FAITH
Handling sorrows
by Fr. Roy Cimagala

Unavoidable in our earthly condition, sorrows have to be handled well. Thus, the need to learn how to do it, developing first of all the proper attitude and the corresponding skills. If handled well, these sorrows would not be purely negative elements in our life. They, in fact, can be sources and occasions of many good things.

First of all, we should not be surprised if sorrows come in our life. They are part of our condition that is weakened and wounded by sin, ours and those of others. The sooner we feel at home with this reality, the better for us. Denying this inevitability would only complicate our life unnecessarily.

They come in many formsóphysical, emotional, mental, moral, spiritual. Some of us have certain vulnerabilities that would make us prone to fall into sorrows, oftentimes unnecessary sorrows.

They can be occasioned also by certain problems and difficulties in our family life, our professional, social, political and economic life. We should try to be game enough to play and dance with those circumstances. They actually do not spell the end of the world for us. They only challenge us and give us an opportunity to learn new things. That is how we should consider these problems and difficulties.

We have to learn how to handle these predicaments. And the first thing to do is to develop a spiritual attitude and supernatural outlook in life, based on our faith in God that has to grow stronger everyday. That faith, of course, has to give rise to hope and be nourished by charity.

These are the most important aspects or dimensions in our life, and we should try our best that we become adept in handling them. They are the ones that give life and meaning to all the other aspects in our lifeópersonal, family, social, professional, etc.

They are the ones that give the whole, full picture of our life, and thus, integrate all the other aspects, putting them in one organic whole. They are the ones that connect us with God our Creator and with everybody and everything else.

In other words, they are the ones that enable us to get in touch with truth in all its objectivity and in its proper relation with charity, mercy, justice, etc. They are the ones that let us love properly.

Neglecting the care for the spiritual and supernatural aspects of our life exposes us to a lot of dangers. It would give us a reductive view of life. And this can be aggravated because such view can give us immediate advantages, thus, blinding us to the need to focus more on our spiritual and supernatural life and health.

Taking care of the spiritual and supernatural aspects of our life enables us to imitate Christ in being patient and willing to go through all the sacrifices we can meet in our earthly life. Itís a patience that is also founded on the truth that all our sorrows and sufferings in life always have some redemptive meaning.

In fact, to be very realistic in life, we have to be ready and eager to become a sacrificial lamb. This is not bad news. This is Good News.

Our problem is that, unfortunately, the expression, sacrificial lamb, has suffered a great diminution of appreciation in the world today. It is simply considered in the context of practical advantages our fellow students, our and disadvantages of a given situation.

Obviously, with that frame of mind and only with that attitude without any other higher consideration, no one would like to be a sacrificial lamb. Even the commonest of common sense would be averse to that idea. Everyone would like to flee from that predicament as much as possible.

We have to learn to go and cling to Christ as quickly and as strongly as possible during our episodes of sorrow. We should not delay, so that we avoid falling into the reasoning of the flesh, the world, and especially the devil. These can only lead us to sadness and discouragement, as they take away the redemptive effects of Christís mission here on earth in our sorrows.

They would only paint a dark picture of life. If not that, they can tempt us to go the other extreme of simply falling into wild abandon in life. Thus, we have to learn how to think, reason out and react properly in our sorrows.

Our faith should never waver even in our worst situations. In this, let us imitate the example of Mary, our Lady of Sorrows, who stood at the foot of Christís cross, suffering in silence and knowing why all that suffering had to take place.


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