Written by Michael Fones
Saturday, 13 January 2007 14:25
How many of you are planning on watching the NFL playoff games?
How many of you are married or planning to get married?
How many of you are planning to have kids?
How many of you are planning to own a house or condo?
How many of you are planning your next vacation?
How many of you are planning your retirement?
How many of you are planning to die?
I mean, actually making plans?
How does one "plan" to die?
Is there more to plan than making a will, checking out a gravesite or columbarium, figuring out who gets durable power of attorney, and picking out readings and music for your funeral?
Do you wake up in the morning thinking, "Well, this could be the day I die"?
Maybe if you have a big math test or a presentation to make to the boss you might reflect on that for consolation, but otherwise, unless you're old and/or in terrible health, I bet you don't.
I don't, at least.
But it wouldn't be a particularly bad idea, and, in fact, night prayer or compline ends with a sobering thought, "May the Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death."
When we truly plan for something, we take action.
So, if you're serious about watching the Chargers take on the Patriots, you clear your schedule, prepare your munchies, and put on your game-day shirt.
How do we plan for death, judgment, and, one Hopes, heaven?
Well, if heaven is eternal life in the presence of God, how can I expect to be prepared for that if I'm not living in God's presence in time?
Look at it this way – you didn't meet and marry your spouse on the same day – at least not if you were sober.
You got to know him or her over time. Your life slowly changed.
It began to revolve more and more around this particular person until you knew you didn't want to live without him or her.
It's really no different with our relationship with God, which is why some spiritual writers and saints refer to Jesus as their divine spouse.
So how do we come close to God in this life?
There are some traditional responses, like prayer, receiving the sacraments, participating in the life of the Christian community as it exists in the parish. All the things that people mentioned in response to Sherry's question, "What nourishes your relationship with Christ?"
But there are a couple of other traditional practices that I'd like to add to that list.
But to find out what I'm thinking, you'll have to come back tomorrow!
(ooooh, a serial blog!!!)