November 2015 - To be on time for the Meeting
The seminary rector asks us to reflect on the final meeting because it is the most important one. Man takes great care to be on time for every meeting between now and the final meeting, and it is very easy to overlook the importance of preparing for it. Man may have been late to other meetings or may even have missed some. However, this is one which man cannot take off his calendar. His attendance is mandatory, and he will not be late.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Large modern cities have often been compared with immense anthills where men blindly crisscross one another. Everyone goes on his way in order to be on time for some meeting, feverishly preparing the last points that he will have to address in a few moments, hastening not to be late. The bitter results of lack of preparation or tardiness quickly teach men to be ready for meetings. Without preparation, a meeting always turns into embarrassment for he who sins by negligence. A good meeting is never the fruit of a fortunate coincidence, but of patient work carried out well in advance.
The meetings that mark the life of man and constitute its fabric should remind him that they are only stages that prepare a final meeting that illuminates all of them and puts them in their true perspective. Unfortunately, it does not happen. Men run to their meetings, jump from one meeting to another, intoxicate themselves with this perpetual motion and forget that, in fact, these meetings should be seen as preparation for the ultimate meeting that awaits us all.
From all eternity God has indeed fixed to every man an ultimate meeting that he must attend, without being able to postpone it even by a second. This meeting, more than all the others, requires a meticulous preparation that does not leave room for chance or vague approximations. It will determine his eternity, without appeal.
It is thus very important for man to be aware of the fact that his life is, in the end, only a preparation for a meeting. Thus, he will always keep before his eyes this meeting, which will enable him to live in peace since it is an invitation to put everything in perspective and to live in order and peace of soul.
This last meeting is also very particular, since it concerns every individual – no one can avoid it. Every man is personally called to give an account to God of his thoughts, actions or omissions. It will be impossible at this accounting to seek a loophole in the infallible judgment of God.
This infallible judgment is also definitive, the die is cast. Pray God that the choice of paths may not have directed men towards shortcuts that lead into hell. This meeting fixes the fate of men for eternity. These words hardly move us because this eternal fate infinitely exceeds what the limited human intelligence can grasp. Accustomed to the characteristic movement of life, it is impossible for men to conceive a life without change. And yet...
This inescapable meeting is a light that never wavers and illuminates every step of man along the journey of his life. It only remains for man to discover that this meeting is neither the fruit of chance, nor that of a harsh tyranny or, even less, that of a blind will, but – on the contrary – that of a loving will.
St. John of the Cross is perfectly right when he insists on the fact that, at the evening of our life, we will be judged on love. The Infinite Love that, from all eternity, has fixed a meeting for each one of us, legitimately expects that man carefully prepares himself for it by a life of love that prepares for this eternal exchange between God, Who is, and man, who is nothing but who has been loved and transformed by grace.
This new life poured out in his soul must grow at every moment so that man, at the time of the final call, may have reached the degree of love that God fixed for him from all eternity. Here is the profound reason of this unique meeting: to judge the quality of love. This is what the young Carmelite, St. Elisabeth of the Trinity, so admirably expressed, echoing St. John of the Cross: Everything passes away. At the evening of life, love alone remains. It is necessary to do everything by love. It is necessary to unceasingly forget oneself; the Good God much loves self-forgetfulness.
Man will not be able to hide behind his usual poor excuses, because God will not ask for anything but what He had granted him by love. Grace is a gratuitous gift, a divine offering. And God does not stop with this offering, since He gives man other, innumerable graces – the graces of the present moment – to be faithful to the initial grace. Before such a love, how could man not live faithfully in the present moment, putting into it his whole soul, answering love by love? Could one imagine a better preparation? Man’s fidelity to the present moment is the best preparation to be ready in time and present himself at this meeting, with confidence before the throne of grace.
A meeting that, in the end, is nothing but an ultimate appeal of the divine love that wants to transform man into another Christ and to invite him to the eternal nuptials where God Himself will be his love, will give Himself to him and will be his eternal rest.
In Christo sacerdote et Maria,
Fr. Yves le Roux