Taking care of our culture

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - November 30, 2020 - 12:00am

Taking care of our culture may appear to be too much for each one of us to be concerned about. But make no mistake about it. Each one of us definitely has a grave duty to take care of it. Culture may sound too big for each one to care about, but, yes, each one of us is duty-bound to contribute to it in an existential way.

Culture can be roughly defined as the external manifestation of the soul of a society. It is the spirit that animates a people taken in their collectivity. It is made up of some stable elements that are characteristic of a people—their beliefs, their aspirations, their temperament, their customs and practices, etc. It also definitely guides the general way people behave, react to things, and the way they do business, politics, etc.

We have to realize more deeply that culture is as living and dynamic as an individual person’s soul. It has its strength and weaknesses. It is always subject to the twists and turns of events and circumstances of our collective life. Thus, we just cannot allow it to go in any which way. It has to be guided, kept healthy, purified, continually enriched, etc.

And more than guided, culture first of all has to be properly rooted. Just as the soul of an individual person is not self-generated but is a creation of God and therefore needs to be properly animated by God’s will, plan and providence, culture also has to be so animated. Obviously the proper rooting or animation of our culture is a duty that belongs to all and to each one of us in our different capacities.

If our culture is animated by the Christian spirit, then it would show in all its external manifestations the Christian values of goodness, love for truth and beauty, mercy and compassion. Everyone would realize that we have to love one another as Christ himself has loved us.

If our culture is animated by the Christian spirit, then it would always give priority for the need for personal sanctification and for doing apostolate. These would be the over-all and constant concern that integrates all the other concerns we have in our daily affairs.

If our culture is animated by the Christian spirit, we would know how to deal with our unavoidable differences and conflicts in charity. We always try to end the day at peace with God and with everybody else. And we would trust God’s providence as we also would fully acknowledge our responsibilities.

We need to see to it that this Christian animation of our culture is closely carried out in areas where we usually have these differences and conflicts. This would be in the area of business and politics, and even in our basic beliefs. We have to learn to practice Christian sportsmanship in the game of life.

Let’s contribute in keeping our culture healthy by putting ourselves first in good order and by helping others to be and to do the same. This should be an ongoing affair, a work in progress. We for sure will meet difficulties, trials, and other challenges, and we can commit mistakes, but as long as we go back to God, we would know how to face them and learn precious lessons from them. This is how we take care of our culture!

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