"Not Just Yet"
Looking for a book to read this Pentecost Sunday, I chanced upon St. Augustine's "Confessions," called" the greatest spiritual autobiography of all time." It reminded me of his famous prayer: "Please God, make me chaste, but not just yet."
Augustine led a worldly and immoral life. But with his mother's prayers and God's grace, he saw the light and eventually lived a life of holiness and service to the Church.
When one is in the best of health and young, the allures of the world are strong. Life is beautiful. There are millions of things to acquire, do and enjoy. There will be time later to think of what is invisible and beyond.
Even in one's sunset years, one can feel there are still lots of things to do during the time remaining: write a book, go on a cruise and travel, build a backyard patio, plant a garden, play golf, indulge in a hobby, catch up with kins and old friends. One must get the most out of life.
Nothing wrong with these. They are all good. But to focus on them and forget the most important thing is not. The mundane stuff: pleasure, power, wealth and success pursued at all costs can be intoxicating and can blur one's vision.
Plans can go awry. The unexpected often happens: debilitating sickness, accidents, death. Who thought a pandemic would occur in our lifetime?
There was a man who was blessed with a bountiful harvest. He planned to tear down his smaller barns and build a huge one to store all his grain. But the Lord had other plans. He said: "You fool, tonight you die." (Lk 12:18-20)
The time to focus on the most important thing is now. No procrastination. Tomorrow is not ours. It may be too late.
"Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near." (Isaiah 55:6)
Jesus says: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be." (Mt 6:19-21)
Good for Augustine. He was given time to change. He became a saint.
We, too, can become saints. There is no better goal. But we must not procrastinate.
At this Pentecost Sunday, may we revisit the gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord.
Especially Wisdom. #
"None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living." (Romans 14:7-9)
"Make us know the shortness of our life
that we may gain wisdom of heart." (Psalm 90)