Always seek conversion
By Fr. Roy Cimagala
THIS is something the sense for which we really need to develop consciously and deliberately. Given the temper of the times that would desensitize us strongly of this need, we really have to remind ourselves constantly that we need conversion all the time in our life, and then come out with a practical, doable plan to respond to that need.
This is simply due to our very precarious condition in life. No matter how good, pious and saintly we think we are, we cannot deny that in this life we will always be assailed by the enemies of God and of our soul.
We have our weakened flesh to contend with, in the first place. Then the world around us is full of temptations. And the devil will always be scheming for our downfall, setting up traps everywhere for us.
As the Book of Job would put it, The life of man upon earth is a warfare. (7,1) We have to get over the myth that in this life we can achieve a stable state of sanctity and that therefore we do not need to struggle anymore.
The opposite is quite true. The closer we get to God and the more determined we are in seeking holiness, the more vicious and deceptive would also be the temptations to block us in our way.
At best, whatever state of holiness we can achieve in this life will always be tenuous. From morning till night, in all our waking hours, we need to be guarded always even as we busy ourselves doing our responsibilities. Even in our sleep, we need to entrust it to the protection of our guardian angels, the saints and God himself.
This is no paranoia, but rather an objective recognition of out earthly condition that will always be hounded by our weaknesses, the many temptations and sins around. We have to be realistic in all this.
We cannot deny that we always have the tendency to simply be on our own, to be guided only by our own lights, and to make ourselves in the end to be our own god. Even if we know that we are nothing without God, our Creator and everything, we still manage to detach ourselves from him at least from time to time.
And given the galloping pace of the worldly development that can give us the sensation that we are powerful enough to be on our own, we really need to be injected with a strong dose of humility to put ourselves in our proper place before God. We often do not realize that we are acting out again the unfortunate story of the tower of Babel. (cfr. Gen 11,1-9)
It would be good if from time to time, we pause and consider again our earthly condition. We have to realize that we always need God, and that the more blessed we are and the more accomplished we get in this life, etc., the more we need to be with God.
To arrive at that realization, we certainly need constant conversion. And thats simply because, even if at the beginning there is no malice involved in ignoring God because we would be easily fascinated by our own achievements, sooner or later we end up forgetting and going against God.
We cannot deny that we can be very good in rationalizing our errant actuations. And before we know it we can already build our own make-believe world, made all the worse when we happen to count on a growing number of like-minded people. We may even reach a point of invincible conviction that we can be on our own, totally without need for God.
Yes, we may need some extraordinary effort to cure us of such almost-incurable blindness. But a daily practice of making examination of conscience, and regular recourse to the sacrament of confession may just do the trick for us without going through heavy dramas.