On the one hand, we do not want to die; above all, those who love us do not want us to die. Yet on the other hand, neither do we want to continue living indefinitely, nor was the earth created with that in view. So what do we really want? Our paradoxical attitude gives rise to a deeper question: What in fact is “life”? And what does “eternity” really mean? There are moments when it suddenly seems clear to us: yes, this is what true “life” is—this is what it should be like. Besides, what we call “life” in our everyday language is not real “life” at all. Saint Augustine, in the extended letter on prayer which he addressed to Proba, a wealthy Roman widow and mother of three consuls, once wrote this: ultimately we want only one thing—”the blessed life”, the life which is simply life, simply “happiness”. In the final analysis, there is nothing else that we ask for in prayer.

Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi paragraph 11, “Saved by Hope” (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2007).

My comments: If you are praying, what are you praying for? For both St. Augustine, and Pope Benedict XVI the most important thing we can ask for in prayer is eternal life. Nothing else comes close to the importance of our eternal life with God, so pray for it…

Advertisements