Every so often I have sobering reflections. Not necessarily inspired by sadness, but rather inspired by a glimpse of human mortality, weakness and imperfection. Todays reflections are inspired in part by a “final post” on the blog of a soldier. He had arranged with a friend that this particular post be published in event of his death; I did not see his blog before today, but he died just earlier this week. I think perhaps his soul needs prayers. 🙂
Death is such a strange thing; for many people, it inspires fear or dread. Others seem indifferent to it, and some look forward to it. I have mixed feelings about it…sometimes it terrifies me, yet sometimes I feel like I can say with St. Paul, “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” Perhaps I will never fully understand why I cling to my mortal life; it is something that I cannot rationalize, but rather just muse on. However, I realize that I should not fear–the entire world is held in the hands of God, and God is love. As St. John said in the reading today, “…There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear…” (1 Jn 4:18). Through the crucifixion and resurrection, Christ showed us not to be afraid of death because He has triumphed with perfect love; perhaps why we are still so afraid of death is because we are so far from perfection in our love.
All the loves that God will give us in this world are just a reflection of His love; but it is so tempting to desire those lesser loves instead of giving everything to Him. It is hard to really grasp the concept and worth of true peace and happiness, especially when you are in the midst of so many blessings. It seems that there is a fine line between enjoying God’s blessings and beginning to follow those blessings instead of God Himself. Somehow I must learn to accept all blessings graciously yet never expect any more…to be grateful for today, and have the trust that tomorrow I will be given what I need. That I must live one day at a time, seeking eternity in every action and opening my heart to learn to love ever more perfectly.
“…There is nothing more I could desire:
I accept and love whatever you decide.”
(Accept, O Lord from Heavenwards)