2019 - 12:00am

Bad days do happen! Let’s hope they are few and far between. But there are days that will have a perfect storm, when everything seems to conspire against us.

Physically we can be a wreck. Emotionally we are shattered. Mentally we seem to be numb and frozen. Even spiritually we seem dead. Deadlines seem to be chasing us like hell. And disasters and crises seem to be all around; in the family, office, friends, love life, etc. There are times when we seem to drown in our helplessness.

We have to make sure we don’t over-react to this phenomenon. We have to be ready to face them. Ignoring them or thinking that there will be no toxic times and everything will just be sweet and fine, is quite naïve. Things will just get worse. There’s always hope, light at the end of the tunnel. Morning surely follows the night.

A good reaction can be what is suggested in a responsorial psalm of a Mass: “Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.” Perhaps repeating those words would reconnect us to the source of hope that does not defraud us ever.

Sometimes we just need a little of self-psychologizing to ride out the storms. We have to learn to play little tricks on our own selves. This idea may sound insignificant, but actually, with it, many have succeeded in turning around their predicament.

It is always with God that we can manage to deal with our difficulties. Christ himself reassured us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” (Mt 11,28-30)

Whatever toxic burden or yoke we carry, be it physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, whatever, can and should always be regarded as the yoke of Christ.

Like Christ, let us be gentle and humble in heart, because this is the only way we can manage to bear whatever toxicity comes our way. With him alone, we will realize the yoke is actually easy and the burden light.

Thus, it is all worthwhile to spend time meditating on these words of Christ and his passion, death, and resurrection that put the truth to these words. It’s amazing that even now, after so many centuries after Christ spoke those words, many of us still are unaware of their significance and power.

It’s high time to deeply instill these words in the consciousness of the people, making them a vital and operative part of our culture, especially nowadays when toxic days are becoming more common. We cannot deny many people don’t know how to cope with their difficulties and fall into all kinds of sickness. Some have even gone insane.

Obviously, one of the things that we need to learn is how to suffer. We have to understand that suffering, in one form or another, will always be around. It’s part of our human condition.

With Christ, our suffering can be borne calmly, joyfully, and meaningfully. We would know suffering brings many benefits: purification, development of more virtues, and ultimately, our salvation.

With Christ, we will revive when we suffer, we will resurrect when we die!

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