As I write this message, the television news is flashing images of the earthquake disaster in Christchurch, N.Z. It takes many years to build – it takes only a few minutes to destroy.
That is true of the physical world; but it is also true of the world of human relationships: negative comments and experiences can destroy the good work which took years to build.
I was reminded of the simple but powerful poem on LIFE written by Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Its message is so beautiful and so real. Read it slowly and savour it.
Life is an opportunity – benefit from it.
Life is beauty – admire it.
Life is bliss – taste it.
Life is a dream – realize it.
Life is a challenge – meet it.
Life is a duty – complete it.
Life is a game – play it.
Life is costly – care for it.
Life is wealth – keep it.
Life is love – enjoy it.
Life is mystery – know it.
Life is a promise – fulfill it.
Life is sorrow – overcome it.
Life is a song – sing it.
Life is a struggle – accept it.
Life is tragedy – confront it.
Life is an adventure – dare it.
Life is luck – make it.
Life is too precious – do not destroy it.
Life is life – fight for it.
For most of us, who have not been directly affected by floods, bush fires, earthquakes, or violent demonstrations, we should add: Life is a blessing – thank God for it!
And as we watch, and talk about these disastrous events in our world, it is important to help our children understand that God still loves us, and has not abandoned humanity. We do not live in a perfect world. We cannot control the forces of nature; but we can control our tongues, the language we use; we must learn to control our feelings and desires: These can be very positive forces in building up a community of understanding, tolerance and acceptance.
Fr Frank Bertagnolli SDB