Sunday’s Scripture readings speak of how very transitory life can be. It’s something that we’re all aware of, as evidenced by remarks such as: “I don’t know where time goes” or “They grow up so fast.” I’ve often noticed how fast time flies when one is having fun, as opposed to how it goes so slow when one is hurting. Seems like it should be the other way around.
When we’re young, it feels like time is our master. Our days are filled with things that must be done, children to take here and there, deadlines to meet, aged parents to care for … there’s an endless list of things to do and never enough time to do them. Somehow, someway, our timeless connection to God gets lost in this hurly-burly. How often I’ve heard the plaintive comment, “I just don’t have time to pray.”
Before we know it, the children are independent. Our aged parents have died. Work and volunteering still take much of our time. It’s not just the young who say, “I don’t have enough time to pray.” So do the middle-agers. But is the problem really lack of time? I suspect the problem lies more along the lines of, “I’ve got more time now, but don’t know how to pray.” We appreciate that we have more time to do the things we like to do, but are still unsure how to use it wisely. Time is still our master, but we’re learning how to master time as well.
Then we come to the elderly. I am enormously impressed by the spirituality of the folks here at St. Paul’s retirement community. They know that their life has but a limited time to run on this earth, and so they are cherishing each moment for its own unique beauty. They know fully how to eat, drink and be merry, to use the Gospel line, but they also know how to give thanks to the One who makes it all possible. We could learn a lot from them!
Love deeply, laugh often, pray faithfully!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.