This evening I came upon this quotation attributed to Rabbi Nachman of Breslov:
“If you are not going to be any better tomorrow than you were today, then what need have you for tomorrow?”
That is a serious provocation to self-examination and personal responsibility.
What have I done to deserve tomorrow?
Tomorrow is a gift I cannot merit, but what would it look like to try to become more worthy of it?
What difference would it make, every night, to create new day’s resolutions?
This evening I heard a physician, who is also a Roman Catholic deacon, share a story about a dying woman to whom he would bring Communion.
The 50-year-old woman had uterine cancer that had metastasized into her spine and, understanding the gravity of her condition, he found himself surprised that she was still alive each time he went to visit her.
Eventually, he decided to ask her, “Do you have something you need to do?”
This question invited an response and she answered, “Yes, I do. I need to become a Canadian citizen.”
It turns out that this woman was very close to finalizing her citizenship and needed to do so in order for her children to receive their citizenship and avoid deportation back to Hong Kong.
On hearing this, the physician-deacon phoned a citizenship judge friend of his and explained the situation. When the citizenship judge heard the request, he agreed to meet the woman the next day so that she could swear the oath.
Yesterday I attended a webinar themed, “New Year’s Resolutions, Jewish Style” led by David and Chana Mason.
In Judaism, there is the custom of wishing another person, “May you live until 120.” The number signifies the fullness of a life well lived – derived from the Biblical account that “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died; his eyes were undimmed and his vigour unabated.” (Deut. 34:7)