Live for Eternity

When I was a teenager, I think around the time of my high school graduation, someone (a priest, actually) gave me some advice.  It was one of those statements that sounded simple yet profoundly important.  I was open to it, both because of who it was coming from and how wise it sounded.  And yet, it made me uncomfortable, and I knew  there was something just not quite right with it.

“Live for today,” I was told.  “Don’t worry about the past or the future.  Live for today.”  Heady words for a senior in high school.

From time to time over the past two decades, I’ve gone back to that and tried to pry out of it what seemed askew to me.  Several times since beginning to raise a family, for example, I’ve thought how the advice makes absolutely no financial sense.  And of course, it could be used to justify any sort of behavior, regardless of morality. 

But today I came across the text of a talk that brings out boldly what I sensed but never really articulated to myself about the problem in the statement.  Over at the First Things blog, there’s a talk delivered by Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput. 

“Live for eternity” is the advice he offers  there, and he explains very well what he means, invoking two heroes of mine, Franz Jagerstatter and Charles de Foucauld, along the way.

If someone ever offers that anemic advice, “Live for today,” remind yourself of this much sounder advice: Live for eternity.

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One Response to “Live for Eternity”

  1. April H Says:

    Very well said. Isn’t pretty much everyone in the secular culture “living for today”?

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