A reflection by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB
In the Holy Rule, St. Benedict recommends that we keep death before us daily (Rule 4.47), and the point of this is to keep our eyes on the goal: eternal life. St. Benedict writes in the Prologue, “We shall through patience share in the sufferings of Christ, that we may deserve also to share in his kingdom. Amen” (Rule Prol.50). If you keep your death before you, if you keep your goal before you, it will help you to live more purposefully. It is so important for us to live attentively in the present moment. Every chance you have to love now, you will never have again. And it’s not that there won’t be more opportunities to love, but each specific one, when it passes, is gone. And we don’t want to miss them too many times. We want to be attentive to love, so that we can truly love as Christ does, laying down our lives in a sort of martyrdom, dying to selfishness and living to selfless love of others. The Resurrection of Christ shows us that life doesn’t end with death—death is just a step into eternal life with God. Every single one of us will stand before the door of death one day, and if you have already met it many times throughout your life, there won’t be a question of what you’re going to choose. Live a lifetime of learning how to choose well, so that the final choice will just be the same as you have chosen throughout your life. When He asks us as He asked St. Peter, “Do you love me?”, I hope that our answer will be the same, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you” (John 21:15).