Today we have the first of three days of readings from Ecclesiastes, the Bible’s most somber writer. The writer saw our time on earth as passing quickly, and not long remembered.
We can’t deny what he said. Ecclesiastes was not just being pessimistic. He was asking us to face the facts. I read years ago that it is a maxim of psychology that we cannot picture ourselves as not existing. We can only picture what we have experienced, and we have never experienced anything but being here.
Always at the end of Mass in the old days the priest would read aloud the first chapter of John’s Gospel. It was called the Last Gospel, and it started like this.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and the life was the light of the human race.”
Since that Chapter seems to contains all the main things we believe in, I have taken to meditating on it every evening. I divide it into fifteen statements of our beliefs, then I use each of them as the mystery for one decade of the Rosary. Like, I recite ten Hail Marys while meditating on “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The way I do it every evening, for my fourth Mystery I meditate on the words, “In him was life, and the life was the light of the human race.”
Now, in meditating on the Gospel one makes attempts at getting a grasp on what the verse means for us. After puzzling over this verse night after night I have come to think that it is saying God has complete, unending life of his own; and the light he gives to us amounts to the fragile intellectual life we enjoy when we are awake. We have light only when we can plug into him. If we live good lives here below we will later be permanently plugged in.
Maybe my thoughts are all wrong, but having them is better than watching TV.