Leaving with These Words
Last year, I had several health challenges that reminded me, yet again, of how fragile and fleeting my life is. Having been born with a rare disease and living all of my life with severe disability, I have always know that my lifespan would be limited. But, how limited? What will be my last year? When will be my last day?
This is not something to obsess about, but, last year, I did realize that it’s okay to think about one’s death and to plan for it. This is actually a good and beautiful thing to do. I even wrote a blog post called Preparing to Die in Five Easy Steps. One of these steps was to plan my own funeral.
I gave a lot of thought to what readings I would like to have read at my Catholic Funeral Mass, but didn’t finalize my choices until nearly the end of the year, when I heard a reading from the book of Wisdom, which I wanted, instantly, as my funeral’s first reading. Everything else flowed from there.
And, now, I want to share my chosen passages of Scripture with you, dear reader.
As this is being posted, I am supposed to be busily working on my first book. I prescheduled this post and one for every week of February in order to free me from distractions while I write. The blog post for February 1 will feature the first reading for my funeral. February 8 will feature the Psalm of my choice, February 15 will contain my selected epistle (Second Reading) and February 22 will reveal my chosen Gospel passage. Taken together, these readings from Sacred Scripture tell a little of my personal story, my follies and my faith, my love and my hope, as well as give prompting and encouragement to all who will hear them to seek beauty and truth, finding God.
Seek and find the One who is Beauty, the One who is Truth. Find and be found by God, who intimately and infinitely loves each and every one of us – and in loving Him, be fulfilled as the wonderful, blessed human being that you are uniquely created to be.
© 2018 Christina Chase
Photo by Stephen Radford on Unsplash
Christina Chase View All
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.
Christina, dear, you had me worried for a moment. I trust you’ll be spared to finish the book, but planning the funeral is no bad idea. My mother has written hers down and deposited a copy with her parish priest in case she can’t trust her children to follow her wishes. As if we’d dare not to!
Another few lines down today I hope? I’m stuck with trying to turn notes into sense, and finding re-reading the notes that certain attitudes to African people were even worse than I had thought: not just patronising but demeaning. Not the case with the man I’m writing of though.
I need to breathe fresh air sometimes, if only mentally, so we had a walk across muddy fields – on raised paths built by mediaeval monks – to a pub lunch. No pictures from today but see the reeds at the top of Agnellus.mirror, behind and amidst which were swans and assorted ducks, blue, great, willow and bearded tits (chickadees), robins, wrens, finches; overhead crows, gulls, cormorants and – believe me – or not – a pair of parrots. They are established about 20 miles away, allegedly escaped from a film set in the 1950s – but rarely seen that close to Canterbury.
That was before the visit to the pub!
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Sorry if I worried you or anyone else with this post! I’m feeling great and doing very well. I am doing fabulously better than I was this time last year – thank You, God!! And, yes, I am busy writing my book… well, not terribly busy…. As you said, time does need to be taken for refreshment of the body, mind, heart, and soul. Sometimes, a lot of time is taken!
My rough draft (which many would, I’m sure, call a first draft) is coming together nicely. It will be done, God willing, by Ash Wednesday – or St. Valentine’s Day, whichever comes first. 😀 The biggest accomplishment of the last week was a major re-clarification (for myself) of the book’s focus and intent, a strengthening of my confidence in the book’s worthiness of existence, a finalization of its form, and the settling in to my voice – that last one is an ongoing process.
I pray that your gathering, focusing, gleaning, and writing will go well! Thank you for checking in on me! (Please say a little prayer for me amidst the mud on your next walk and have a drink for me the next time you visit the pub 😉 )
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Thank you Christina,
I had to stay at home today since Janet was with her ladies-who-lunch walking group, avoiding the mud by walking along the concrete paths between two seaside resorts. But I still needed fresh air so retrieved her scarf left at church. But your drink will be drunk next time we are at the pub.
I gathered what will almost be my last lot of resources on Tuesday, across London to meet two school friends and two who taught us, and delve into paperwork even older than us. About 100 years old some of it. Oh, the crabbed hands of French missionaries trying to save paper! And the fading ink … the heart doth sink! Typewriters were considered a luxury till the 1930s, when the man I’m writing about came along already up to professional speeds, typing faster than he could write – and am I glad HE had a typewriter when I see his scrawl when tired.
Mea maxima culpa in this regard, though. Back to my 90 year old newspaper cuttings a few more words before bed.
My gem of wisdom tonight: Festina Lente, and don’t beat yourself up over it.
You have a way of making something as simple as retrieving a forgotten item sound like a beautiful little adventure… Always good to hear from you! Thank you!
I did, however, have to look up “Festina Lente”… “Make Haste Slowly”– that sounds about right! My five seconds of research for that phrase makes me greatly appreciate the mountain of research that you need to hike and climb through for your book. I’ve combed over digital scans of 18th-century (and even 17th-century) parish record books from “New France” for genealogical research – so, I understand something of the difficulties of deciphering old handwriting. Sometimes, however, the older ones were written more clearly than the newer ones from 100 years ago, which makes me wonder if something of the appreciation, respect, and even love for writing words was lost through the generations.
My prayers are with you!
Light snow showers yesterday and today, making this little piece of the earth that I call home all frosted, white, and wonderful. And then writing continues…
Write, write, write! You have been given this gift for a reason and you have a responsibility to share it – why else would God have given it to you? May His Spirit guide you and the words flow as they are meant to…
The title of the post had me a bit worried too – and I am glad to learn that you are well. But none of us, no matter how healthy, know the duration of our life span. Hence, it is vital to write while you are blessed with the opportunity and health to do so!
I have admittedly not been writing so much myself this month – too busy drawing and painting for now. But there is a season for everything. This is clearly the season for YOU to write. (Am I bugging you enough?)
Be well and enjoy your labors.
I need to hear this – thank you for telling me and, yes, bugging me! Drawing and painting sound wonderful… I’ve often wished I had that gift. Yup, the grass is always greener… 🙂 Rich gifts have been given to you, Mary, enjoy every creative moment!