Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, September 18, 2008
From the middle of life onward, only (s)he remains
vitally alive who is ready to die with life.
- Samuel Johnson, English philosopher, born
on this day, 1709
I agree. By the “middle” of Life - whatever that may be these days, but it could be anything from one day to decades! - we ought to know what’s important. What’s worth living for, and therefore worth dying for. Ultimately they come together.
Oh, I know that the “survival instinct” is enormously powerful. Most of us want to “go on living” until the last sucked-out second. But the question for me for a long time now has been, “What’s Living”? I’ve interacted with a lot of people in my years of priestly ministry. And I’ve realized that to be human is an amazing, mysterious thing. Every single one of us has to grapple with the question that every religion/Faith tries to answer: What is the meaning of being Alive?
I suppose for some is could be just “existing”. For some, “just existing” is depressing enough to take one’s own Life. No. I think Johnson is right. By the “middle” of Life, we need to know what’s worth dying for, because Death is Life. Jesus is reported to have said, “If you try to save your Life you will lose it. If you are willing to lose it, you will have it forever." And I rather think that one of the points of the Christ’s Resurrection is, as St. Paul said, Dying, we live.
Young? Be looking for what’s important.
“Middle-aged” or more? Get passionate! And if you want a place to start, Dr. Johnson also said, A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.
Start with dinner , and move up!!