Complicate to simplify

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - May 6, 2021 - 12:00am

This is a common enough phenomenon in our life. We should not be surprised by it anymore. To fix things, for example, we may have to disassemble them first and look closely at the different parts. To solve a problem, we have to go through different operations and may have to undertake a trial-and-error process. Yes, we complicate our life in order to simplify it.

And this is also what happens in our spiritual life, where the most complicated process takes place if only to achieve our most ideal state of life where happiness and the most sublime form of simplicity reign. We need to struggle and suffer to gain eternal joy.

This happens when we allow Christ to enter into our life. Though he always comes to us in peace, reassuring us not to be afraid, he definitely will complicate our life for a number of reasons.

First, he has to fix our sinfulness, our woundedness. We cannot help but suffer as he shows us how to do it. With him, we have to take up our cross and go through the process of continuing self-denial.

There we can and should already expect a lot of sacrifice to be made that goes all the way to offering our life in death. But let’s never forget that with him too, we can expect our own resurrection into life eternal with him.

Second, he has to teach us how to enter into the very life of God as we are meant to be, we being created in God’s image and likeness. We have to go beyond our natural self to get elevated to the supernatural life of God. And this will definitely involve a lot of effort and sacrifice. In other words, it will be a very complicated affair for us.

And that is because we would be taught, even commanded, to love the way Christ has loved us. It is a love that is not purely human. It is a divine love that goes beyond our usual idea of what love is.

It is a love that covers everyone and everything. It involves loving our enemies. It involves not only loving those who are right in something, but also those who are wrong, or who may even have offended us. It’s a love that no human power, exercised by its lonesome, can ever achieve. It’s only possible when it’s a love that is a sharing of the divine love of Christ.

Again, we complicate our life because we have to adapt ourselves to the supernatural ways of God, something that is possible because we also have a spiritual nature that enables us through our intelligence and to receive the grace of God, and thus enter the supernatural life of God.

We need to remember that the completion and perfection of our human nature would always involve hitching it to the divine nature of Christ who is both God and man and who is the pattern of our humanity and savior of our damaged humanity.

We are not meant to only have a purely human nature where the divine nature of God is not involved. We would be incomplete that way and be headed only to our own perdition, regardless of whether we may possess excellent natural endowments, like our intelligence and talents.

We have to be willing to complicate our life to simplify it and gain our own perfection.

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