Psalms 17-19; Philippians 1

Philippians 1:21-24 For to me life is Christ, and death is gain. If I go on living in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. And I do not know which I shall choose. I am caught between the two. I long to depart this life and be with Christ, [for] that is far better. Yet that I remain [in] the flesh is more necessary for your benefit.

Saint Paul captures the essence of the struggle of living a holy Christian life.  As one’s physical strength and energy ebbs with the passing of time; as the joints ache, the illnesses, disappointments and sad experiences pile up one feels an increasing longing for Heaven.  Yet at the same time one must conform to the will of God – we may have a lot of work to do still on this earth, even if that work is to pray from an invalid’s bed.  I think of The Virgin’s words to the Fatima children, that Francisco and Jacinta would be with her in Heaven soon, but Lucia would be on earth “a little while longer”, because she had work to do.  And “a little while longer” was almost 90 years!

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