By Fr. Roy Cimagala


Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE)

Talamban, Cebu City



THIS is our continuing need. Let’s never be derailed from that focus. All throughout our life, we need to build up and protect our simplicity and humility, since these virtues engage our mind and heart always on God and on others, and not simply on our own selves.

This is the danger we have ever since we started to be aware of who we are, what we have and what we can do. In short, our dignity and our powers. We can easily be overtaken by pride and arrogance, that trend to self-centeredness and self-absorption, whose practicality is nothing compared to the venom they leave behind.

Simplicity and humility are not really so much about who we are, what we have and what we can do. They are not so much about how to behave or what to wear. Though they surely have consequences and implications in these matters, they refer more to where we give our mind and heart to.

Are they with God and others, or are they simply revolving around ourselves? It’s a choice we have to make in every step of our life. It’s a choice that practically defines our life—how we think, how we view and judge persons, things and events.

These virtues always make us realize who and how we are—that we are nothing without God and others, that we are meant from beginning to end to enter and to develop a life of relationship. This is how we have been made and wired, so to speak. We just have to follow that law, that design, otherwise, we harm ourselves and get lost.

Yet these basic, undeniable truths are often taken for granted. The wine of our freedom, God’s gift that makes us image and likeness of him and prepares to be children of his, is so intoxicating we think we can be most ok when we are by ourselves.

We have to be wary of this tendency, exerting all the effort to avoid that mistaken notion, even if it will always look attractive. That’s the reason our Lord always taught us to deny ourselves and carry the cross if we have to follow him, as we should, and not just our own ideas, no matter how brilliant they may be, at least for the moment.

Simplicity and humility make us see things clearly and objectively. They take away the sweet poison that foolishly puts ourselves above and before God and others. They make our reasoning and our loving on the right track, avoiding the sophisms of the complicated persons.

Besides, simplicity and humility give us a natural shield against temptations, our own weaknesses and the wiles of the devil and the world. They give us always a reason to hope and to be optimistic in life.

Being complicated precisely means a person who has been detached from God, the source of all truth and goodness, and who simply relies on his own faculties. In a while, he creates a complex web of false reasoning, biases, rash judgments, etc. He ends up self-righteous.

Simplicity and humility put us in condition to acknowledge the existence of God and his abiding providence. Without them, one simply thinks his life is all what he and he alone makes out of it. In short, it’s all his. He follows his own laws.

And his relation with others would simply be marked by motives of practicality and the like. He seems unable to go beyond that, and to discover the wonderful plan made by God with respect to our relationship with him and with others.

Our true joy and everything that it presumes and implies can only be attained when we follow God’s law regarding relationships. This law cannot be other than to love God with everything we have got, and to love our neighbour as ourselves. Later, he perfected this dual law by telling to love one another as he (Christ) loves us.

We have to convince ourselves, using our faith first and then our reason and all that are expected of our human condition (we need to study, to develop virtues, to engage in ascetical struggle, to have recourse to the sacraments, to have ongoing formation), that this divine commandment is really where our true joy is.

It’s where we can expect our authentic development as a person and member of society, and then as a child of God and member of the People of God. We can say goodbye to a myopic view of life, full of anomalies.

It’s all worthwhile to be always simple and humble!





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