End Times

I’m thinking about planning a party. It will be a post-apocolypse party and I will have it on Dec. 22. Yes, I say that in jest but all kidding aside, I think it might be a good idea. I’m sure everyone in the world has heard the dire predictions that the end of the Myan calendar, along with Nostradamus predictions have the world ending, or at least undergoing significant, catastrophic change on 12-21-2012. The end-times are always a curiosity in our life and certainly intriguing if nothing else. For Christians, we anticipate a time of turmoil followed by the welcome culmination of life with Christ. My aim is not a discussion about details and events of the second coming so I will leave it at that. With several readings at Mass of late connected with the end-times I know I have heard at least a couple sermons regarding end-times. The crux of the ones I have heard have been consistent. Worry not about the end-time of the earthly world as we know it, but rather focus on whether or not you are ready for your own end-time. Statistically it seems far more probable that I will encounter the end of my life on earth in some way other than the cataclysmic end of earth. It really does not matter at all the manner or particulars; what matters is my spiritual preparedness. Admittedly, the science of it all is fascinating to me and I am quite curious, but I must remember it should not shift my focus away from my spiritual state.

I cannot help thinking about the end times without contemplating a life retrospective. How do I think I measure up? Where have I failed and where have I succeeded? How have I responded when I finally figured out I failed, and what did I do with my successes? All are important questions. I am middle-aged. I am at that point where I feel accomplished in many of the challenges that life put before me, and yet have the wisdom to know that there are more to come. At college age, one feels they have so much to prove to both themselves and to the world. I have lived through much of that and have not just the scars and bruises, but also the joys and blessings that go with it. The scars and bruises come from the pains. The most hurtful times in my life are those in which I have made bad choices, and I am remorseful of those, most especially where my actions or inactions hurt others. Thank the Lord for Reconciliation and through the grace of God He has granted me forgiveness, which gives me hope. The joys and blessings come from the times I have made good choices, and just as importantly when others in my life have made good choices that affected me as well. I can be an independent sort, and rather an introvert. I mistakenly thought in my youth that all the good in my life would rely soley on my own actions and achievements. I now realize that much of the good in my life comes also from the actions of others. I have realized that the gems in my life are those given to me by others, through the relationships I foster and value. As I write this, I can truthfully say I am a rich man, with a rich life. I feel love from family, the importance of which cannot be understated. I feel love from friends. I tend to take a while to open to others and call them friend. It is not a coincidence that since I joined the Knights I have found it more easy to open up to others. For that I thank you all. It is far more apparent to me now, than ever before, that one of the primary reasons we are here on this earth is to be here for each other. It is for the riches of relationships that it is important to remember it is never too late to genuinely say “I’m sorry”, or to mend a wrong.

Yes, it may be a good idea to throw a party on 12/22. If we wake up that day and the world hasn’t ended, it would be great to share in the riches we have. I would then also know that I still have a lot to learn and I will do so from many of you. If the world does end on 12/21, then if we have lived our lives well, we are one step closer to Christ, which brings a richness we can not comprehend in this life. Sounds like a win either way to me.

Pat Rosmarin, Lecturer