Saint Benedict has a special place in his Rule for eternity.
The eternal life is usually a subject that many people run away from because in
order to fully enjoy eternity one needs to confront death. Well, that’s what
many think. The Lord’s promise of eternal life and many of benefits can be
enjoyed before one dies. In fact, that’s what the sacraments give us: a
foretaste of eternity. Baptism opens the door, washes away sin, imparts grace,
and makes one an adopted child of God; the Eucharist nourishes our spiritual
life, and builds communion with the Trinity; Confirmation imparts the Gifts of
the Holy Spirit and Beatitude, etc. Sacraments give the faithful a share in
Beatitude if lived in a state of grace and according to the Eight Beatitudes.
question really is what the Apostle Paul said, and what is adhered to by true Christians, particularly saints, “To
me to live is Christ,” (Mihi Vivere Christus)” (Phil: 1, 21). Living means being closely united, in communion, with Christ. Catholics live in Christ by living the sacraments and according to Scripture but the teaching of the saints also illumine our path.
A verse in
the Prologue to Saint Benedict’s Rule refocuses us:
“If we wish to reach eternal
life, even as we avoid the torments of hell, then – while there is still time,
while we are in this body and have time to accomplish all these things by the
light of life – we must run and do now what will profit us for all eternity.” (Prologue
42 – 44,RB).
The teaching, some have said, can be interpreted to mean that Saint
Benedict is urging his disciples to put into daily practice right now what we will
be doing for all eternity: that is, giving glory and praise to God. How we give
God glory and praise is done through our daily lives of personal and communal prayer,
in faithfulness and obedience to the Divine Majesty. This was the source of someone
who knows God: a lifelong fidelity, joyfulness, and an openness to Wonder. The
position of wonder speaks to our youthful spirit and joy was keeping our eyes,
our mind and our heart fixed on Jesus Christ and the promise of the Hundredfold.
Do you wish to reach your ultimate destiny, eternal life? What will you do to run along the path?