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Time of the Ages

I was listening to a cassette tape of one of Fr. Groeschel's early talks at a retreat, and he talked, very briefly, about time. Human beings measure time by the clock, by minutes, hours, days, and so on. God, however, does not live by our clock. He is ageless. What does that mean?

Every time I look through the book of Revelation, I get more confused. What is to come? It all sounds pretty scary. It does not sound like something a loving God would want for people who follow Him, who love Him. The fact is, that the Evangelist, John, wrote the book of Revelation based on the words and thoughts of several of the Old Testament prophets, with the help of the Holy Spirit. And that, my friends, has many people so upset about Eschatology - the study of the "end times." We really have no idea what will come, but there is a great deal of speculation.

I have always been taught that if you make a good effort to refrain from sin, live a devout life, receive the Sacraments as a Catholic, go to Holy Mass at least all Sundays and special Holidays, and uphold the teachings of the Holy Father and the Magisterium ... and in addition, you love your sisters and brothers (everyone else) as you do yourself, then you will go to Heaven when the time comes.

Jesus told us not to worry. As we read in Matthew 6:25-34, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?

"Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil."

Worrying is the route to an early grave. Worrying causes sickness. Jesus told us not to worry, so why do you continue to do so? I do not have a lot of money to my name, and living in Florida, one hurricane can wipe me out ... but I do not worry. I cannot change what has happened already. I cannot anticipate the future, and what happens in between is what is happening now. And so I put my trust in God. My total trust.

Similarly, I am not going to worry about all these things we find in the Book of Revelation. That's future, and I do not know what the future will bring. I have too much to do now to worry about something that will, maybe, someday, take place. What is important is NOW. This day, this minute. Our Lord wishes for us to keep true to the Ten Commandments. He wants for us to love Him, as He loves us. That is my charge for the next minute.

For those, and I pray I may be included in this group of people, who are accepted into Heaven, to be with our Lord forever, FOREVER, I do not believe that they will measure time, by watches, clocks, digital or otherwise. I do not believe there will be days, or even years. God is FOREVER. He is NOW and FOREVER. He, simply, IS! There is no past tense with God, and there is no future. How could there be a future when God is everything and he is perfection. If there was a hint of "something more" for God, then He wouldn't be the pinnacle of perfection. To me that sounds logical. So the concept of time, then, falls away. And, also, it is no longer important. If one is perfect and living in a state of perfection, there is no need to have time.

If one lives in a state of perfection, there is no need to worry. There is no sickness, no grief, there is nothing adverse at all, when we are in Heaven, we will see the Face of God and live.

English translation
Yedid Nefesh

Beloved of the soul, Compassionate Father,
draw Your servant to your will;
then Your servant will hurry like a hart
to bow before Your majesty;
to him Your friendship will be sweeter
than the dripping of the honeycomb and any taste.

Majestic, Beautiful, Radiance of the universe,
my soul pines [lit: is sick for] for your love.
Please, O G-d, heal her now
by showing her the pleasantness of Your radiance;
then she will be strengthened and healed,
and eternal gladness will be hers.

Enduring One, may Your mercy be aroused
and please take pity on the son of Your beloved,
because it is so very long that I have yearned intensely
to see speedily to splendor of Your strength;
only these my heart desired,
so please take pity and do not conceal Yourself
Please, my Beloved, reveal Yourself and spread upon me
the shelter of Your peace;
illuminate the Earth with Your glory,
that we may rejoice and be glad with You;
hasten, show love, for the time has come,
and show us grace as in days of old.

No one has seen the face of the Lord (Jn. 1:18), but we know who He is. As Catholics, we receive His Body, His Blood, His soul and Divinity at each Holy Mass, and He has told us, to remember him - to celebrate Holy Mass again, and again. "Do this in remembrance of Me." In the word "Divinity" is hidden something so beautiful and sublime, His Divinity is Perfection! His Divinity is Heaven, the time of the Ages.

I have added, below, a beautiful Jewish Liturgical Prayer, called "Yedid Nefesh" - "Beloved of the soul" - some notes about that ... in the first Verse, third line, "hart" is a deer; 2nd Verse, 3rd line - this was transliterated from Hebrew script to English by the Ashkenazi scholars, who are very strict Jewish people and they will not say the Name of God as Christians are used to doing, so they write "G-d" - this is a wonderful custom because if everyone had more respect for God, this would be a better world.

Having come from a Judeo-Christian background (my mother was Jewish but converted to Catholicism), I value their tradition, and so I will pass this beautiful prayer to you, that you may use it. The soul is forever.

May God bless you, and keep you well.

© Fred Schaeffer, OFS
rev. 2012

 

 

 

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