Overcoming Forgetfulness

We are a forgetful people, humanly and spiritually speaking. With the daily inundation of so much information being fed to us through social media, the news, television, and other sources, we are at times overwhelmed with what is going on. We tend to skip, glance, or choose to read or hear things that we would like. Sooner or later, we simply interpret, ignore, or become selective of things that would only fit our liking. We become forgetful of the real truth because we are tired of being given so many different versions. In a way, we are forced by society to end up choosing the particular “flavor” that best fits us. Hence, being the center of our own little universe causes our ego, standards of judgment, and self-righteousness begin to surpass everything else. We forget our Christian and spiritual identities as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, disciples of Christ Jesus, and instruments of the Holy Spirit and begin to silence others, muffle the truth, or become selective in choosing what we like for our particular lifestyles.

Once we fail to remember who we are, the Lord, His commandments, works, and teachings, as well as our spiritual and moral life begins to be distracted and filled up with lesser goods. We face a similar danger like the people in salvation and human history who forget to keep the Lord‘s covenant and commandments. It is so easy to forget Who made us and redeemed us out of love when we like to view ourselves as independent from Him.

As post-modern people, it is very easy for us to fall into a false sense of self-sufficiency, always thinking that we have the power to define ourselves, our future, our liking, and our freedom. Hence, we slowly become resentful of God‘s commandments and slowly see Him as an enemy or obstacle to our human freedom and full potentiality. The Almighty and His law become inconveniences, intrusions, and violations of our autonomy!

When the Church and her ministers talk to us about the truth and what is required of us by the moral law, we become annoyed, dismiss, reject, criticize, or persecute them. Hence, this subconscious resentment and reliance on the self gradually become hatred for anything that threatens our independence and freedom — hatred even for the Lord Himself. Sadly, but true, many people begin to simply pick and choose scriptural teachings that only fit their lifestyle and likings instead of allowing His holy words to change them.

In the midst of all of this, the Church and those who are faithful to her mission continue to invite us to remember the Lord‘s love for us through His incarnation, life, ministry, passion, death, and resurrection. We are called to remember and put them into real-life practice each time we come to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As people of faith, we are called and entrusted to make His sacrifice truly present so we can conform our lives to His teachings, commandments, and way of life. In a real and personal way, we are reliving the life, especially the sacrificial love of Christ, at each and every Mass so we can safeguard the mystery and share with others what is truly valuable and life-changing for us. That is the reason why we cannot simply say that we believe in God but do not allow ourselves to be parts of the Church. If our beliefs are only to serve us, how can we be formed, taught, and conformed to His mysteries and loving truths?

We are called to turn back to the Lord when we have strayed away so we can be present and help strengthen our brothers and sisters who are struggling, too. We, as the Church, are called to be faithful in handing on the mysteries that have been given to us so we can treasure, value, and preach the Deposit of Faith to the world that is lost in the midst of so many things, temptations, and voices. In His farewell discourse found in John 14-17, the Lord prayed for His disciples as well as for us who come to know Him through their teachings so that we can be one as He and the Father are one. He sent the Holy Spirit to transform us so we can be united in one heart and mind, which requires that we let go of our individual wills and egos to care for and love one another beyond individualistic justifications and standards.

Miracles happen all around us but we too oftentimes missed them. We are so blessed with the gifts of life, family, and faith but we, many times, let our physical senses and fragile ego make us think that we do not have enough at hand. We have allowed ourselves to become myopic and filled with self-pities, thinking that we do have what we deserved as if we are the most pitiful and forgotten people on earth. Nevertheless, God‘s loving miracles and wondrous blessings are all around us, and all we have to do is to allow our spiritual senses to see His love at work.

KLOVE, a popular Christian radio station, once talked about this on air. They said that our brain is naturally wired to acknowledge, identify, and focus on what is lacking, the not-so-good, or what seems to be wrong in order to solve the problems that we often miss the hidden blessings that are interwoven in between. They call it hedonistic adaptation. The Sacred Scriptures often refer to it as a humanistic forgetfulness. No matter what we call it, we can recognize that we tend to forget or not see what God has done for us, especially the good things He has bestowed upon us out of His infinite goodness and divine providence day in and day out — many times, without us even knowing or asking. Therefore, we have to expand our horizons and be in touch with our spiritual senses to see His grace at work in, through, with, and behind each and every moment.

In our very own life of faith, we cannot forget that the Lord is with us and that we are called to lift up our hearts to Him in how we pray and worship, individually and as a community of faith. The greatest miracle is to be able to sense His presence and to receive His love totally and completely as to praise and thank Him with joy, to reflect on what He has done for us, and refocus on what we are called to do as His disciples.

Of course, this world can and will be hard at times, but we can never stop lifting up our hearts to the Lord in prayers and in worship, else we will end up crusty, sad, hopeless, and resentful at Him and others because we think that we do not have what we want. No matter what happened, is, or will happen, we can experience His wondrous works and loving miracles all around us, interwoven and hidden behind the ordinariness of life because He provides for us in such simple but caring ways — beyond what we can see at times. Therefore, let us never stop seeking, loving, and giving ourselves totally and completely to Him by lifting up our hearts to the One who loves us so we can see, recognize, and receive fully His signs of love for us.

We are called to embrace what the Lord has done for us in a very real, personal, and intimate way by reliving this life of faith through prayers, worship, and loving acts of service and charity. Each time we come together for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we recognize that this faith is not only about us but about others as well. We are meant to put away our own personal likings, judgments, and standards in order to seek the greater good of those around us as well as the ultimate truth that has been handed on to us by the Church and those who had gone before us.

We are not simply a group, cluster, or circle of like-minded people or believers who come together in human fellowship because we like or share something in common. We are the Church of disciples who have been saved, redeemed, and are loved by God, coming together to worship, give ourselves, and unite our everything to His holy sacrifice. What we have received at Mass, especially being nourished by His living words, Body and Blood, send us forth to make disciples of all nations. This is the gift of what we know, remember, and willingly choose to make it our own mission, purpose, and way of life by conforming ourselves to Him. We are the people of living faith because our souls remember and know what He has done for us in salvation history, in our personal journey, and continues to do through our everyday life and loving mysteries. Without a doubt, when we remember, we live in that knowledge by letting ourselves be formed and conformed to His will because we recognize His loving grace is at work in and through each and every one of us.