The Courier

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Getting up in the morning can be a struggle.

Padre Nicholas Young – Supplied Photo

Sometimes we are sick, and we have a real reason, but often enough, we’re in a bad frame of mind.  Getting up means dealing with all the “stuff” that has been going on lately or facing unsolved problems. We can see that Nature herself seems to struggle with the passing from winter into spring, with warmer days followed by snowfall, cold winds followed by sunny afternoons. 

Historically and traditionally, in temperate climes, this time of year is the time of spring festivals and the contemplation of rebirth from death. The Christian festival known as Easter, or Pascha, tells us about resurrection, and the victory of life over death. It is important to bear in mind that death is not identified as something that humanity can simply disregard, but as an adversary that needs to be overcome. We are reminded that all the suffering and pain that accompanies or can accompany death is real and that this is part of being separated from the Creator.

Many of us in the twenty-first century now think that our ‘job’ as humans is to run away from any kind of suffering and eliminate pain. When we become sick or question the meaning behind the effort needed to achieve anything, we seem more and more, ready to give in and allow nihilism to take over. The belief that the miracle of life must be treasured and protected at all costs has faded, and our existence no longer involves a struggle against the elements that would destroy it.

What we do not seem to grasp is that we are on a slippery slope of giving ourselves every kind of small excuse to give up, and not making any effort to do anything, even live!

I would like to bring your attention to a poem by Dylan Thomas that sums up much of what needs to be said:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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