FACING ETERNITY (3/5)
WHAT I DO OUTWARDLY ENDS UP WORKING BACKWARDS !
What I do and say to others seems at the same time to have a strong effect on me. In preaching I try to be true to God and his Church. It won’t do anyone any good otherwise. And when I preach like that, I end up believing more what I preach!
In all this, it works both ways. In trying to encourage others, I encourage myself; when I teach others, I believe more what I teach; when I strengthen others, I make myself stronger. “As you sow, so shall you reap” (Galations 6:7). Or perhaps even, as we say, “what goes around, comes around”.
So when people tell me that I seem to be coping well with my condition, I’ve got on doubt that a big part of it is that, having been a priest for many years, I have put - like all priests - a lot of faith, thought and emotional energy into helping the dying to prepare for death by words and sacraments, and into comforting their families, and into preparing and conducting the funerals.
When I do that, it works backwards into me. As a result it now makes me more able to face what I have to face .
I know it’s the same with all of you. When you good people strengthen others by words and deeds in any area of life, it works backwards into you, and strengthens you for what you will have to do in the future.