August 6, 2017

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.
Matthew 17:1

Time spent in prayer is life-changing

Matthew Kelly
Resisting Happiness
2016

A few years ago, I was doing some consulting work at a large hospital. The hospital was implementing the Dream Manager program for the nurses.  The program helps people identify why they do what they do, what is important to them, and what their dreams are for the future. It has been incredibly successful in hundreds of companies, because sadly, most people have never been asked, “What are your dreams?” and most people spend more time planning their annual vacation than they spend planning their lives.
During the project I spend quite a bit of time with a group of hospice nurses. I remember wondering over and over again to myself, “How do they do it?” One day at lunch, I was sitting with five or six of them, and I asked them, “When people are dying, what do they talk about?” They told me that people who are dying very often talk to the nurses about how they wish they had lived their lives differently. Here is a sampling of what those nurses shared with me, twenty-four things dying people wished that had done differently.

  • I wish I’d had the courage to just be myself.
  • I wish I had spent more time with the people I love.
  • I wish I had made spirituality more of a priority.
  • I wish I hadn’t spent so much time working.
  • I wish I had discovered my purpose earlier.
  • I wish I had learned to express my feelings more.
  • I wish I hadn’t spent so much time worrying about things that never happened.
  • I wish I had taken more risks.
  • I wish I had cared less about what other people thought.
  • I wish I had realized earlier that happiness is a choice.
  • I wish I had loved more.
  • I wish I had taken better care of myself.
  • I wish I had been a better spouse.
  • I wish I had paid less attention to other people’s expectations.
  • I wish I had quit my job and found something I really enjoyed doing.
  • I wish I had stayed in touch with old friends.
  • I wish I had spoken my mind more.
  • I wish I hadn’t spent so much time chasing the wrong things.
  • I wish I’d had more children.
  • I wish I had touched more lives.
  • I wish I had thought about life’s big questions earlier.
  • I wish I had traveled more.
  • I wish I had lived more in the moment.
  • I wish I had pursued more of my dreams.

These are the regrets of dying people, people who were out of time. Each of them contains a powerful lesson for those of us who are still living.
When I was in middle school I sang in the school choir. One of our duties was singing at funerals, and we sang at a lot of funerals. I remember thinking a lot about life and death as we sat there in church for all those funerals. Even at that age it struck me that life really is fleeting.
It is good and healthy to think about death from time to time.  It puts things in perspective and reminds us what really matters. The perspective that death is inevitable reminds us to get busy living.

ACTION STEP

If you died today, what would you wish you had done differently? Reflect.
                

MINISTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS

Bereavement Support & Ministry
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”
The Monday Night Widow/Widowers Group:
A social group for widows and widowers. Next meeting: August 14th in Cerullo Hall at 6:30 PM.
Spouse Bereavement Group:
A support group for people grieving the death of their spouse. Next meetings:  August 8th and 22nd at 7:00 PM in the RUSSO ROOM. For information contact Dr. Rachel Rengifo at 201-500-2068.

Prime Timers
St. Philip’s Prime Timers holds regular meetings on the first Friday of every month, September through June.
Atlantic City bus trips to Resorts Casino will be held on Aug. 10, Sept. 20th, Oct. 12th and Nov. 8th. The cost is $27 per person per trip and bus leaves at 9:30 AM. Contact Sylvia at 973-742-9286 for tickets.

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