Not just Christian performers, actors, scholars

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

We have to strongly and frequently remind ourselves that we are supposed to be another Christ, who as the Son of God, the perfect image that God has of himself, is the pattern of our humanity, and who as the God-made-man, is the redeemer of our damaged humanity.

We have to do everything to achieve that goal, that ideal, for which Christ has already given us everything. In fact, he has given his own self, and not just some means.

We need to be truly Christian, going beyond just being Christian by name, or just being a Christian performer, actor, or scholar, active in church activities and knowledgeable about Christian doctrine. Much less should we be contented with being a Christian caricature.

We have to have the mind and heart of Christ, his very own spirit which is given to us this time in the Holy Spirit, such that while we can say we are so-and-so as our personal, individual identity, we can also say we are another Christ.

Our human identity, let us remember, is not complete unless it is merged with that of Christ. And this is possible and achievable because in the first place Christ wants it that way. "You are mine," we read in the Book of Isaiah (43,1), underlining the fact that as a creature of God, we cannot be without our Creator and Savior.

That is why God continues to beg us to be with him. "My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways," we read in the Book of Proverbs. (23,26) Are we aware of this divine plea and are we doing something about it?

We should try our best to exercise our faith to the hilt, the faith that God himself gives us. We have to be guided by our faith more than anything else so we can have not only an encounter with God through Christ in the Holy Spirit, but also to enter into union with him, such that God and us become one.

This is no pipe dream. It's true that while this ideal will only be definitively achieved in heaven, it is also true that it has to be pursued earnestly, without let-up, here on earth. It can be done. It should be done, what with all the resources Christ has made available for this purpose.

When we have the mind and heart of Christ, we know how to understand everyone and everything, and would be willing to bear whatever burden there is in our relation with others. We would know how to be patient, compassionate and merciful. Anger, envy, and pride would be far from us.

We would prefer to suffer and even die than to compromise our charity. That is the real mark of one truly identified with Christ. We would be full of charity. We may have defects and still commit some mistakes, but our charity stays and is lived abidingly.

Every day let us craft a plan or strategy to keep our vital identification with Christ a reality. This is not falling into some kind of psychological complex, since if we truly try to be another Christ, Christ himself will be the first to make us humanly simple and humble.

We need to feel at home with this basic truth of our faith that our very consciousness should have Christ as its essential constituent. We have to learn to live this identity with naturalness, one that includes the eminently spiritual and supernatural character of our life.

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