Why YOLO isn't quite accurate
2020...what a year it has been! I have a feeling none of us expected this year would've turned out the way it did last year as we welcomed it.
As we come to the end of this year we think about the end of one year, but also the beginning of another. Many of us are probably praying that 2021 brings us a little more calm, peace and hope this time, and many might be skeptical in thinking that this next year will bring about positive changes.
But there is this same theme still...endings and beginnings. For some reason I was brought back to when I was doing my first Theology of the Body course with Sr. Helena Burns and she quoted the very famous line "YOLO...You only live once." It's a mantra that many live by feeling that you need to always live to the fullest because you only live once. This was Sr. Helena's response:
"False! You live EVERYDAY...you only DIE ONCE! So make it count!"
We all roared in laughter at first, but then got very quiet because we realized the truth in those words. We are meant for eternity, we were not created just for this world. The moment we die, that is our ONE SHOT, to choose either eternal life with God or eternal damnation. We are the ones who choose, and our life here on earth reflects that choice.We don't just choose with our words...we choose with how we live our lives.
Does our life reflect that of one who desires to love God and be with Him for eternity?
I remember when I would tell my students this during confirmation prep their first question would be...why would anyone choose to go to hell!?
If we want God, if we want eternal happiness with our Heavenly Father that needs to be reflected in our life.
I always love the quote by St. Therese of Lisieux, "The world is thy ship, not thy home." We are not meant for this earthly life, this isn't the be all and end all for us. Everything we do needs to be done in light of our eternal life. This is why remembering our death MATTERS! That moments only comes once, there is no second try. Many saints, for example St. Augustine and St. Catherine of Sienna, were pictured with a skull on their desk or holding a skull. It was their reminder that they need to always remember the eternal. They are meant for a life beyond what this world offers.
Yes it might be a heavier way to end one year and start another but I feel this year has tested us in ways that we probably never would have imagined. It probably made us question many things but I feel it also brought our awareness to see where our heart and priorities truly lie.
Every new day, every new year we get is another chance to journey closer to God and to reaching that eternal joy with Him! So as we start this new year, think beyond your physical life here on earth. Think eternal. Make it count!