Utmost care for the sacred things

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

“Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Mt 7,6)

With these words, Christ is clearly telling us to take utmost care of the sacred things in our life. We have to be most careful with the possibility of trivializing the sacred things that, sad to say, is becoming a common occurrence. We have to distinguish between the sacred and the mundane, and even if both categories come from God, there however are distinctive qualities of each one that should be respected and never confused.

The sacred are those things that are related directly to God—his words, his sacraments, his Church. We cannot treat them as if we are simply handling ordinary, worldly things like our work, our business, our politics, etc.

With the sacred, all we have to do is utmost reverence, putting all our faith in them, knowing that through natural and human elements, we are touching the supernatural dimension of our life, we are touching the very life of God.

This reality should never be lost in our consciousness. Whenever we get involved in the sacred, as when we attend Mass or go to Confession, or read the gospel, etc., we need to make many acts of faith, hope, and charity to be able to capture the wonderful reality of being intimate with God.

We have to develop as early as possible a sense of the sacred in our life. We can develop this sense of the sacred when we remember that in any liturgical act, for example, no matter how handicapped by our human limitations and mistakes, we are actually doing and participating in the act of Christ, the act of the Church with all the saints and angels and the Christian faithful.

It is our most social act, because it is a concrete articulation of the communion of saints that we are meant to live as Christian believers even while here on earth. We anticipate heaven on earth with the liturgy.

It is communion of life and love, and not just something external, something social or political. It goes deep into our heart where we become one in Christ in spite of our human differences and conflicts.

We have to be more aware of the danger of familiarity with the sacred things and install the necessary defenses against it. More than that, we have to aggressively cultivate the art of always being amazed at God and at all his works. That should be the proper state for us to be in.

We have to understand, though, that this abiding state of amazement that we should try to develop is not a matter simply of sensations. Of course, it would be good if we can always feel amazed and in awe. But given the limitations of our bodily organism, we cannot expect that to happen all the time.

The ideal abiding state of amazement is more a matter of conviction, of something spiritual, moral, and supernatural. It should be the result of grace that is corresponded to generously and heroically by us.

It is a state of amazement that sooner or later, of course, will have some external manifestations like an aura of serenity and confidence even in the midst of great trials and suffering. It will most likely show itself in the lilt in one’s voice, optimism in his reactions to events, a smile, a warm word of praise and encouragement to others, etc.

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