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Two things to remember this Advent: Now and the hour of our death


Tod Worner - published on 12/05/17

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I don’t recall who brought it to my attention, but it makes complete sense.

Hail Mary,Full of Grace,The Lord is with thee.Blessed art thou among women,and blessed is the fruitof thy womb, Jesus.Holy Mary,Mother of God,pray for us sinners now,and at the hour of our death.

Now and at the hour of our death.

These eight words are perfect for Advent.

We live in an age of great anxiety and deep regret. We are addled by technology and overwhelmed with information. We are torn in myriad directions and deprived of the art of reflection. We are consumed by what has happened before and worried about what happens next. It is the devil’s wiliest trick on us: ruminate over that which you can’t change and obsess over that which may never happen. Guilt and regret. Fear and anxiety. Day in, day out. Live in the past or in the future…anything to avoid living in the present or in eternity.

But we have it all wrong.

We are called to live now. Not in some modern, unthinking, hedonistic fashion, but to live truly and deeply now. We are charged with being intentional, with being present in this moment, with being fully engaged with that which is squarely seated in front of us: our faith, our family, our friends, our vocation, our own deep thoughts. And, simultaneously, we are called to live for eternity – to consider the hour of our death, memento mori – so that we have the fleeting nature of life and the enduring Truths of God forever fixed in our minds so that we may be inspired to make faithful, courageous decisions here and now.

Undoubtedly, this is difficult because we are exquisitely distractible and enamored with superficialities. It is easier to get lost in ginned-up concerns over the past or the future than to live well now while fully guided by God’s eternal Truth.

Oh, we need to learn from the past. But we also need to let it go.

And we need to plan for the future. But we also need to have faith.

This Advent, let us do just that: Walk away from the past. Settle down about the future.

And let us prepare the way of the Lord.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,

Now and at the hour of our death.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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