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“The goal of life is to make your
heartbeat match the beat of
the universe, to match your nature
with Nature.” Joseph Campbell
In our Faith Sharing session this morning the question was poised what is on your bucket list of things to do before you die. There were many answers ranging from ‘cleaning my basement’ to ‘doing something meaningful’. It was an interesting question for me since this was the first time since my son’s, Peter’s, death in August, 2010 I have thought about this question. Since that time the shadow of death has surrounded me. These days when I stop to reflect the first thought is what is most important to do. Facing death puts activities in perspective.
My answer to the faith sharing question of what I want to do before death was to live fully in the present moment. When facing death, hope and life is found by living in the present moment.
Now that I find myself involved with a number of issue, more effective ways to serve the poor with home visits, stopping military training at local Catholic University and high school, confronting the local church about serving the poor and marginalized I could not live if I was to worry about future activity. Also living in the present is important since the aura of death makes one sensitive to violence, war, injury and insults, discrimination and other evils. To detach oneself from all this activity and suffering by living in the present is essential to moving on with life.
All my life I have struggled to take the necessary time to center myself with prayer and reflection. Working on the garden nearly every day from March to October has been a blessing in my life. In the garden I find it easier to be in the present moment and that experience carries over to my everyday life.
Inside Nature there is deep awareness of the present. Meditation, working in the garden, prayer, reflecting can put us back in touch with our own nature which is always in the present. The picture quote above by Joseph Campbell says it all: “The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”