Grace to you!
Anyone who is skilled in awareness has to be self-aware, aware of others and aware of the environment in which the person lives. These three are basic leadership principles of emotional intelligence.
Self-awareness equips us to know ourselves—our strengths and weaknesses, what excites us and our proclivities. Such awareness enables us to know how to make better decisions, live well and prepare for the future.
Awareness of others helps us to step outside of ourselves. We consider what others bring or not bring in any circumstance or relationship. It is, as much as is possible, trying to understand others from their point of view. This knowledge enhances relationships. We know our limits and, possibly, those of others with whom we relate. Perhaps, we familiarize with how best to deal with the limits.
Awareness of the environment is key to appreciating what is happening around us and seeing how we fit in the entire interaction. We realize that we are just one among numerous others and that there are many things we can’t control. It’s humbling. It’s also vital for growth in dealing with issues in the wider society and cultures in which we live.
These skills are crucial in the spiritual life also. A spiritually vigilant person is one who is able to be self-aware, aware of others, and aware of the environment in which he or she lives.
In our Catholic Christian tradition, such an awareness is granted to us by God’s grace and our corporation with that grace. We become better aware of the spiritual realities and many things beyond and around us when we are immersed in the light of faith. Seeing things in the light of divine will is an excellent way of knowing life and other realities.
In the eyes of God, nothing is hidden. Everything is clear and well known, from our personal life to the wider society (cf. Heb 4:13; Lk 8:17; Prov 15:3; Ps 139:1-4). So, the best Christian way of self-awareness, awareness of others and awareness of the environment, is allowing the life of God to live in us. It is allowing God’s grace to orient our ways of life and knowing.
Since with God all things are self-evident, all who live in the state of the life of God, what we (in our Catholic spiritual tradition) call the state of grace, are beautifully, spiritually aware. They do not need special courses on spiritual vigilance.
So, spiritual vigilance is being in that state of life that God wishes us to be. It is being at our duty post. It is doing the will of God. It is being in the state of grace.
When the Lord speaks to us about the End Time and the need to be watchful (Lk 21:34-36), he asks us to be vigilant. He inspires us not to be consumed by the cares of this life and lose sight of his will. You know how we easily get consumed with things. It could be with our vision or passion in life. It could be with our friends. It could equally be due to the spirit of the age that bombards us with distracting ideas. It could be from the internet with its addictive lures, etc. We get so absorbed, consumed and anxious. Our spiritual energy is sapped. The Lord wants us to be vigilant. Our safest haven is the Lord and doing his will.
Be vigilant. This vigilance isn’t only about the End Time. In fact, we do not need to be consumed by the End Time prophesies, ignoring what is happening right now. The best response to the End Time is to do what the Lord asks of us now. That is, doing the will of God in our everyday life; being in the state of grace. Such is the best spiritual awareness. Such is Spiritual Vigilance 101. It is less stressful to do so.
By grace, let’s keep doing the will of God in our everyday life. Such is the best spiritual vigilance.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Saturday Week 34 Ordinary Time: Rev 22:1-7; Lk 21:34-36]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.