The spirit more than the body

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

WE are composed of body and soul. But of the two, let’s see to it that we give utmost attention to the soul which is spiritual. It is what gives life, the real life to us. As Christ said, “The Spirit gives life. The flesh counts for nothing.” (Jn 6,63)

But we also have to realize that our spiritual soul ought to be animated by the Spirit of God who gives it its real life, and thus, the life proper to us. Otherwise, we would just have some kind of animal soul, or at best, an intellectual soul that can do us a lot of things, but without the Spirit of God, it can only lead us to our perdition sooner or later.

That’s why Christ said, “The words I have spoken to you, they are full of the Spirit and life.” (Jn 6,63) From these words, we can understand that to have the Spirit of God, we need to take seriously the teachings and the very example of Christ. In fact, we should try our best to be so identified with Christ that we can become “another Christ,” “alter Christus.” We have to understand that that is the ultimate goal of our life.

This truth of our faith is somehow highlighted in all the miracles Christ performed. In that episode of the miraculous cure of the paralytic (cfr. Mt 9,1-8), Christ first forgave the paralytic’s sins before he made him stand up and walk. He was showing which one was more important among our needs. It is our spiritual health more than our bodily health.

We need to understand then that for us to have the real life meant for us, we first of all should ask forgiveness and reconciliation with God, which is no problem at all, since God is all merciful. He is all too eager to forgive us. And then, we should always ask for his grace, which is actually freely and abundantly given, so that all we think, say and do would be in synch with God’s will and ways.

This is a truth of our faith that we need to be more aware of and more attentive to its requirements. We have to act on this fundamental truth about ourselves if only to conform ourselves to God’s will for us.

But given the way the mainstream world culture is, and even just our very own national culture that can already be considered as Christian, this effort to conform to this truth is going to be gargantuan, since we are still wide off the mark.

We have to acquire the skills to feed our spirit by learning how to pray, how to exercise the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, appreciate the need for sacrifice, have recourse to the sacraments, continually cultivate the virtues, and wage constant ascetical struggle, etc.

We have to learn to view things and to react to them mainly in terms of our faith, rather than just assessing them mainly from the point of view of our human sciences, laws, arts and technologies. No matter how legitimate and necessary the latter viewpoints are, they can never be enough. They don’t have the last word. They cannot bring us to our ultimate end. And they often cause division among ourselves.

We have to understand that faith, hope and charity are always necessary for us. They are not optional, to be used and applied only to certain things. They have to be applied all the time, in things both sacred and mundane.


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with