A Fleeting Moment

Whether it be a cold, a cough, a sinus infection, ear clog, you name it, it seems like everyone is coming down with something. These minor illnesses are not life threatening; they’re mostly annoying and inconvenient.

However, if one were to really analyze why people dread getting under the weather in general, it’s probably because it’s a reminder that we’re not perfect. It’s a reminder that we are slowly decaying, getting older, and that, with each day, we are approaching death. And so too is everyone in our lives whom we love. And we hate the thought of it. It’s scary.

As we get older, it seems that the days just run into each other, that the pace is so much quicker, and time spent with family and close friends get shorter and shorter. Now, this is all part of being an adult, but it can be a disconcerting feeling.

The truth is, with each day we are passing away and so is everyone else, just like everyone before us. But the even greater truth is that death is not the end. It is not, as Shakespeare calls it, the “unknown country,” but something we know by faith, something that we grasp, as the Apostle Paul tells us, “hoping against hope.” We have a place prepared for us who believe and who try, even in our own imperfect way, in heaven.

The feast of All Souls, which we celebrated on Nov. 2, is a beautiful one, which makes us stop and take account of where we are and where we are going. These are our Eleusinian mysteries, not with Demeter and Persephone, but the mysteries of our own dying and rising in Christ. Through faith and through our incorporation into the Body of Christ by baptism, we have the assurance that all those whom we have loved and lost, all those whom we love and cherish here on Earth, we will, please God, be united around the heavenly throne one day.

Two resolutions, then, in light of this fact of our faith: first, let us live each day as if it is our last, cherishing in and relishing in the gift of our lives in this plane of reality. The people with whom we are blessed are far too precious to neglect.

And second, we should not neglect those who have gone before us; we need to pray for them, the poor souls in purgatory, for where they are, we will be, hoping for the eternal light to be shown to us.

All of this is passing. But what really matters in the end, the three things, faith, hope, and the greatest of these, love – that’s what lasts.

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