Be like an eagle,
not a hen
Fr. Roy Cimagala,
October 10, 2016
YES, letís be like an eagle,
soaring quietly high up in the sky, having a good, extensive view of
the things on the ground, and not like cackling barnyard hen whose
flight is low and is mainly done to escape something or to boast to
the whole world that it has just laid an egg. The hen, of course, has
a very limited view of things.
The other thing about the
eagle is that in spite of the tremendous altitude that it can climb,
it has a sharp vision that can see even a running rodent on the ground
and has the agility to swoop down quickly to catch its prey. Thatís
really quite a combination. This can never be said of the hen.
I know that it is unfair to
compare a hen with an eagle. Each one has its own nature and purpose
for being. But for our sake, we can compare ourselves to them because
as human beings, we have the choice to assume the qualities of an
eagle or those of a hen.
To be like an eagle can mean
to think big instead of being contented with small, petty things. It
can mean to take on more and more responsibilities, instead of being
contented with what we are having at the moment.
We can always do more. With
our spiritual nature, the possibilities for growth and improvement are
infinite. This simply corresponds to the fact that the demands of our
own sanctification and the needs of other people about whom we should
always be concerned are also infinite.
To be like an eagle can mean
expanding our generosity instead of simply being self-satisfied with
our current state of charity. It can mean pushing ourselves up to the
next level in every aspect of our life. We should never be contented
with the status quo, no matter how good it already is. Letís remember
the saying that ďthe good is the enemy of the best.Ē
It can mean to be always
zealous in any endeavor we do, instead of simply being complacent and
lukewarm. It can mean to be a maximalist rather than a minimalist,
contented with a passing mark.
Thatís what happens when one
is in love. He is not contented with doing things just to get by. He
does things to the best of his abilities, always seeking new frontiers
of creativity, effectiveness and efficiency. Thatís simply because
love is giving not only things but his own self without measure.
Thatís love most intrinsic law. Itís given without measure.
We need to learn to adopt
this kind of lifestyle. Itís not going to be easy, of course. Many
things have to be resolved and mastered. We have to contend with our
tendencies to be self-centered, to be attached to things, to be
materialistic, complacent, cold or lukewarm, etc. But with Godís
grace, our full trust in Godís ways matched with our efforts, we can
enter and flow in this amazing dynamics of true love.
Truth is for this love to
develop and grow, we do not need some special moments and
opportunities to trigger it. Any occasion, any event, no matter how
small and, humanly speaking, insignificant can be a golden privilege
to live heroism that is inseparable from loving.
Another reason why we have
to be like an eagle in our spiritual and moral life rather than just
be like a chicken is that when we have an outlook and lifestyle that
can be characterized as big-hearted, eager to do big things without
neglecting the fine details, and magnanimous, we can more easily
handle the many weaknesses and temptations that will always hound us.
A person stuck in petty
things is an easy target of his own weaknesses and the temptations
around. He tends to be lazy and narrow-minded, unable to develop the
resistance to bear things and the strength to move forward.
A phenomenon that is getting
common nowadays is that of many smart people with impressive
accomplishments but who are unable to escape the bad allurements of
the world and the subtle tricks of the devil.
And thatís simply because
they have stopped growing and moving forward. They get self-satisfied
with what they have already accomplished, showing in effect that all
that effort was not really for God and for others, but simply for
themselves, a clear contradiction to what loving is supposed to be.
We need to alert everyone
about this danger. Thatís why itís good to keep in mind this
comparison between the eagle and the hen.