A Waze to Heaven

By: Francis B. Ongkingco May 13,2016 - 08:45 PM

Vignettes

In our country that daily suffers the common virus of traffic congestion, it would be impossible to meet someone who has never heard about Waze and its awesome traffic guiding and avoiding features.

Although Waze is constantly updated and improved, its features are very basic and simple to use. After a quick registration (i.e. a user name, password, language, location, cell phone number, etc.) the application is good to go.

Data connectivity is a must because this is how Waze effectively tracks the best possible routes, indicates the traffic density in areas one must avoid and, best of all, gives accurate directions — with downloadable voices of famous actors and celebrities — that stir one through never-have-been-through-before-or-heard-of roads and streets in the city.

The magic of Waze also depends on a network of users. Individual data shared with thousand other Wazers allow the app to build an updated database of the traffic situation and new locations that people travel to or from. Thus, the more people using Waze means a more precise guiding system.

Sometimes, though, the program concedes defeat to Philippine traffic with a dry technological statement: “Traffic unusually heavy in EDSA.” But this information alone, that there is “no waze out,” is more consoling than drowning with tension in a sea of unknown reasons as to why traffic isn’t moving at all.

Considering these wonderful features of Waze, I realized that we somehow also have a Waze to heaven. To begin with, data connectivity means being online with God, which is being in His grace. The state of grace, a gift from God, is the soul’s condition of not having committed — with full knowledge and consent — any grave offense against God and neighbor in thought, word or deed. Without this condition, it will be very difficult to get our spiritual GPS working properly.

The “divine social network” of wayfarers is the Communion of Saints. Going to Heaven isn’t something we can do by ourselves. We will always need others. Above all, we have a celestial Wazer — possessing infinite points — who has set the clear course for us by already making the journey from heaven and back: Christ Himself. Even before Waze was, He said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

Then, after our Lord are the innumerable men and women — also following Jesus’ words and examples — who are already in heaven. Our Lady, St. Joseph, the apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, saints and many more.

Fortunately, they didn’t just leave us without a trace. They have indeed left but left the legacy of their lives — their teachings, writings and the institutions they have founded — for us who still are journeying towards our eternal home.

The operating system that processes these supernatural data is our heart, our conscience. We cannot be content with a moral operating system that simply overtakes or swerves between avoiding evil and doing good. We must constantly update our spiritual life. This takes place in personal prayer, formation in grace through the Sacraments, seeking spiritual guidance, reading and following the lives of Christ and the saints, and living the teaching of His Church.

As we grow in our spiritual life, through the traffic of struggles and trials of every day, our sacrifice in social and family engagements, and work, we are spiritually feeding the entire network with the graces we receive. Simultaneously, we are helped by other souls linked to this divine network of love forming Christ’s Mystical Body, that is the Church.

Tradition teaches that there are three wonderful realities in this Mystical Body: the Triumphant (the souls already in heaven), the Purifying (souls in purgatory preparing to enter heaven) and the Militant (we in the world engage in spiritual combat).

Even though not everything about Waze is applicable to our supernatural adventure, we can say that one common desire in all men is getting home.

And in a Christian’s life, all that it takes is actively logging himself into this heavenly network by taking to heart his life of prayer, the Sacraments, personal formation and the constant concern for others who may find their life journey tiring or meaningless.

As we journey, may we be consoled with our constant travelling companions: our Guardian Angel and of course the Holy Spirit. They inspire us with gentle directions to take the correct right turns and avoid the wrong left ones. Until one day, in a joyful whisper they will say: “Congratulations! You have reached your heavenly destination!”

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TAGS: Christ, EDSA, Waze

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