Sunday, September 23, 2007


Achilles: “I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.”
I was sitting out in the garden yesterday looking at these flowers. The weather is turning and dipping to what is, in my mind, much more hospitable levels. But that slight tingeing of the upper leaves of the trees means that in a couple more weeks, maybe less, these flowers will be dead. These flowers which we marked in passing all summer long as being so beautiful are more so now as their doom because immanent.

In many ways the transitory nature of this life is such a blessing. It inspires. It motivates. We are not perfected yet and the unperfected cannot withstand the pitfalls of eternity. The imperfect see eternity as always having more time to correct wrongs later. The other will always be there to be loved and appreciated later.

“There is something within people and buildings that aspires to ruination,” said an artist whose name I’ve forgotten. In their destruction they point to the indestructible, to the immortal, the One, the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. “Momento mori!” “Remember man that you must die” and all that you see here will fade away. Right the wrong now. Do the good before the good can no longer be done. Don’t wait to love. Don’t wait to live. Forget not to appreciate and give thanks. Allow the things of this world to build a path to heaven, to the everlasting.

These are not sad things. “When faith is strong, it will talk about death,”it will not be a cause for fear. Rather it will inspire, it will motivate, it will teach, it will instill bravery, it will infuse in us a desire for the Everlasting that far exceeds our regret for the passing of the finite.

Blessed fall!


Adoro te Devote said...

Great post! I love fall, but it is so fleeting...and it is a recognition of the oncoming "season of death".

Yesterday while walking my dog at 5:30 in the morning, I witnessed a car accident. It was shocking and horrifying all at once. And I'd noted the cars approaching, the one waiting, the one coming...and all was well. The next moment, they were colliding, and the car the caused it was set on a trajectory across the intersection, over the curb, over a sign, and into a pole.

And the odd thing; after this monstrous sound of crunching metal, there was complete silence. There weren't any other cars. No one got out. I even stood still in shock.


All day long I thought of that accident; that's how it happens. One moment, we are moving towards our own goals, the next moment we could be leaving this world behind us.

(the people in the accident were fine, they got out and the guy who was not at fault got out and dropped the F-bomber a few times so I didn't do anything other than go home and call 911)

Life is so short, and we don't have the time we think we do.

Fr. V said...

5:30 in the morining! Wow.

Just to add - I am always shocked at accidents. It just POP! and they are done. All is quiet and over. I'd always expected them to be like the movies that drag the accident out for minutes followed by a hubcap rolling around and then an explosion.

But you're right - life is short - you had the same experience with that car as I did with the flowers.

BTW - I was insanely jealous of you but took care of it - results tomorrow.

uncle jim said...


i love m&m's don't you

Fr V - sounds like your weekend was full of excitement
also, thanks for the plug - i got a couple of hits from you

Adoro - i hope you got a little sleep

Anonymous said...

Insanely jealous of ME? For WHAT?

I was up at 5, actually, but out at 5:30...had class on Sunday. (Mass is planned into our day).

Yesterday was a long day. I'm exhausted. And your experience with the flowers was MUCH nicer than my experience with the accident.

The thing with accidents...for 5 years I looked at the results of such accidents, but when you see that, you still don't get the absolute VIOLENCE of the split second that it actually happens. I think that's what's so shocking; not so much the fact that something happened, but that it is so violent and destructive...and sudden. And then it ends and there's a void of silence as though the world is holding its breath.

~ Adoro

paramedicgirl said...

Father, on my computer, your top post is side by side overlayed with a "In other news" post. I wonder if yours displays that way as well.

Fr. V said...

Paramedicgirl (who I keep calling Parma Girl) Wow, thanks for saying something - I can't even imagine what it is you are talking about.

Anyone else experiencing anything like that?

Anonymous said...

Interesting, today in Utah, it was cold and rainy--and I was thinking the same thing about the flowers dying--made me also think about my own mortality--one day, before I know it--the cold will arrive--my life will be over--do I appreciate the warmth--the flowers the beauty of the "season?" This is the season of my life--the beginning of Fall, sometimes cold, sometimes brilliant colors--but then my "season" will end. "Don't wait to love, Don't wait to life. Forget not to appreciate and give thanks."

uncle jim said...

i did have the same issue that paramedicgirl had ... but it seems to have cleared up all by itself