Wednesday, December 3, 2008


The first thing that I do in the morning besides say hello to Saint Augustine who pears in my window during the dark winter months is pray the Liturgy of the Hours and review the readings for Mass. From that point a lot of time is spent on other things that at best involve just a seasoning of prayer. It is all quite mundane. There is the making of the bed, toiletries, getting dressed, preparing the house for the staff, bringing in the paper, (maybe – maybe someday feeding the dog) and turning on the computer.

Yesterday I was in my car driving to day school confessions at a neighboring parish and making a mental list of all the things that I had to do. I was in desperate need of stopping at a gas station before I would need to call AAA. That reminded me to turn off the cell phone before it would be forgotten and ring in the middle of a confession. Passing a store reminded me of things that I needed to pick up for the parish. Maybe I could stop on the way back if there were time.

These ruminations were interrupted by the car’s arrival at its destination. Pulling into the parking lot of the next parish over brought thoughts back to advent and the realization on how little time is spent on things that really matter. All the busy stuff mentioned above is necessary to living, but in the grand scheme of things hardly important. We are told to view everything sub specie aeternitatis or from the point of eternity. What is going to last? Not much. We will. God will. Our relationship with Him will. Love will. My car will not. The rectory will not. Even my body will not. Hope will not. Faith will not. Even the Eucharist will not since we will be before the Body of Christ in heaven.

Yet what requires the majority of our day and effort? Those very things that are like summer plants that are now passed and gone. They are like a bubble we try to keep aloft by getting under them and blowing air at them lest they fall into the grass and pop. That’s a lot of effort for something so transitory.

Of course much of this is a necessary evil (and I use the term loosely.) It is not a bad thing to make sure the body is taken care of, that those things entrusted to us are handled with careful stewardship, and that these efforts may take up much of our time. It’s the nature of the beast. The world in all that is in is in a constant state of decay and needs our vigilant efforts to keep it all together and moving. But there must be that break, that one hour out of twenty four, that one day out of seven that we stop and pay attention, plug into, and to remember the proper place of all that is transitory before that which is eternal, good, beautiful, and true lest in the end we be left with nothing for all of our efforts.

That is advent; to point us toward that which is eternal and to remind us to prepare the way for it in our hearts that when all that is left is that which is eternal we may know it and love it and it may know and embrace us.


Mrs. Curran said...

Reminds me of Fr K's admonition not to get so caught up in the urgent that we forget the important!

Anonymous said...

Good points, both Fr. V and Barbara. Fr. V., I wouldn't have thought about all this today. I've already lost my focus amidst the days' doings -- one *child* is trying to sew a blanket as a gift for someone, but kept losing parts of the machine (the cat had knocked one into the next room), and she has Judge Ugly blaring into the room the whole time. Another from here went down to the PD to get a copy of what he needed so as to get his license back, but there were complications including money. His friend, who may or may not be gay and may or may not actually know for sure himself, I wasn't too happy to see this morn, but only because I was like death warmed over with this cold; someone left the door unlocked (I should just say everyone but me), and I was in the midst of rescuing obnoxious kitten from obnoxious older cat, and his appearance then startled them all the more. I now have a deep tooth mark that hurts more than it should, and if I get up for the peroxide, I'll have to use the toilet, and moving will make me cough, and I'm too tired to move. (I'm just praying not to sneeze.) Meanwhile, over there in my bedroom closet is a stocking filled with candies and magazines that is supposed to go to Iraq for a young friend of a friend whose father felt the military was the best place for him.. I bought cards for others here to send out (if they want) and have to get down cellar to find my own to send (left over from last year). None of us have stamps. The kitchen floor looks like it was intended to be outside. There's chicken for supper, but there was no mayo for daughter's sandwich. I did manage to get the flea retardant onto the biggest cat, but I haven't tackled her litter box. That would make me cough..

Now, to see such as this from the viewpoint of eternity, I (and Everyone Else) would say, "THIS is what distracted you from nearness to the Lord?"

That's the beauty of musing sacred scripture as sacred scripture and praying the Hours. Thank you for doing so.

Unknown said...


Today's entry also reminds me of the statement :

Do not confuse activity with accomplishment.

Continuing, our definition of accomplishment influences our perspective and affects our ultimate focus.

uncle jim said...

when you travel, do use the most direct and fastest route to your destination?

or do you take the road less traveled ... the longer round about less direct route?

just wondering

Fr. V said...

Depends. Weather - mood - time - feeling guilty about global warming or not - if its a beautiful day - if I have most of my work done - if I don't care if I have my work done -

Is that round about enough for you?


uncle jim said...

i was noting how you got to the last paragraph of your post - it seemed you took the scenic route

i think we must be brothers

Fr. V said...

Carol - you are hystercial