A pro-active piety
THIS is what we should develop. In our relationship with God and with everybody else, we need to be pro-active, aggressive, inventive and creative. We cannot simply remain reactionary, stagnant, stuck in the past, or too dependent on moods and the other natural conditionings.
This pro-active piety is part of what God in the beginning told our first parents to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Gen 1,28)
The same idea is reiterated in one of the parables of Christ, the one of the three servants, where each one was given an amount to do business with. (cfr. Mt 25,14-30) And Christ himself had to sanctify himself constantly so all of us may be sanctified in the truth. “For their sakes I sanctify myself,” he said, “that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” (Jn 17,19)
Our piety should involve constant growth in love and in the virtues, in our concern for the others, in our knowledge of the faith, in our effort to be consistent in our Christian life, etc. It’s a piety that never knows how to say enough, and is not afraid of any sacrifice that may be involved.
We need to remember that in our spiritual life, there is no such thing a stable, fixed state. It’s either we progress or retrogress.
And so everyday, we need to have a plan or some strategy to assure us that we are always making some progress in some aspects of our spiritual life. It could be in our life of prayer, or of sacrifice, or in the apostolate, etc.
Our common problem is that many of us do not even realize the need for making such plans and strategies. In fact, we seldom think of the future, not even of the following day. We just depend on what we see and realize at a given moment. Worse, some of us are more alive in the past than in the present.
A good practice that can help us in this regard is what we may call as the particular examination of conscience. It is the aggressive aspect of such examination, not the defensive which belongs to the general examination of conscience. It is the sword used to conquer, not the shield used to protect ourselves. Of course, we need both kinds.
In this practice of the particular examination of conscience, we identify the area or aspect in our spiritual life that we need to improve or to develop. We have to look for new frontiers.
And in our present world, with all the increasing developments and challenges emerging, we are never lacking of things to develop or improve in our spiritual life.
What can also be helpful is to avail of the help of a good, competent and holy spiritual director who can guide, motivate and open new horizons for us. It will never be a dull life if we develop a pro-active piety.