The Rapidity of Time

These temporal years pass away; the months are reduced to weeks, the weeks to days, the days to hours, and the hours to moments, which are all that we possess, but which we possess only in proportion as they perish.

The more perishable our existence, the more amiable ought it to be to us, since this life being full of miseries, we should have no greater consolation than to know that it rapidly vanishes to give place to a holy eternity, which is prepared for us in the abundance of the mercy of God, and to which our soul incessantly aspires by continual thoughts arising from its own nature, though it cannot hope to arrive there but by other thoughts more exalted, with which the Author of nature inspires us.

Indeed, I never consider eternity without much sweetness; for, I say, how can my soul extend its thought to this infinity, unless there is some kind of proportion between it and eternity? But when I feel that my desire runs after my thought, my joy takes an incredible increase; for, I know that we never desire, with a true desire, anything but what is possible.

My desire then assures me that I can possess eternity: what remains to me more than to hope that I shall possess it? And this assurance proceeds from the knowledge I have of the infinite goodness of Him, who would not create souls capable of thinking on, and tending to, eternity, without giving them the means of attaining to it.

Let us then often say: Everything passes, and after the few days of this mortal life, an infinite eternity will come. Little does it matter whether we have conveniences or inconveniences here, provided that for all eternity we are happy.

A great soul sends all its best thoughts and affections forward to the infinity of eternity, and being immortal, it esteems too short all that which is not eternal, too small all that which is not infinite, and arising about the delights, or rather the vile amusements, of this life, it keeps its eyes steadily fixed on the immensity of eternal goods, and the vastness of eternal years.

Oh, how desirable is eternity, at the cost of miserable and perishable vicissitudes! Let time flow by, with which we flow on to be transformed into the glory of the children of God.

Alas! When I consider how I have employed God’s time, I am in pain lest He should not give me His eternity, since He gives it only to those who use His time well.

O God! The years pass aways, and run as a thread imperceptibly one after another; dividing our existence, they divine our mortal life, and ending, they end our days.

Oh, how incomparably more amiable is eternity since its duration is without end, and its days are without nights, and its contentments are without variation! How much I desire that, in a high degree, you may possess this admirable good of a holy eternity! What a happiness for my soul, if God, showing its mercy, grants it also this consolation! 

This article is taken from a chapter in Consoling Thoughts on Sickness and Death by St. Francis de Sales which is published by TAN Books



Related Posts

Joy And Peace Through God Alone

Compiled from works of the greatest saints and theologians of the Church, The Soul Sanctified is a treasury of saintly counsel and fruitful meditations, covering topics such as detachment from earthly things, sins of habit, the Four Last Things, abandonment to the Divine Will, mortification, cultivating virtue, prayer, and consolation in the spiritual life. The following excerpt consoles the reader with meditation on the true joy and peace that is found in God alone.

Read More »
Discover the authority, strength, and wisdom of the Heavenly Host with A Year With the Angels. Join Mike Aquilina in meditation and prayer to explore the virtue, grace, and truth embodied by these celestial beings who stand before the throne of God.

The Wisdom Of Angels

A Year With the Angels invites you to discover the authority, strength, and wisdom of the Heavenly Host, who embody virtue, grace, and truth because they stand before the very throne of God. In this excerpt, join Mike Aquilina in meditation and prayer on the wisdom of the angels. 

Read More »
In the pursuit of holiness, expect opposition from the world. Saint Francis de Sales advises us to remain unwavering in our resolutions, standing strong against threats, insults, and assaults. Discover the courage to face adversity and stay true to your devout path.

In The World, But Not Of It

When we pursue the devout life, Saint Francis de Sales warns that the world will cast threats, insults, and assaults upon us of every kind. Here, de Sales reminds us that when the world mocks us in our pursuit of holiness, we must stand firmly rooted in our resolutions.

Read More »
Uncover the profound conversations between Saint Margaret Mary and Our Lord in this autobiography. Delve into her experiences, challenges, and ultimate decision to dedicate her life to the religious path.

Chosen As The Spouse Of Our Lord

In this autobiography from one of the greatest mystics in the Catholic Church, Saint Margaret Mary discloses the intimate conversations she had with Our Lord. Taken from her autobiography, the saint reveals the Lord’s words in choosing her as His spouse, the temptations she faced before entering religious life, and her resolution to enter the religious life.

Read More »