A map for GodBy Fr. Francis Ongkingco
Cebu Daily News
Sonny was concentrating on drawing while lying on the floor on his tummy.
“What are you so busy with?” his dad asked.
“I’m drawing maps,” he said without interrupting his work.
“Maps?” his dad asked. “What for?”
“Johnny and I are going to play hide-and-seek.”
“But you don’t need maps for that,” his dad laughed.
“Oh yes, he will.”
“’Coz I told him I will hide so hard. And if he can’t find me, he owes me a gallon of ice cream.”
* * *
Today, men without knowing it are actually searching for God. This is shown in their eagerness to be happy, healthy, rich, admired, successful, etc. But all these fall short of what the true inner longings in man’s soul. Even Augustine realized this when he said: “Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in You.” Man’s endless—almost infinite—desire to be fulfilled can only be satisfied by an eternal-infinite good, and this can only be God.
But, one may ask, how does one find God? Is there some sort of map to this secure and final port of man’s earthly journey? God who so loved man did not—as the deists and their modern versions the Freemasons believe—whimsically abandon the world that popped out of his wildest imaginings. Instead, He became so much a part of it: He became a man like us in everything, except our sinfulness. The humanity of Christ—perfect God and perfect man—has become the Way, the Truth and the Life. Christ is our map to God.
This Christ-map is so detailed and continues to be enriched and made timely for us by the Church. She is like God’s cartographer. She draws out for us how the map of God’s will is for us and teaches us the means. She Herself, through history, has become this patent map or modern indicator of God’s Plan of Salvation (GPS). In Her we also encounter visible sources of grace: the Sacraments, the liturgy, the numerous gifts initiated by the Holy Spirit, etc.
However, as much as we need a map to God, God also needs a map to our hearts. And this is one to “help” Him find us. Isn’t He all-knowing enough to know where and how we are? But we are speaking of a terrain where God cannot enter or force himself without our express permission: our heart. And the door that either opens or closes our heart to God’s love is our freedom. Either we open up this horizon for God to enter, or we lock ourselves within walls we build by our slavery to vices, attachments and base tendencies.
The element that blocks God from entering is our willful attachment to sin or self-love. This is what hides us from God. In fact, just an amusing thought, one could say that the first game ever invented was “hide-and-go-seek.” Adam and Eve invented this when they hid from God after sinning. Of course, the next game they thought of was charades: they had to let God guess what they did. In short, they chose to lie to God.
Let us, therefore, draw a map of love for God to find us. Let us have a plan of love that would always help us experience the power of his light and mercy. A resolution: to be constant with our daily prayers, reading of the Bible and frequenting the Sacraments, especially the Holy Mass and confession.
* * *
“But what happens if he doesn’t find you even with your maps?” his father asked.
“Well, I left this last note that will tell him exactly where I am,” Sonny said.
“Then what’s the fun in hiding?”
“’Coz he said that if I help him find me, then he’ll give me another gallon of ice cream.”
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