by James Paulin
Americans pride themselves with having the ability to decide their own fate in the land of liberty. Some parts of the world have little or no opportunity for improvement in lifestyle. All cultures have dreams of security both financial and political. Even with all the laws, systems and abundance of prospects as reinforcement, people all over the world are equally as fragile and in a sense, insignificant as the ants we might step on thoughtlessly.
Every day a number of cataclysmic events might occur that would take humanity into extinction just like the dinosaurs. One of the insights the reverend Billy Graham used quite often on his crusades was to mention some statistics of how many who were present would not be alive in a year. Our lifespan isn’t even a microsecond in terms of the eons that have passed. Our physical presence is nothing in relation to the universe. When put into the proper scale, the perspective overwhelms any self importance or egocentric ambition. The reminder of dust to dust and ashes to ashes that is associated with Ash Wednesday is more truth than we care to think about.
What difference does our existence make in the grand scheme of eternity and infinity? God is. All creation, of which we are a part, is intended for good. Vast as the universe, beyond comprehending, God doesn’t need, but desires love. The central theme to our brief encounter with existence has been illuminated by prophets, angels and even Gods only Son. It is impossible to know all about God. It is only possible to know that God loves us and to believe that we can be forever united.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.