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Passage of Time

November 22, 2020
Capuchin Retreat
Bronze bust of John F. Kennedy

By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.

I am writing this on the 57th anniversary of the assassination of John Kennedy. Many of us remember what we were doing when we heard this news. I was doing some cleaning in our seminary. Those were grim days. We wondered if the country was in some danger. I’m sure the military were on high alert.

Now all that is in the past, part of our history. I think of that as we go through our own historical time. The pandemic. We would rather not be experiencing this, but here we are. It is important to note that someday all this will also be our history. Some of you will tell stories to your grandchildren.

In the meantime, we, as people of faith, need to keep our perspective in the present moment. How shall we live our faith in the face of sickness and death and financial struggles? We wonder when this will end. Will there be a “new normal?” Even in this tedium, one friar recently mentioned how quickly the weeks seem to be passing. That may be a perspective of some of us who are older. He is well beyond 80.

In our lives of prayer and spirit, we think of past, present, and future. We look back on the past, remarking how quickly things fade into our history. About the future, we know little and wonder. The teachers of prayer urge us to find the presence of God in our present moment, whatever it is handing to us. We ask for what we need. We find things for which to give thanks.

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