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The Vigilance

(By Jaime Sevilla, MAPM, M.Th)

The vigilance is the window through which we are attentive to all that our Lord wants from us. It is the eyes that manage to see and warn us when our thinking and acting is separating from our relationship with Christ; surveillance is the alert call that is given to us in an action to be performed at a certain time. Saint Peter, in his letter, recommends to us how this vigilance should be constant with these words: “Watch and be alert, because your enemy, the devil, walks like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, resist him firm in faith” (1 Peter 5:8).

Saint Teresa of Avila reminds her sisters never to trust, because the real problem is when we think that everything is fine, and we forget that we have to take care of ourselves: “Disentangling ourselves from the world and bereaved and imprisoned here with the conditions that are said; it seems we have everything done and we do not have to fight with anything. Oh, my sisters, do not make sure or go to sleep, it will be like the one who goes to bed very calmly having closed his doors for fear of thieves, and he leaves them at home ..., because we are ourselves” (C10,1).

Vigilance makes us see how everything around us separates from that Word of God, even we ourselves run the risk of letting ourselves be dragged and betrayed by God and our brothers due to the environment that surrounds us. That is why it is necessary to be in Vela. Our Lord tells us that several times in the Gospels; let us see one of them. “While Jesus was in the garden, He admonished His disciples:

He came back and found them asleep. And he said to Peter, ‘Simon, do you sleep? So you could not stay awake for an hour? Be awake and pray to avoid temptation; for the spirit is courageous, but the flesh is weak’” (Matthew 26:37-38). Vigilance is always accompanied and strengthened in prayer, it is that which helps us to see both small and large things in our relationship with God; it alerts us from temptations, from deceits of the enemy, to the cunning that he uses to make us fall and betray our beloved.

Without Vigilance, it would be difficult to reach Eternal Life, and that is why we must always ask God for that special grace, since it is what helps us to acquire that spiritual balance that every Christian must have. Enzo Bianchi describes it in this way: Vigilance is a quality that brings with it a great gift of inner strength, and in return, this produces a balance: Repeated occasions we have been asked to be vigilant, not only of our history of the world in which we live, and of everything that is around us; but also within ourselves, our own ministry, our work, our personal conduct and everything that we come into contact with and establish a relationship with. Our vigilance leads us to Christ reigning as Lord in each of the aspects of our life (Bianchi, Echoes of the Word, #5, pg 20).

The purpose of vigilance is to take us to Jesus Christ and to remain faithful to His love, to reign in all our life, in our whole being, now and forever. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us very eloquently: Jesus “the Kingdom of God is near” (Mk 1:15), calls for conversion and faith, but also for vigilance.

In prayer, the disciple waits attentively for the One who is and who is coming. In remembrance of His first coming in the humility of the flesh, and in the hope of His second glorious advent (cf. Mk 13; Lk 21:34-36).

In communion with his Master, the prayer of the disciples is a combat, and vigilance in prayer is how one does not fall into temptation (cf. Lk 22:40, 46); (CCC 2612).

Lord Jesus, give us the special grace of vigilance to always be able to see You in each of our daily actions, so that the purpose of our faith and conversion will take us to our definitive homeland: the Celestial Jerusalem. Amen.

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