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This Life is Not Forever: Weekly Message for 11-14-2023
Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come (Hebrews 13:14).
A young Winston Churchill once observed: “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” Nearness to death tends to focus our attention, eliminating excess and underlining true meaning. And while getting shot at is not recommendable, the Church offers us other ways to consider our mortality.
The month of November, “The days to remember the dead/when air smells cold as earth” (Thomas Merton), is especially dedicated to considering death. We pray for the dead and we remember that we, too, will die. Every one of us will die. Only God knows the day and the hour, but we will die.
In the Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis offers pointed advice. “In the morning, consider that you may not live till evening, and when evening comes do not dare to promise yourself the dawn. Be always ready, therefore, and so live that death will never take you unprepared.”
If I knew I would die today, how would I live? What would I do? What would I stop doing? Could I incorporate some of those conclusions into my everyday life?
In the final analysis, this life is a preparation for eternal life. We will meet Jesus face to face. Every tear will be wiped away. We will participate in a new heaven and a new earth. By God’s grace, may we live so that we’re ready.
Fr. John Pietropaoli
Two Priests and a Mic podcaster