Posted by: fvbcdm | August 11, 2017

Feast of Saint Lawrence (10 Aug 2017)

Back in the days when Latin was the working language of the Church there were two phrases that were commonly used in opposition to one another.  They were “in via” and “in patria.”  They mean “on the way” and “at home.”  Life was seen as a journey, a pilgrimage.  We are created outside our father’s home.  “Patria,” the word for homeland, derives from “pater,” the word for father, and our entire life is intended to be a pilgrimage to our father’s house, which is our eternal home—the one that we have been created to occupy.

This is a very important principle of our Holy Faith.  You see, we were not made for life in this world.  We’re only passing through here. We are “in via” on the way.  Unfortunately some people—even some Christians who don’t understand the Gospel very well—think of this life as being the be-all-and-end-all of our existence.  They live as if there were no death, no judgment, no heaven or hell.  They settle down here when they should only be passing through.  They try to make this there permanent abode.  As a result, dearth is a terrible threat to them, and when it comes, they see it as a competitor.

In the mind of Christ, however, this life is very short indeed, and it is simply the antechamber to our real life—our eternal home in Heaven with God, Our Father.  Saint Paul says, “we have not here a lasting city but we wait for another,” and our Lord warns us repeatedly in the Gospel, “You don’t know when the Son of Man will come to get you! So be ready at all times.”  Many of the Saints have counseled others to live each day as if it were their last.  It might just be.  And, some day, it will be.  This is not to be morbid or pessimistic.  On the contrary, when Cardinal Manning, an English Bishop of the late nineteenth century, lay dying, his nurse bent over him and said, “Your Eminence, how are you feeling?”  He looked up, smiled weakly, and said, “I feel like a schoolboy going home for the holidays!”  There is certainly nothing pessimistic about that.  And that is exactly the attitude that we should all have in the face of death.  “Come, Lord Jesus.” Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.  Please pray for the souls of the faithful departed, including Father Brown.


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