Thursday, November 19, 2009
“Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress.” - Charles Dickens
Reluctantly, my three-year-old and I pulled out the faded marigolds that have lined my driveway since August. She and I deadheaded the plants, putting the seeds away for safe-keeping until the spring. I was sad to see the color go, but happy to see the clean look of the driveway once the leaves and dead flowers were gone.
Usually, the seasons don’t come and go without warning. They ease in and out, and with relatively predictable timing. Still you hear people exclaiming their shock at the “sudden change” in weather.
Children and the elderly are like that too. People are always telling me it seemed like “yesterday” that their children were little. They say it happens when you “blink”.
When the kids went back to school in the fall, the school nurse remarked about how many inches my eldest daughter had shot up over the summer. I measured her and realized that she is taller than me. When did that happen?
An older friend or relative, after suffering through an illness for several months, passes away “suddenly”. From the outside, this is easy to see. From the inside, it is harder to be objective about the time as it passes.
I think of the seasons translating to human development as spring for birth, summer for young to middle-aged adult, fall for the elderly, and winter for death. There is no birth or dying in Heaven. Everyone will have new, perfect bodies and be in the prime of their development. When the universe is renewed at the time of Jesus’ coming, it will be like a one-time spring that turns into an everlasting summer.
Flowers will bloom and never fade! Leaves will bud and never fall off! There will be no weeding, for no plant will be deemed undesirable. We will walk around the garden of life praising God for ever for His Glory.
We will not be sad to watch our little ones grow up, or to watch our elderly die. We will not hesitate to form human bonds, for friendship will never die and neither will our friends.
In the section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church entitled “The Hope of the New Heaven and the New Earth” (section 1042), drawing on sacred scripture, we read:
“At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for ever with Christ, glorified in body and soul. The universe itself will be renewed:
The Church…will receive her perfection only in the flory of heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things. At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly re-established in Christ.”