By: Fr. Roy Cimagala
IN our relationship with God and with others, we need these human devices that would help us keep a lively awareness of our duties towards them and especially of our need to relate everything to God.
Yes, we have to use first the spiritual and supernatural means to keep that relationship going. They have priority always. But for these spiritual and supernatural means, like prayer, sacrifice, sacraments, etc., to be truly effective, we need those practical human devices also.
Without the latter, the former would be floating on air. The spiritual and supernatural means would remain in the world of theories and intentions. But of course, without the former, the human means can only mean nothing. They would be spiritless and vulnerable to be taken advantage of by unwelcome forces. These two means should go together.
The human means can be anything that we can see, touch, hear or feel, to which we attach some special spiritual and supernatural meaning. Of course, we can start with having some crucifixes, images of God, Christ, saints, and angels in the places where we usually find ourselves, like our bedroom, office, car, etc.
They can easily elicit in us some spiritual and supernatural considerations every time we see, touch or kiss them.
But we have to be more inventive when it comes to all the other places and situations that we can be in. While in the street, for example, as we drive or walk or do some exercise, we should have appropriate human devices to keep us on the spiritual and supernatural track and not get swallowed up by merely mundane considerations.
For example, we can consider giving some spiritual meaning to objects we usually see in the streets. Like whenever we see a car, we can choose to say “Thank you, God, for this means of convenience,” instead of just looking at its brand, its color, and shape, its beauty or its lack of it.
And whenever we see billboards, we either say “Thank, God,” or “Praise, God,” or “Sorry, Lord,” depending on whether the billboard is good or not so good. Same whenever we see buildings and the many people around.
We really should relate everything to God. That should be the first consideration before we start assessing the human and temporal value these things can have. Doing this should be like an instinct in us.
And in our work, we should also be quick to relate things to God, otherwise we can get carried away by merely earthly considerations, concerned only about the technicalities and failing to relate it to our proper ultimate goal.
The technicalities of our work should not be a problem or an obstacle in our relationship with God and with others. In fact, they can and should be converted into means and occasions to relate us to God, either praising God or thanking him or expiating for sins in general or asking for some favor from him.
It would truly be helpful if we are clear about what spiritual and supernatural considerations we can give to each technicality involved in our work. Our work, whatever it is, should somehow be a form of prayer since we use it to relate ourselves to God.
We really would have to pause and study things before we can make an appropriate plan or strategy to actualize this idea of using human devices in our work. Whether our work is easy or hard, is completed or not, is something routine or involves something new and unfamiliar, we should know how to relate it to God or we should somehow see God in it.
In this way, the stress and tiredness that our work usually causes would not take us away from God but would rather strengthen our union with him, since it is in him that we can find our true rest. (cfr. Mt 11,28)