A man went to the doctor for symptoms he was having. After many tests the doctor called the man into his office. "What's the word Doctor? Is it serious?"
"I'm sorry," the doctor said. "Your illness is terminal."
"Tell me, doctor, how long have I got?"
"Ten" said the doctor.
"Ten what? Ten years? Ten months? Ten weeks? Ten days?"
The doctor replied, "nine, eight, seven..."
Our time on earth has been described by various comparisons. Father Brendan McGuire used the comparison of a 100 foot rope. “This rope here is our life. The rope represents eternal life…This tiny little section (the first 3 inches) here is called life on earth. That's it. Just that section!”
Examples like the above are almost enough to startle us into focus. How am I living my life? What should I be doing? Am I preparing for eternity?
David Isay who started Story Corps in 2003 gives us a focus by asking what four things would you would want to say to someone before you die? The answer: Thank you. I love you. Forgive me. I forgive you. How different our lives can be if we remember to say these simple words.
Story Corps is based on the idea that everyone has a story to tell. Isay shared his father’s story – his father was gay, but after hearing his dad’s story he had a great love and respect for him.
Another Story Corps example involves a mother whose son was killed in gang violence. After meeting her son’s killer, they became mutually supportive and found their lives enriched.
The prescription for a good life is simple. Stay in touch with God. Often this is achieved by simply using the Sunday God gave us.
“Do not let Sunday be taken from you.
If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan.” Albert Schweitzer
Living a good life is simple. Giving witness is simple. Father Franklin Emereuwa shares a story about seminary life where his spiritual instructor would say, “Let’s go preaching.” They would dress in their clerical robes and simply walk about the streets of the town without saying a word.
Giving witness is as simple as showing up. St Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.”
The Word Among Us (September 2015) shares this simple prescription. Go beyond your friends and church circle. Go outside your comfort zone. “You don’t need to evangelize; just get to know them, and let them get to know you. Let them see the glory of God dwelling in you so that they, too, will desire to live in such a safe, beautiful kingdom of God.”
Much of the crisis of Faith we experience today is because we have forgotten what our forefathers did not forget. A simple prayer like the Angelus which was recited daily, often at the ringing of the village bell made everyone stop and remember our story as Christians.
Christmas – “The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary”.
Incarnation – “And the Word was made flesh”.
Salvation – “That we…may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection”.
Let us remember to walk in God’s love while there is time.