|A Lenten Reflection|
In St. Augustine's Tractates on the Gospel of St. John, 49, 2, he offers a wonderful and challenging meditation and reflection for Lent and Easter. Here’s the message from this Church Father:
Virtually everyone fears the death of the body, so few the death of the soul. Everyone worries about the death of the body, which must happen sooner or later, and does everything possible to avert it. … Yet all that one does to avoid death is in vain: at best one can only delay it, but never escape it. If instead one strives to avoid sin, he will not grow weary, and he will live forever.
Oh, if we could only succeed in urging others—and ourselves together with them—to love eternal life at least as much as they love fleeting life! What will a man not do when faced with the danger of death? How many, under threats hanging over their heads, have preferred to lose everything in order to save their lives! And who would not do so to avoid being struck down? And perhaps, even after having lost everything, some still lost their lives.
Who would not be willing to give up the necessities of life just to stay alive, preferring a life of begging to an early death? If a man were told, “If you do not wish to die, you must sail the seas,” would he even hesitate to do so? If a man were told. “If you do not wish to die, you must work,” would he let himself be overcome by laziness? God commands us to do less burdensome things to give us eternal life, yet we neglect to obey.Lent is the perfect time to remember that despite death and sin, we are all called to eternal life. Christ's death and mercy has redeemed all humanity. Human life is a very short trip even if one lives to be a hundred years old and more. Eternity is forever. This Lent let’s think more about what we are packing and how we are preparing ourselves on this brief pilgrimage called life to our eternal home. For as St. Augustine says, "God commands us to do less burdensome things to give us eternal life," then, let us not forget or neglect during Lent on the importance to obey.