Wednesday, October 18, 2017


The fact that we die makes everything more beautiful.”

It took a long time to figure this saying out.  I find that it is true.  The fact that everything has a time limit gives us the impetus to see and experience here and now.  

At my first assignment there was a public garden that I passed all of the time.  I always told myself that one of these days I am going to stop in there and see what all of the fuss is about.  At first the assignment was for five years and I kept thinking, “There will be time later.”  And then when winter hit, “I’ll see it next summer.”  When time was running out I received two extensions which just made me put if off even longer.  Sadly I left the parish without ever seeing those gardens.

Sometimes that happens with love.  After a period of doting, we can take each other for granted.  There is just so much to do and to accomplish, when all of this fussing is passed I will refocus on my spouse, my family, on God.

This happened notably once to me while growing up.  I had a dog named Benny that I loved dearly.  Every time I had a wish to make (shooting star, dandelion, birthday candles) I would wish that he would live forever.  I entered a period of life when I became very busy and our relationship consisted largely of, “Not now dog,” or “Later,” or “Out of my way I don’t want to trip!”  Then one day coming home, he was excited to see me as he always was I realized I hadn’t paid much attention to him for some time.  I immediately fell down on my knees and petted and played with him feeling guilty and happy at the same time now that we were reconnecting.

Dogs aren’t forever.  There time is very limited compared to ours.  That makes the time we spend with them so much more beautiful.  If we face the fact that everything is passing (this beautiful fall) we will really see it and appreciate it.  It will seem more beautiful because we didn’t rush passed it.

These end dates - death - if we face them with the confidence of a true Christian, give us the freedom to remember love is more important that getting that thing done.  He or she won’t be here forever.  You won’t be able to walk forever.  That garden won’t bloom forever.  Stop and smell that rose before the frost.  They are beautiful now.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely and thoughtful post, Father.

I have experienced love and loss from various family members, friends, dogs, and cats.

It isn't the sad memories that hurt and make us miss someone. It is the happy memories.

Something my husband told me when a beloved pet died sticks with me and applies to people, too. The family member, friend, or pet made us very happy and loved us. But we also made their lives better by loving them and making them happy. Their lives wouldn't have been the same without us.

God throws us together for a reason - families, friends, parishioners, pastors, and beloved pets. If we display love and forgiveness, the relationship is enriched. If not, it becomes a bitter memory. I would rather have the happy memories, even if thinking about them after someone dies is painful.

God bless you and all here - Susan, ofs

MJ said...

OK I'll bite. What gardens?
Great reminder. It is so easy to get caught up in the "busyness" of life and forget what is really important.

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