IF we want to have a truly global picture of our life, we should develop a sense of time that is connected to eternity. We need to remind ourselves of this basic truth about this human condition of ours since we tend to ignore it or give it little importance and due concern.
We are somehow reminded of this aspect of our life in that gospel episode where Christ talked about how a temple, so lavishly adorned, would be destroyed at the end of time. (cfr. Lk 21,5-11) Considering that we are now ending the liturgical year, this truth about our human condition is truly worthwhile to be given a thorough review.
We need to be keenly aware of this dual dimension of our life. In fact, I believe this aspect refers to the ultimate status of our life. We should not be too immersed in the here and now as to forget that time is meant for eternity, and we have a role to play in their connection.
We live both in time and eternity for now, and later, in a definitive state, in eternity with God or separated from him forever, since time would be completely taken up by eternity the moment time runs its course through our death or through the world’s end.
But at any instant, our earthly life spent in time is actually also in eternity. The flow of time is always within the sea of eternity, since eternity is both outside and inside time. Whatever we do now, no matter how transient, always leaves an effect in eternity.
This is because being both material and spiritual, with body and soul as constituent elements of our nature, we can’t help but live in both time and eternity. Time is when we are tested as to our correspondence, or lack of it, to God’s love. As St. Augustine said, “God created you without you, but he cannot save you without you.”
In short, what would truly connect time with eternity is when whatever we do here on earth is done with faith, hope and charity with God as the main object and all the others as an unavoidable accompaniment of the exercise of these virtues.
We should not be doing things with purely earthly and temporal goals only. We need to refer them to our eternal goal with God. That is why, St. Paul said, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10,31).
That is also why we are asked to make everything we do as a form of prayer. St. Paul articulated this truth when he said, “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thes 5,17) And this is always possible and practicable since all that is needed is the awareness that everything we do is done with God and for God. We need not say anything or do some special thing.
We need to make so many pit stops during the day, so to speak, to see if we still have love of God and others as our inspiration, motive and goal in everything we do, for that is how we connect our earthly time with our heavenly eternity which is our definitive life. Our life here on earth is only transitory, meant to test us if we truly want to be with God as he wants us and designed us to be.