This morning’s Office of Readings for Saturday, 34th Week on Ordinary Time has a sermon by Saint Augustine which I take the following excerpt: “Let us sing Alleluia to God, who is good and frees us from evil”: “O! what a happy alleluia there, how carefree, how safe from all opposition, where nobody will be an enemy, where no-one will ever cease to be a friend! God’s praises sung there, sung here – here, by the anxious; there, by the carefree – here, by those who will die; there, by those who will live for ever – here, in hope; there, in reality – here, on our journey; there, in our homeland.
So now, my brethren, let us sing, not to delight our leisure, but to ease our toil. In the way that travellers are in the habit of singing, sing, but keep on walking. What does it mean, ‘keep on walking’? Go onward always – but go onward in goodness, for there are, according to the Apostle, some people who go ever onward from bad to worse. If you are going onward, you are walking; but always go onward in goodness, onward in the right faith, onward in good habits and behaviour. Sing, and walk onwards. “
The first few paragraphs deal with the toil of living on Earth and the necessity of tolerating the fears and anxieties that fill our lives. We cannot avoid them, in fact we pray daily the “Our Father” to help us cope with them. But St. Augustine exhorts us to put up with this life, for there is a better one to come. And then came the section I excerpted above.
Lovely words which should give us the strength and fortitude needed to keep us going, to keep us on the right path, so that eventually we will arrive home, the place where there is no sorrow or suffering, where we are never parted from our loved ones.
Think about that. This desire for Heaven is an excellent manner to rid ourselves of our tendency to sin. While we still will sin, we at least will have a better purpose of amending our lives to increase its holiness. The desire for Heaven can cause us to be detached from this Earth and its “pleasures.” The delayed gratification and satisfaction of Heaven may cause us to not seek the immediate gratification of our sinful (and addictive) actions.
NOTE: This is a “retropost,” a post from an old blog I wrote on “The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven (& Purgatory) and Hell” that I shuttered a few years ago. Individual posts are very slowly being transferred to either In Exile or Sober Catholic, whichever seems appropriate. Some are backdated, others postdated, in case you’re confused as to why you never saw a particular post if you’re a diligent reader. The process should be completed by early 2022.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)
Go outside to get outside! Sometimes I hang out with this permaculture community.