Sunday, January 26, 2020

Rivers to the Sea

We hear people speak of having a 'bucket list', a list of experiences or things they feel are so important they must do them or have them before they die. Recently a priest who is also a chaplain at a hospital, gave a homily on this subject. He spoke of what it is like to talk to people whose lives are nearing the end, how they express that feeling of incompleteness. He said he also feels it, that their lives need some completion, one more good deed, one more confession to their brother or sister, in order to come to a peaceful end. 

Monday's quote from Ecclesiastes will makes the point that our life, like a river, does not come to an end but rather flows into the greater sea. This means we can relax and let go of the idea that we must be 'enlightened' or in the unitive state, if not the ‘no-self’, before the end. Your life and mine are like a river flowing inevitably to the sea, coming from God and returning to It. Remembering our beginning and our ending is good preparation for that return.
For those of us (myself included) who have reached their ‘senior years’, I would like to recommend another book by Father Ron Rolheiser; this one is called The Sacred Fire. The book, in his words, is about what he calls the 3 stages of adult life, first: the struggle to get our lives together, second: the struggle to give our lives away, and third: the final stage, the struggle to give our death away. This final stage is largely foreign to us; after a life of activity, then comes the opportunity to learn passivity, as in the “Passion of Jesus Christ” – remembering that the word ‘passion’ comes from the Latin ‘passio’, meaning ‘passivity’. There are deep ideas in this book if you are ready to hear them and need to hear them. 

1 comment:

  1. Just started Chapter 4. Though I am only 51 still feels applies. Thanks


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