With the end in mind
- Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - November 19, 2014 - 12:00am

It's understandable that with the approach of the celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King on November 23, the readings of the Masses these days bring us to consider the end of time, judgment, heaven and hell.

The Solemnity of Christ the King marks the end of the liturgical year. And we would begin another one with the onset of the season of Advent, the proximate preparation for Christmas, the birth of Christ, our Redeemer.

It's good that we have the mind to consider this reality so that we would know how to behave in time while we are still here, doing all sorts of things. The consideration of the so-called "last things" would give us a global picture of our life that actually spans even beyond time itself.

It will help us to distinguish between what is essential and what is not, what has absolute value and what only has a relative one, albeit also important. The relativeness of a thing does not exclusively mean it is unnecessary. It can also be indispensable, but only relative and subordinated to a higher, absolute value.

This is not to scare us, but rather to remind us that there is such a thing as the end of things, whose consequences and implications we often take for granted or fail to correspond properly.

In our earthly life, there is always a cycle of beginning and ending that only shows the transitoriness of our life here on earth. Let's hope that we do not get lost or entangled in our earthly affairs that actually have important bearing on our life after death.

At the same time, this cycle of beginning and ending highlights the reality that we actually long for a life that has no end. We have the desire to leap from the transience of our time here to the permanence of eternity.

This yearning for an eternal life, which of course can be ignored and distorted, has basis in the fact that our soul, the principle of life of any living being, is not merely a plant or animal soul, but a spiritual soul. It has the capacity to subsist despite the deterioration and death of our corporeal organism.

We have to learn how to handle the unavoidable tension between the here and now and our final end, between time and eternity, between the relative character of our earthly, temporal life and the absolute value of our eternal life, between the material and spiritual dimensions of our life.

More than handling the tension, our duty is actually to know how to develop the proper relation between the two dimensions of our life, since these two are supposed to form just one unity or one life. There is indeed distinction between the two, but they actually form just one whole life.

Obviously in this matter, what should guide us should be our Christian faith, and not just any science or ideology. It's our faith, a very precious gift from God, that gives us a complete picture of reality. It probes deep into a reality that no human science can reach, since it tackles mainly the spiritual and even the supernatural dimensions of our life.

We should see to it that as soon as we realize this, we start to form and strengthen our conviction to be guided by our faith, more than anything else, in dealing with the real purpose of our life here on earth.

In the meantime, it would be good that as early as possible, even at the stage of childhood, everyone should be taught to be mindful of the end, purpose or objective of anything.

A child, for example, should be taught that everything has a reason and a purpose, so that he can easily be weaned from a mentality and a behavior that is stuck only on what is here and now, what is simply pleasing to the senses, etc. He can be trained to see beyond the externals and the incidentals and start to be interested in the essentials.


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