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  • Sarah Raad

Perishables

“Your child has a 0.00298% chance of becoming a professional athlete, and a 100% chance of being judged by God... Get you children to Church!”

Nativity (Judith Tutin)

The other day, I saw a funny meme on Facebook that said, “Your child has a 0.00298% chance of becoming a professional athlete, and a 100% chance of being judged by God... Get you children to Church!”


It was a funny little extract and one that I easily remember because it very clearly highlighted the need for focus in this world. You see, it is easy – incredibly so – to ignore the necessity of our spiritual life in favour of the physical, social and financial requirements of this world. After all, there are bills to pay and people to feed and clothe, and for most people there is not a huge amount of time to devote to prayer…


And yet – though we must continue to pay our bills and feed and clothe our families – we are not called to hold onto the perishable things of this world, for all things pass…


Saint Teresa of Avila said, “Let nothing frighten you, all things are passing away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”


And this Saint had a point. After all, the purpose of this life is to know, love and serve God and to be with Him forever in Heaven. Everything else is a bonus… If we are financially rich in this life, that is a bonus. If we are mostly healthy in this life, that is a bonus. If we are successful in this life, that is a bonus. If we are surrounded by family and friends and do not feel lonely, that too is a bonus.

Blessed Charles de Foucauld said, “It pleased God to make it easy for us to be saved. He didn’t attach salvation to knowledge or intelligence or wealth, nor to long experience or rare gifts that are not given to all. He attached it to something within the reach of everyone, absolutely everyone. Jesus attaches salvation to humility, to the act of making yourself little. That is all it takes to win heaven.”

And I have been reflecting on the humility required to reach Heaven very much over the last few days – because a little humility will go a very long way…


And as I have been thinking about perishable things, I came across the words of Saint Symeon Metaphrastis, who said, “Let us suppose that someone's house or field has caught fire. The person who wanted to save himself fled without anything as soon as he noticed the fire, leaving everything in it and concerned only with his own life. But someone else thought he would take some of the goods with him, so he stayed behind to collect them; and as he was taking them the fire, which had already overwhelmed the house, caught him as well and burnt him. In this way, through this attachment to some transient thing, he was destroyed in the fire by his own free choice.”


And upon reflecting on the free choice of the person who was burned, I consider the words of

Saint Teresa of Avila, who explained, “It is a reasonable consequence that he who runs after the perishable goods should himself perish.”


And I pray for the Grace to let go of perishable things and grow in humility – for there is nothing that I would not do to merit eternal salvation…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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