Msgr Philip Heng, SJ
This is so because we are often too caught up in our own daily work, projects, concerns, busyness and hectic life that we relate to God as though He is only of secondary importance to us.
Have we not heard of mothers who do not send their children for catechism classes because of tuition for PSLE examinations?
This means that even as God is working so many “miracles” in our lives daily, we will take them as ordinary happenings, and use phrases like, “We are so lucky to get the job or lucky we were not injured during an accident and the like.”
If we are honest with ourselves, and are able to reflect more deeply on our lives, we will realise that a superficial faith not only robs us of the true peace and meaning in life, because such faith will lead us to give in to the temptations of the gratification, glamour and glory of the secular world, even though they are passing contentments.
If this is true of our lives, then we can be sure that our daily life’s experiences would primarily be one of emptiness, anxieties and constant worries with no solutions in sight. Clearly, this is because the source and cause of such negative experiences come from our preoccupation and over reliance on our own finite will, ways and capacity to provide for our lives, instead of relying on God’s providence, love and care.
The fundamental question that you and I need to be more fully conscious of today is, “Am I living my life in the deep faith of being united to God’s presence or am I living my life as though I am in control of everything that goes on in my life?”
If we live our daily lives in the deep and personal union with God’s presence, our deep faith can give us a peace where we strongly believe that our lives are in the hands of God who cares for us.
A friend of mine, let us call her Stephanie, not her real name, told me, “Father, when I was being wheeled into the operating theatre, my family was in tears because they love me so much. However, there was a deeper peace in my heart. I knew that I was in God’s hands. Indeed, I was very blessed to have the gift of a divine peace of not so much whether the procedure would go well or not, but that I was able to surrender my whole life to God.”
In contrast, we have believers who assert, “I am in control of my life.” Whatever the reasons for their assertion, whether they see themselves as self-made successful persons in their careers, or strong willed and strong minded persons who have weathered the great storms of life and are still holding their heads high, the day will surely come where our human strength and will, will give way to the reality that we can no longer be in “control” of our lives.
So, let us live in the greater consciousness and gratitude to God for His caring and compassionate Love, where He never fails to work “miracles” for us daily. The greater our consciousness and the deeper our gratitude to God, the more discerning we become in our relationship with Jesus. When we are able to live in such discerning ways, our life would be lived in the deep peace, joy and strength of Jesus. Living in such personal presence of Jesus is to live the most fulfilling life that nothing and no person can give; only God, in Jesus through the Holy Spirit can give us.
Msgr Heng is Rector of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.