The Tragic Romance
The following is a sad confession made by a young woman.
I was a 23-year-old college graduate. I had just obtained a full-time job in the Federal government. I was young, ambitious, outgoing, and happy. Within a few months, I met a man who worked in my office. This man was handsome and intelligent. Everybody in the office liked him. One day, this man invited me to go to lunch with him. I accepted. Soon, lunch became a regular weekly event. Within a few months, we went out on our first official date.
We really liked each other, and we had a lot of fun together. We began to date regularly. Within six months, our friendship became more serious. We began to have a love relationship. We saw each other regularly. We talked about getting married and having a family together. We even went to church together on Sundays.
If you had asked me to assess my life at that time, I would have said that I was one of the happiest people on the earth. I had an exciting job, good friends, and a man who I thought loved me. I thought that everything in my life had fallen into place.
About a year later, I became pregnant. When I found out, I was both happy and worried. Within about two weeks, my worst fears were realised. My intended husband – and the man with whom I had shared my life – suddenly vanished. He was not ready for marriage or a family. I was left alone, and I was devastated.
I had never been so hurt in all my life. My world came apart. My mind raced constantly. I could not sleep. I was very depressed. Sometimes, I wished that I were dead. I didn’t want the baby. I did not want the burden or the responsibility of being a single mother. I had an abortion.
– What thoughts, feelings, occurred to you while you went through the story?
– What do you think is the ‘moral’ of the story?
– taken from “Persons Are Gifts”, by Hedwig Lewis, SJ
I, Daniel, was deeply disturbed and the visions that passed through my head alarmed me. So I approached one of those who were standing by and asked him to tell me the truth about all this. And in reply he revealed to me what these things meant. “These four great beasts are four kings who will rise from the earth. Those who are granted sovereignty are the saints of the Most High, and the kingdom will be theirs for ever, for ever and ever.” Then I asked to know the truth about the fourth beast, different from all the rest, very terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws, eating, crushing and trampling underfoot what remained; and the truth about the ten horns on its head – and why the other horn sprouted and the three original horns fell, and why this horn had eyes and a mouth that was full of boasts, and why it made a greater show than the other horns. This was the horn I had watched making war on the saints and proving the stronger, until the coming of the one of great age who gave judgement in favour of the saints of the Most High, when the time came for the saints to take over the kingdom. This is what he said:
“The fourth beast
is to be a fourth kingdom on earth,
different from all other kingdoms.
It will devour the whole earth,
trample it underfoot and crush it.
As for the ten horns: from this kingdom
will rise ten kings, and another after them;
this one will be different from the previous ones
and will bring down three kings;
he is going to speak words against the Most High,
and harass the saints of the Most High.
He will consider changing seasons and the Law,
and the saints will be put into his power
for a time, two times, and half a time.
But a court will be held and his power will be stripped from him,
consumed, and utterly destroyed.
And sovereignty and kingship,
and the splendours of all the kingdoms under heaven
will be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.
His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty
and every empire will serve and obey him.”
Jesus said: ‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’
I was having a conversation with my father about the death of the five young dragon -boaters who passed away last Saturday in a freak accident in Cambodia. I was commenting how serious the rest of the team looked at the crematorium during the final send-off and that they should have be smiling. I guess tragic events do bring a tragic look on our faces. Yet, I beg to differ.
Death is something that a prepared Christian should look forward to. It is only when we are not prepared in a manner that Christ described in the Gospel today that Christians have something to worry about. The end of the world will bring death to certain people. Death can also be considered to be the end of the world for some people. We should never fear death for it has no more hold over us. Christ has risen to overcome its effects. With the confidence that Christ assures us we will be able to handle whatever may come along.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Nick Chia)
Lord, let us live as people of light, not fearing the power of death but always remembering that you are there to be with us. We commend the souls of all who have died, especially those of the five young men, that you be merciful in judging them.
Give thanks for: the Holy Mother Church’s guidance and wise teachings.
Sun, 02 Dec – Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14a; Matthew 24:37-44; First Sunday of Advent
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