My Grandmother lived to 3 months shy of her 102nd birthday. She had a saying when she would look at how big my kids were or on a major event when one has those moments when you realize how quickly time has passed – “It’s all a dream…” Sitting in Mass Sunday with my sons, I was sitting next to a gentleman with his two young children, a daughter about age 8 and a son about age 4. The four year old was next to me. He was so sweet and being very good in Mass. On my other side was my youngest who has just turned 14 – the reality of the age difference and how quickly the days have gone by took me to that epiphany “it’s all a dream”.
CS Lewis posed that, if there was no eternal soul, then “why are we so surprised by the passage of time?” There is a part of us that isn’t ruled by time, which sits outside of it, so to speak. We have a part of us that connects with the eternal. It’s that part that causes the great doctors of the Church to contemplate. That part, our soul, suspends time and enters an “interior castle” as described by Teresa of Avila.
There is the reality that we live in, the path that we follow that is constrained to the present moment. It is all built upon the belief that we are a soul, here on earth for a purpose. “God made me to know him, to love him, and to serve him in this world and to be happy with him forever in the next.” (Baltimore Catechism) In the Bible, Jesus discusses purpose even more briefly: “I came so that [you] might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). I tend to summarize for my children – you must love God, use your gifts to the best of your ability to fulfill God’s will to
make your way back to heaven.
This dream we all participate in exists for such a short time in the grand scheme of things. Yet we are taught that we are loved, always, even in these brief moments. What of those who wish to take that dream from others? We have a chance to defend it. We have to stand up for our faith and for the opportunity to dream. Whether it is our own country or grave injustice abroad.
“Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17) We have such a short time here – how do we stamp it so that people know a Christian was here? Right now, I have more questions than answers, especially with so many issues that need to be addressed, yet I know, the time to decide is here. There are small ways and big to fight injustice, to defend that opportunity, to have a beautiful dream.