THE STORY OF the two disciples on their way to Emmaus (cfr. Lk 24,13-35) tells us that we can always count on God to help us, intervening in our lives in a most crucial way, whenever for one reason or another we find ourselves depressed and demoralized. We should never forget this truth of our faith, especially because in our life we will always have many occasions that can cause us frustration and sadness.

We need to trust in God’s providence and mercy. We have to learn to live a spirit of abandonment in the hands of God. Yes, if we have faith in God, in his wisdom and mercy, in his unfailing love for us, we know that everything will always work out for the good. If we are with God, we can always dominate whatever suffering can come our way in the same manner that Christ absorbed all his passion and death on the cross.

Let’s always remember that God, in his ineffable ways, can also talk to us through these crosses. In fact, he can convey precious messages and lessons through them. It would be good that we have a theological attitude toward them, and be wary of our tendency to react to them in a purely human way, based only on our senses and feelings and on worldly trends.

In all our affairs and situations in life, we should always go to God to ask for his help and guidance, and to trust his ways and his providence, even if the outcome of our prayers and petitions appears unanswered, if not, contradicted.

This should be the attitude to have. It’s an attitude that can only indicate our unconditional faith and love for God who is always in control of things, and at the same time can also leave us in peace and joy even in the worst of the possibilities.

Remember the Book of Ecclesiastes where it says that for everything there is a season, “a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal…” But everything is under God’s control.

We have to follow the example of the many characters in the gospel who, feeling helpless in the many predicaments they were in, earnestly rushed to Christ for some succor. They went to him unafraid and unashamed and they got what they wanted.

It may happen that we may not get what we want. And in this, we should not be too surprised or too worried. What is sure is that God always listens and gives us what is best for us.

In those situations, I believe we just have to allow ourselves to play in God’s game plan, in his abiding providence whose designs are beyond reckoning, or are way beyond our comprehension and appreciation.

In this life, we need to develop a sportsman’s attitude, since life is like a game. Yes, life is like a game, because we set out to pursue a goal, we have to follow certain rules, we are given some means, tools and instruments, we train and are primed to win and do our best, but defeats can always come, and yet, we just have to move on. We need a sporting spirit because life’s true failure can come only when we choose not to have hope. That happens when our vision and understanding of things is narrow and limited, confined only to the here and now and ignorant of the transcendent reality of the spiritual and supernatural world. By Fr. Roy Cimagala (EV Mail April 17-23, 2023 issue)