Be inspired and inspire

- Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

Lets never think that to be inspired and to inspire are reserved only to a blessed few who are endowed with special charisms or plain luck. They are a duty we all have, since they are an integral part of our nature. More than that, it's a duty that Christ himself commanded us to do: "Love one another as I have loved you." (Jn 13,34)

And loving, let us always remember, is first and last a matter of inspiring, that is, of keeping, enriching, protecting, defending and spreading the spirit of God who is love himself, before that spirit is expressed in deeds and revealed by some external fruits.

We have to be more aware of the spiritual dimension of our life and diligent in performing our duties toward it. We should develop the proper skills to identify and act on our spiritual duties without getting lost in our other duties and responsibilities that pertain more to the material and earthly dimension of our life.

To inspire is to infuse the spirit proper to us, the spirit that gives us life and that animates our thoughts, desires, words and actions. And that spirit is ultimately nothing other than the spirit of God who is our Creator and Father. We need to correspond to the spirit of God. As St. Paul said: "Do not quench the Spirit." (1 Thes 5,19)

Let's always remember that it is God who keeps us in existence according to his loving providence. It's He, more than us, who is responsible for our whole life. Ours is simply to cooperate as freely and as lovingly as possible with his divine will and ways. And this is what inspiring ourselves and others involves.

And let's also remember that we have to be inspired first before we can dare to inspire others. We cannot give what we do not have.

We should be most aware of this wonderful truth and correspond to it as best as we can. We should avoid trivializing the substance of inspiring ourselves and others by reducing it to a feel-good state only, though this may often come as a result. We have to be wary of the many false forms of inspiring ourselves and others.

That's simply because inspiring others may involve suffering, hard work, making demands on oneself, etcetera. In fact, these things are unavoidable given our wounded human condition. And when needed, we should not be afraid to go through them.

We should not lose sight of the basic truth that God is always in control of things no matter what happens in our life. We always have reason to hope. An inspiration that does not include the cross would not be authentic inspiration.

We have to learn to inspire ourselves and others properly. For this, we always have to start with our prayers. That's because inspiring ourselves and others is first of all a spiritual function before it manifests itself in some concrete and material forms.

It starts with keeping persons always in mind, thinking well of everyone, including our own selves, in spite of whatever, accepting them as they are and commending them to God our Father. We have to be wary of our tendency to be immediately hijacked by some purely human motives in our concern for the others. We should never consider everyone purely on our own, without God.

We have to go beyond the level of sentimentalism and the like. We always have to refer them to God who is actually everything to us. And so, we just have to overcome whatever awkwardness if not open resistance we may have in our duty to develop an intimate relation with God.

This is such a crucial point that when resolved properly can make a big difference in the lives of everyone and in the world in general. We should frequently ask ourselves: Am I looking at everyone and everything from the point of view of faith and in the intimate presence of God, or am I just viewing them from a purely human point of view-like from the angle of convenience, practicality, or politics, economics, etcetera?

Questions like this should not be taken for granted, since they help us regain our proper bearing in life. They frame things most fairly, putting them in their proper perspective. Otherwise, we will be blinded by our own reasoning and justifications that no matter how brilliant would lack the most basic and integrating element.

Starting and ending with God, to be sure, does not undermine our humanity. On the contrary, it would perfect our humanity.

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