The Dilemma of Life

The Dilemma of Life

December 2

Photo by V. Dobson

Do we desire to be with Christ in the resurrection? It seems that most of us are not waiting for this new life but instead are doing everything possible to prolong our mortal lives. Still, as we grow more deeply into the spiritual life – the life in communion with our risen Lord – we gradually get in touch with our desire to move through the gate of death into the eternal life with Christ. This is no death wish but a desire for the fulfillment of all desires. Paul strongly experienced that desire. He writes: “Life to me, of course, is Christ, but then death would be a positive gain. … I am caught in this dilemma: I want to be gone and to be with Christ, and this is by far the stronger desire – and yet for your sake to stay alive in this body is a more urgent need” (Philippians 1:21-24). This is a dilemma that few of us have, but it lays bare the core of the spiritual struggle.

Henri Nouwen

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