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Carpe Diem

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Thank you to all who worked so diligently to plan, organize, staff, and volunteer for the Christmas Bazaar. The Bazaar is always an essential social and financial activity for the parish, and it is a fitting start to making the season bright. Blessings to all. Pass the pound cake! 

There are many great writers in Ancient Rome, Cicero, Vergil, and even Julius Caesar himself but today Horace springs to mind. His name literally means: “protector of the hours”. Many of Horace’s wisdom sayings contain a time theme. His most famous – Carpe Diem has been truncated through time. Let off from that dictum is the following warning: trust little in tomorrow. Horace’s shout to get out there and leave your mark on the world is literally a warning against procrastination. Take advantage while the sun shines for it may not do so tomorrow.  

Another of Horace’s sayings is particularly fitting for today’s Gospel – Sweet it is to relax at the proper time. It is nice to be able to sleep well rather than cramming for a test. Nice to know that Thanksgiving dinner is ready to roll while the gravy simmers and the buns warm. Nice to know that the t’s are crossed, the i’s dotted and every iota has been considered. Horace would permit you the time to put your feet up.  

Today’s Gospel of the wise and foolish echo Horace’s words. Note that both groups relaxed for the same period. Half of them rested soundly while the other half rested with one eye opened. Hardly an ideal therapeutic mode of slumber.  

How well do you rest? We all have a Mrs. McCallister moment from time to time. The mom from ‘Home Alone’ knew that the opened garage door was not the cause of her angst. We all are troubled by the many things on our to do lists. Sometimes the most troubling are the things that have been checked off, perhaps prematurely. How well do you rest? I guess that answer depends on how well you spend the hours of activity.  

In the Church it is comforting to know that every religious sister, brother, and priest spend the hours well. The Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church, continues the grace of the Eucharist throughout the course of the day. We can rest well because of the contemplative and active religious who at morning, mid-morning, noon, mid-afternoon, evening, and night trim our lamps and assure us that there is a proper amount of oil for all. That should comfort us. 

In the animated movie, An American Tail, Fievel was able to rest because he trusted that “when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby it helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky.” Similarly, it should help us to think that at every hour of the day we have our own modern protectors of the hours. “Somewhere out there… someone’s thinking of me… saying a prayer that we’ll find one another in that big somewhere out there.” 

There are times when the gravy simmers and the buns are in the oven, and there are times when the accounts will not balance. Sometimes we may rest assured while at other times we know the answer is not that the garage door is open. In either case someone is thinking of us, and loving us, by raising us up quietly in prayer.  

Perhaps today you can offer a prayer for those who are dedicated to protecting the hours. Horace would be proud!  

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