Monday, June 12, 2006

First I would like to talk about the word Sentimentality. As I understand it this word means the cherishing of the past, the longing for the days of childhood, the long summers when the living was easy. Or if it does not mean that nevertheless that is what I am referring to.

I could easily live in my memories, worshipping the past. There are so many pleasant memories, and I find such pleasure in re-experiencing them in my imagination--or even tangibly by visiting the places of my childhood, which I do on occasion.

But to live in the past--to live for the past, discussing and contemplating only the past--would be to fail the present. At whatever age we find ourselves, there is work to be done today, there are dreams to aspire to today. And we do a disservice to these dreams if we have forgotten them, lost as we are in memories and trying to recover former glories. There are glories that await us today.

And I will make no secret of my dream, which is the one recommended by Thomas Merton in his autobiography: to be a saint. St. Jonathan Aquino--I rather like the ring of that :-) This goal has two important advantages over other ambitions. Firstly it is guaranteed to last, unlike most lifeworks which are soon forgotten. And second I can continue to work at it even were I to fall sick and confined to bed.


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