Aeterna Non Caduca

As an old friend reminded me recently by letter, our high school motto was Aeterna Non Caduca, translated as ‘I live not for time but for eternity’.

Back then with the invincibility of youth on our side, and life stretching out before us, we gave but passing thought to such things. No doubt most of us thought of eternity as somewhere on a linear time line and celestial heavens were situated somewhere to the east of our current reality- somewhere very far off and remote.

These days, of course, though I haven’t thought about it in forty years, the motto has taken on a very different and more immediate meaning, and not only because I’m getting older and more aware of my mortality.

I have come to realise that eternity is not some distant point of time, but quite independent of time. Eternity is a spiritual, rather than a physical location, outside of linear time yet deeply embedded it.

This spiritual state of stillness invites us to let go of time and enter the ever present now. Eternity has come more and more to mean the ever unfolding sacrament of the present moment.

To live, not for time but for eternity is to live wholly in the present, and in the full reality of our lives, whether they are good bad or indifferent and to allow the silence of eternity, which is paradoxically outside of time but also deeply wedded to it, transform us.

Only in the silence are we able to let go of the tumult that preoccupies our every waking thoughts, the worries, the commentaries that go on in our heads about people and our emotional reactions to them….

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