Fr. Roy Cimagala
The secret is to see to it that our mind and heart are always with God. We should not allow our-selves to be fully taken by the charms and decei-ving allurements of the world. We have to be completely detached from it, which does not mean that we should hate it. On the contrary, we have to be immersed in it as much as possibleand yet love it but in the way God loves it.
That is the challenge! So the question to ask is: How does God love it so we can also love it the way he does? We just cannot rely on our ideas and ways of loving the world, because without God that loving would be suspicious at best.
We can enumerate a few relevant points. First of all, God loves the world because he created it and endowed it with all the qualities, both actual and potential, in order to serve us. That is the purpose of the world. We in our turn should use the world the way God wants us to use it. And this ultimately is to give glory to God.
Let’s remember that as Creator, God has given everything in the world its proper nature and laws whose purpose is nothing other than to give glory to himself. We on our part can only use and develop the world properly when we respect the nature and laws of everything that is in it. More than that, we should try to discern how each thing in the world becomes a living part of the abiding providence of God over all of us.
Let’s remember that God commanded us, first through our first parents, that we should “subdue the earth,” which means we develop it as much as we can. God does not want us to flee from the world, or to consider it as essentially bad.
In fact, we are asked to be always fruitful and productive while using and developing the things of this world. This is how we, as the masterpiece of God’s creation, can prove that we are giving glory to God, or are truly loving him, repaying his love with love, which in the end is the ultimate purpose of why are placed in this world.
This does not mean that there are no dangers in the world. Precisely because of the sins of men and the wiles of the devil, there are certain things in the world that can be extremely dangerous to us.
St. John in his first letter went to the extent of saying that “everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” (2,16)
We cannot underesti-mate these powerful dangers. That’s why we should do all to struggle against these elements in the world. Doing battle against these things in the world is one clear way of loving it, because we would then be purifying it of the effects of our sins.
Everyday we have to make a plan and strategy of how to effectively handle this abiding predica-ment of ours. We should give our all in developing the potentials of the world in all its aspects, and at the same time purifying the world continually of the effects of our sins.
This is how we can love the world without being worldly! Fr. Roy Cimagala is Chaplain, Center for Industrial Technology and Enter-prise (CITE), Talamban, Cebu City. Email: roy firstname.lastname@example.org