Without recognizing and, yes, mourning, all the little deaths within our lives, it’s all too easy to cling to the past. We’re afraid that our losses diminish us, so we deny their existence. We cling to old dreams, old visions of ourselves. We may try desperately to keep looking younger, spending money on miracle anti-aging creams, and clothes from the junior department. We may refuse to acknowledge that some of our life choices may have closed other doors for us. When we hold onto former days this tightly, it’s awfully difficult to reach out – to embrace, honor, and celebrate the older, wiser people we are continually in the process of becoming.
As Saint Augustine wrote: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” This is our holy longing. By making my peace with the reality of death and life as a continual and natural cycle, I can find rest for my soul. I can find the peace of Christ. And I can find joy. What am I, what are we, waiting for?
This message is excerpted from “Our holy longing” by Elise Seyfried in the March/April 2023 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, 430 and Moses the Black, monk, martyr, c. 400.
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