Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Shortness of Time

1. We often complain about the swift passage of time. Hours, days, and years pass us by, never to return. When we think about the past, do we feel consoled or depressed? How many hours have we spent on useless pursuits such as idle conversation or excessive entertainment? How many have we devoted to serious sin? How many, on the other hand, have we spent in prayer, mortification or apostolic work? How many have we devoted to helping our neighbour by our charitable assistance or advice? Weight it all up. If we discover that the time uselessly or badly spent far outweighs the time spent to our own advantage or to the advantage of others, let us determine to make good the deficit. Resolve to use God's precious gift of time in a manner befitting a reasonable being and a Christian, who knows that he has been created for eternity.

2. When we are dying, we shall think with sorrow of our past life. Then we shall fully understand the fleeting nature of time and the vanity of worldly things. The world, with its empty grandeur and hollow or sinful pleasures, will seem like a cloud which passes or like a curtain which is drawn to reveal the entrance to eternity. Our only comfort will be the number of hours which we have given to prayer and mortification, to charitable work for our poor brothers in Christ and to apostolic labours. All the rest will have passed away, never to return. But the good which we have done will remain as our supreme consolation in that final hour.

3. Another vision will confront us also in that final hour. Our frightened minds will see again all those hours which we have misused in sin. The devil will try be every means in his power to repaint them in our troubled imagination. He will do his best to lead us into despair, even as he tempted Judas and many other sinners before us. We know well that the mercy of God is infinite, and that it remains infinite at the hour of death. But we know also that His justice is no less infinite. Since God has granted us so much time in which He called us to repentance and to a life of virtue, it could happen that at the point of death He will put an end to the mercy and to the favours which He has shown us and which we have disregarded. What will become of us then? Remember that only of the two thieves was converted. The other died unrepentant on his cross, even though he was hanging by the side of Jesus. Reflect and make provision while there is still time.
While we have time, let us do good (Gal. 6:10). We shall be unable to do anything about it afterwards.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your effort. I have this website on my favorites and I share it with my friends and priests. May our Lord and His Mother bless you.