As the year draws to a close I realize that it has been several months since I posted. There are several reasons for that. For one thing I backed away when things went crazy at election time. Several things i wrote were misinterpreted or misconstrued. At any rate with 2021 upon us I thought that I would plunge into the water again.
A few weeks ago I celebrated my 76th birthday. I know, it's just a number, but nonetheless as one gets older one knows that he/she does not have too many numbers left.
As of this writing about 300,000 people have died of COVID-19. Several people have been murdered by police. (No, I am not saying all police are killers,) Shooting by gun violence seems to be rampant across the country. Just thinking about all this can be overwhelming. In my own Franciscan province a number of friars have died, by this terrible virus and by other causes. Some of them were quite close to me. In addition 3 men have died at what most would say is all too young an age, 2 of them sons of close friends, one of them the son of my cousin.
Am I sad? Yes, of course. Fortunately I am not depressed but there is at times a mood of sadness about me.
Where do I go from here? One thing that comes to mind is the realization that I am still alive and that life is a gift. There has understandably been quite a bit written about the need to respect life. I am one of those that believes that respecting life means all life. Developing that idea can be done at another time. What is dawning on me now is that to truly respect the life of others I am called to a deeper appreciation for my own life, all 76 years gone by as well as whatever remains. I do not say this in a selfish sense, but rather with a deep sense of gratitude for the many wonderful moments that God has granted me during the past and an openness to whatever possibilities lie ahead. I am very blessed by my Franciscan fraternity, by family and friends. I owe it to God, myself and to them to make the most of the time that lies ahead. By making the most I don't mean making money or achieving worldly success. I do mean jumping at every bit of God's grace that comes my way and doing whatever I can to enrich the lives of whomever I meet.