Transcending our earthly and temporal life

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

Let’s remember that we are not meant to solely live an earthly and temporal life. We are meant for an eternal life, where our body, still retaining its material form, would be completely under the law of the spiritual and the supernatural.

We are reminded of this truth of our faith in that gospel episode where Christ told his disciples: “Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth—where the rust and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither the rust nor moth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure, there also is your heart.” (Mt 6,19-21)

The same truth is also reiterated in the Letter to the Hebrews where it says: “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” (13,14)

In other words, we need to see to it that even as we immerse ourselves as deeply as possible in our earthly affairs, we do not lose our sense of heaven and eternity. In fact, the ideal is that as we go deeper in our temporal affairs, our sense of heaven and eternity should also become sharper.

This is always possible and doable as long as we are guided first of all by our faith rather than by our feelings and by our merely human estimation of things. Let’s always remember that it is our faith, our Christian faith, that gives the whole picture of our life --where we come from, where we are supposed to go, the purpose of our life here on earth, the true value of our mundane concerns, etc.

Let’s be theological in our thinking and reaction to the things of this world. For that, we of course would need some training. It should consist of always referring things to God, whatever they may be --good or bad, a success or a failure, a victory or a defeat, etc. We should feel the urge to do so.

If our outlook in life is guided by faith and when we manage to be theological in our thinking and behavior, we know that everything in our life indeed has an eternal effect. The earthly and temporal things in our life are not simply earthly and temporal. They can and should have a spiritual, supernatural and eternal value.

Christ himself said so. “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” (Jn 6,27) And we can do this if everything that we do here on earth, everything that we experience in life, whether good or bad, is done or experienced with Christ and for Christ.

Thus, St. Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians said: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (10,31) And in his Letter to the Romans, he said: “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” (14,8) This is how we give eternal value to our mundane activities and circumstances.

This is how we can transcend our earthly and temporal life and prepare ourselves for the heavenly and eternal life meant for us, sharers as we are in the very life and nature of God himself!

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