We should never lose sight of the fact, a happy truth of our faith, that there is always hope for us despite the persistence of evil and our continual falls to sin. St. Paul has reassured us that where sin has abounded, God’s grace has abounded even more. (cfr. Rom 5, 20)
God never tires of forgiving us and of giving us more grace to make us grow spiritually, that is, to grow more in love for God and others. What we can do with the reality of the persistence of evil is to take advantage of it to get closer to God and others.
Yes, we may be always hounded by evil, temptations and sin, but let’s learn the art of converting them into occasions to go to God more closely. And that’s when, with God, we can manage to derive good from evil.
On our part, we just have to be humble enough to accept this fact of life, and more, to go to God to ask for forgiveness and help every time we are feel the sting of evil. It is pure pride when we refuse to acknowledge this fact of life, and more so, when we refuse to go to God for forgiveness and help.
We cannot deny that evil, temptations and sin will always hound us. It might be good to recall what St. Paul said about this sad, unfortunate reality in our life. From his Letter to the Romans, we have this explanation:
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work with me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
“So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” (7, 14-25)
It would be good that we always keep these Pauline words always in mind so that we do not overreact whenever evil, temptations and sin unavoidably come our way. We just have to learn to live in peace with this lifelong disturbing reality and never tire of going to God for forgiveness and help.
That is why it is always good that we develop the habit of examining our conscience regularly, making some resolutions after that, and of going to frequent confession, the sacrament that assures us of God’s mercy and grace.
There’s always hope despite the persistence of evil in our life. Conversion should be a continuing affair for us.
Fr. Roy Cimagala is the Chaplain of the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise, Talamban, Cebu City (firstname.lastname@example.org)./WDJ