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Let’s never say enough

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - January 3, 2021 - 12:00am

If we truly love God and everybody else, with a love that is nothing less than a participation of the love God has for us and as commanded by Christ to us, then we will never say enough in our self-giving.

Even if such attitude would already seem to be going beyond common sense, our reason and other human and worldly standards that we usually use to measure our love, we would still go on giving ourselves, never saying enough. We would just give and give, even if we seem to consume ourselves till death.

This is, of course, an overwhelming prospect, but that is what true love is. It is some kind of madness that knows no limits. It is given without measure, without cost, without any calculation.

And even if such total self-giving is not reciprocated, it would still go on loving. It is purely gratuitous. Even more, even if it is not only unreciprocated but is also violently resisted and rejected, it would still go on loving.

Obviously, if we are to rely only on our own powers, there is no way we can have this kind of self-giving. This can only take place if we are truly identified with Christ, if we have his grace and are corresponding to it with all that we have got.

It’s only in this condition that that we can go beyond the limits of our natural self and above the usual drama of life. We, of course, have our limitations, physical, mental, emotional, etc. And yet, as long as we are truly with Christ, we can still manage to give ourselves unstintingly. The spiritual and supernatural in us through Christ would enable us to give ourselves despite our natural limitations and worldly conditions.

That is why Christ commanded us to love even our enemies, to offer the other cheek when we are slapped in the one cheek. That’s because true love does not count the cost. Let’s remember that Christ in loving us assumed all our sins and conquered them by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. He even asked the Father to forgive those who crucified him.

This is the paradigm of love which we have to pursue in our daily life with all its concerns, varying circumstances, trials, etc. It’s a love that unavoidably involves suffering, self-denial, the carrying of the cross. It’s a love that should culminate in the way Christ culminated his love for us in obedience to the will of the Father—through his passion and death that would lead to his resurrection, the final victory.

We have to be wary of our tendency to say enough because we might think that we have already done or given enough of ourselves.

People around us may even tell us so.

But that is a very dangerous attitude to have, since it has no other way but to lead us to self-satisfaction, to complacency and spiritual lukewarmness. It would give an opening to more serious predicaments of pride and conceit, vanity, lust, sloth, etc. Hypocrisy will surely enter into our system. And instead of always being mindful and thoughtful of others, we would just be thinking of our own selves, our own interests.

And a good way to check if we are not really saying enough in our self-giving is to see to it that we always experience self-denial, sacrifice and suffering in our self-giving.

GOD
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