Cosmic space and time can be baffling. Remember the legend of the monk who, after wandering in what he thought was the close vicinity of his monastery, returned to it only after a few hundred years?

The story illustrates that we are no masters of our time, no pilots of our future; it also invites us to reflect on how we should be using our time and talents for our material and spiritual well-being. Finally, the story inspires deep gratitude to our Creator for all the time that He has made available to us.

It is often a question of priorities. If we come to realize that God holds the key to our destiny, we will have no difficulty in resetting our priorities; in fact, we will be naturally inclined to give God the space and the time that is due to Him.

Let us consider our holidays, and how we have spent them: Weren’t they dotted with ‘camps’ teaching us music, dance, painting, and so on, for personality development? But did we also realize that May was a month dedicated to Mary Our Mother? Some of us must have indeed spared some time to appreciate the Message of Fatima…! While we revelled in picnics and excursions to far-off places, was a pilgrimage to a holy place also part of our itinerary?

So much for our holidays…. Now about our careers and how we get there! We concentrate – and rightly so – on what we wish to achieve; but any idea what we may stand to lose too? If we get there by hook or crook, we stand to lose our morals; if we are so intensely absorbed by our careers that we find little time for prayer, we stand to lose the very purpose of our lives….

‘What does it profit a man if he gains the whole word and loses his soul?’ was a turning point in the life of St Francis Xavier. Without suggesting that we head for the nearby forest to spend the rest of our lives there, it is strongly recommended that we ensure a healthy balance in life. Let us not run away from the world; yes, by all means let us be in the world but let us not be of the world!

Let us fine-tune our lives while it is time. The great balancing act can be achieved only with divine help. We have the sacraments; let’s use them to be one with God, imbued with His spirit. Continually seeking God provides the ultimate meaning to our lives.

(Editorial, The Stella Maris Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. 1, July 2011)