By: Fr. Roy Cimagala
WE just don’t do apostolate as if it is just one more task to be done on some parts of the day. We are first of all apostles, and our apostolic concern should be constant and abiding, even while we are asleep or doing all kinds of tasks during the day. We have to learn how to convert everything in our life as an occasion and material for doing apostolate.
To be an apostle is an integral and even essential part of our identity and dignity. Even on the basis of our being human persons, we cannot help but be apostles because we are supposed to be constantly concerned and responsible for everyone. We are all related by the mere fact that we are human beings with intelligence and will, enabled and mandated to know and love each other.
That fundamental reason is even reinforced when we consider that we are creatures of God, made in his image and likeness. The Trinitarian life of God, which is a life of total communion among the three persons and which we are supposed to reflect in our own lives urges us to always sharpen our concern and love for one another.
Still more, if we are to consider that we believe in Christ and are followers of his, then we will realize that we ought to have the same desire Christ had, which is the salvation of all mankind. This should be the primary motive we ought to have in our relation with others. We should be most interested in their salvation and spiritual well-being. All other human and temporal motives only play a secondary and instrumental role.
Thus, our life can’t simply be a life in pursuit of personal sanctity without doing apostolate. These two go together inseparably, mutually affecting each other to put us on the right track in our lives. We do apostolate as we breathe.
We need to keep that apostolic zeal burning, fueling it with prayers, sacrifices, apostolic plans and initiatives that should bank on some traditional means as well as the new things like the new technologies that can do a lot to foster our apostolic activities.
We need to spread the saving doctrine of Christ, explaining it in season and out of season, but always with a gift of tongue and making use of the innovative means like the media and social networks. These latter are in fact considered the new Areopagus, where matters of faith are explained and discussed.
There’s a crying need to show how God is relevant and necessary especially in our worldly affairs. These days, what we often see are clear signs of religious indifference, skepticism, moral relativism, if not agnosticism and outright atheism.
We need to see to it that this apostolic zeal should be an overflow of a vibrant interior or spiritual life, immersed in the faith and love of God. The study of the doctrine of Christ, and now of the Church, is a must since it helps us to relate the things of God with our daily affairs, and vice-versa.
We should try to make it a thing of the past to consider our religious duties as mere religious sentiments, unable to explain things.
Let’s hope that we can also develop a universal interest in the apostolate, in the sense that we be interested apostolically with everyone. We certainly have our own preferences, biases and pet peeves, but with God’s grace and our humble but persistent efforts, we can manage to rise above them.
That’s why we have to always polish our social skills and our friendly attitudes so we can deepen our friendship for apostolic purposes. The aim is to win our friends’ confidence so they and we can journey together toward our final destination.