Let’s be like St. John the Baptist

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

On the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, celebrated on June 24, we should also strive to be like St. John the Baptist who had the vocation of being the precursor of Christ, the one who prepared a people fit for the Lord.

We should have the same attitude as St. John the Baptist. Like him, we too should help in preparing everyone to be fit for the coming of the Lord. This definitely will be a very challenging task, given the conditions we are having today.

We cannot deny that there is a lot of ignorance, confusion, and indifference to the things of God these days. The life of piety seems to be waning in many parts of our country, let alone, the whole world. Many people are hardly praying, and the practice of devotion seems to be facing extinction.

Just the same, we should not forget that regardless of what may appear to be a deep-seated culture of irreligion these days, every man continues in the deepest part of his heart to yearn for God. What the Catechism says about this is always relevant:

“The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for.” (CCC 27)

Yes, God himself will always draw us to himself in ways that can be very mysterious. And we, on our part, should try our best to discern the directing ways of God. This is where everyone has to do his part in preparing himself to see and follow God’s ways.

Given the current state of world culture that is now driven by the marvels of the new technologies and a big appetite for information, there definitely is a great need to make people see that God is very much in the middle of these developments.

We have to be wary of imposing specific norms of prudence that may have worked in the previous generations and eras but which are not effective anymore at this time. We have to learn to adapt things to the way people are, judiciously blending the old and the new, the traditional and the innovative. Let’s take initiatives and be unafraid of making some experiments. This will require a true spirit of discernment.

We really have to study and assess things thoroughly before we can come out with some guidelines to help today’s young ones who certainly have different sensibilities and sense of priorities.

In this regard, we should follow the example of St. John the Baptist who just persisted in calling for repentance as preparation for the coming of the Redeemer even if his call was like a lonely cry in the desert. We just have to pursue what we know is good and is God’s will, even if there’s no immediate social impact. The cry in the desert will have its fruits someday.

In the meantime, we have to patiently learn the doctrine, wage a continuous ascetical struggle developing virtues and convictions, then start to do personal apostolate, making use of whatever circumstance we have at the moment.

Of course, we should also try to aim higher and deeper, even going to public places to proclaim the good news in a world sunk in confusion, ignorance, and error. All of these done always in charity, patience, and hope.

Let’s remember this is God’s work more than ours.

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