Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 325- Hymn and Homily

I made a few new choices about death and my funeral this morning.  Doesn't that sound like a cheery and perfect topic for a positivity blog?  Get excited.

Fr. Ryan has really been hitting it out of the park lately.  It seems as if we have had a lot of homilies surroundig the topic of death, but they are not depressing.  Father has a way of speaking about death that is interesting and sometimes even uplifting.  Today he focused more on the idea of heaven and whether or not we live as if we are ready to die.  He spoke about the fact that we all make up these stories about heaven to make ourselves feel better.  For example, he said we might make comments at a funeral like, "Grandma's up there baking cookies, happy as can be."  I'm most certainly guilty of this.

He went on to explain that heaven is not about the cookies.  We don't have up there what we had down here in terms of things.  What exists beyond us and beyond this world are the things that make us who we are, he said.  What we'll have up there is the true essence of our souls, the "stuff" that adds up to us as people.  Our relationships will endure and exist, but our things will not.  Thinking about life and death and heaven in those terms is really freeing, I think.  It is so easy to get caught up in things that don't matter.  It is completely liberating to think of living a life focused solely on cultivating relationships and on making sure that we are made up of goodness and love and faith.  That type of living allows you to shed all kinds of stresses and things that don't truly matter.  It allows you to live with focus and intention.  Doesn't that sound wonderful?

Father ended the homily by talking about Saint Louis... not the city, but the actual Saint Louis.  He said that while Saint Louis was careful to leave a good will that left all of his children what they would need, he also left another type of will.  You see, Saint Louis thought that a second will was needed to leave behind what would be truly important to his family and his children.  This included an emphasis on the importance of charity and biblical study and other things of that nature.  I absolutely love this idea.  It got me thinking about the things that I'd like to leave behind someday that aren't really things at all.

To top off this enlightening mass, I found another hymn that I'd like to have at my funeral.  If any of you are planning on being at my funeral, I think it may be a long one with all of the songs I have selected so far!  This one in particular is short and sweet and direct.  It's an old African American spiritual, and I do hope you will sing it in this fashion when it's my time to go. 

Give Me Jesus

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.


When I am alone,
When I am alone,
When I am alone,
Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.


When I come to die,
When I come to die,
When I come to die,
Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.


Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.


See... death and funerals can still warrant their own positivity blog. 
 
Thank you, hymn and homily, you made my day.

1 comments:

Ashley and Nate said...

Awww... I really love the idea of leaving behind things that aren't things at all! I think about that sometimes. I think it would be pretty great to write a book about things you've learned in life that others could benefit from. There are so many other ideas I have for things to leave behind! Wonderful blog. :) Gets you thinking.