Dear Pope Francis: Space greater than time – Resolution for the New Year

Apparently there are those who troll the world by messing with the understanding of time. Let’s be pedantic.

  • I grew up in one house until I was a year and a half years old. I remember pretty much everything about that house until this day.
  • I celebrated my second birthday when I was – wait for it – two years old, in another house to which we moved. I remember that birthday. There’s a picture – me with my dad – that I include here.
  • It seems to me that…
    • I was zero years old the day I was born
    • I was one year old at my first birthday a year later in the first house
    • I was two years old when I was… two years old when I was in the second house.
  • But there are those who say that…
    • I was one year old the day I was born
    • I was two years old at my first birthday a year later in the first house
    • I was three years old when I celebrated my second birthday
  • I’m going to ignore another system in the very Far East which has it that one is one year old the day of birth since they start counting with time already done in the womb. I like that system. Very pro-life. But that’s not what’s behind the trolling of those trying to make people dumber for a laugh.

When I moved houses after my first birthday but before my second, I moved, it is said, when I was one year old. Yes, but, at the same time, I was half way through working on the completion of my second year after my first birthday. Although the first year was gone, kaput, long assigned to history, never to be retrieved, it was still said that I was a one-year-old even though I was more than one year old, partially two, as it were.

Soon I will turn 60. But I’m already working on the completion of my 60th year. I’m pulling 50 and pushing 60 right now. But soon I’ll be pulling 60 and pushing 70. So within a nanosecond one goes from pulling 50 to pushing 70. [!]

The picture included here was taken in 1962. That’s right, the 1900s. But that was called the twentieth century, you know, working on the completion of that 20th century. Remember 20th Century Fox way back in the day? Right now, having completed 2020 years since the birth of Christ, we’re into 2021, that is, not in the twentieth century, but in the twenty first century…

Note well, my Jewish friends: What I like about the calendar is that it is all iterated as BC (Before Christ) or AD (in anno Domini: in the year of our Lord). To speak of BCE or CE – Before the Common Era or the Common Era – speaks, ironically, to Christ and the universal (that is, in Greek:), catholic Church. Catholic means universal, or that it’s COMMON, that is, meant for all. “Go forth and make disciples of all nations,” that is, of the chosen people and the gentiles. Anyway…

My resolution for the “New Year”:

Last year my resolution was simply to walk in the presence of Christ in the present moment, not because I can do that by sheer determination, gritting my teeth and really trying hard to do that, but walking in the presence of Christ because – with high hopes – of receiving His grace to do so. That grace comes to us all to do just that in the Confessional. So, it’s all about humble thanksgiving to Christ Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One. We just need to be ever more the littlest children of the Holy Family.

This year I have the same resolution, just phrased differently. I want to be able to walk in the presence of Jesus and in His forgiveness for me with the awareness that time is not greater than space. Hahaha! We are to be a “tabernacle of the Holy Spirit” as Saint Paul commands all of us to be by way of his incredulous reprimand (Don’t you know that you are tabernacles of the Holy Spirit? See 1 Corinthians 3:16). That means that space is greater than time, that the Incarnation of the Eternal Word in the “space” of flesh draws all time to that space, so that we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit by being brought to Christ Jesus to be one with Him. Jesus Himself says: “When I am lifted up from the earth [on the Cross] I will draw all to myself” (John 12:32). And that action in that one hour on the Cross in the Eternal Word Incarnate draws all of time, past and present and future, from Adam until the last man is conceived, into that one moment in that one “space” of the Body of Christ. Space IS greater than time. The Eucharist at the One Last Supper, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is greater than time. Time is just another creation. The Body of Christ is the Divine Person of Jesus. Saint Paul says that Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ and that we are members of the Body of Christ.

No apologies to Stephen Hawking on the one side, nor to Karl Marx on the other side. But many thanks to Saint Augustine in Book 11 of his Confessions, wherein we see that Jesus’ mercy overcomes our suffocating divisory relativity.

It is Jesus, the Eternal Word Incarnate, who is the One, the only One, He who was, who is, who is to come, the Almighty, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the One upon whom all who have pierced Him will gaze, He who will come to judge the living and dead and the world by fire, including all those who would relativize Him merely to a relative time. In Him, space which is greater than time. Amen.

3 Comments

Filed under Pope Francis, Time

3 responses to “Dear Pope Francis: Space greater than time – Resolution for the New Year

  1. nancyv

    Laughter and awesomeness – that’s what I get from you – or through you from God. Always, you make me think. Deo gratias. (and I appreciate how you brought the BCE and CE back to the “real” meaning!)

  2. What a beautiful baby with such a handsome Dad. God bless you, Father.

  3. Monica Harris

    “Time is what keeps everything from happening at once”

    I think maybe tomorrow is your 28th priest ordination anniversary, Father Byers? That’s a lot of nanoseconds, with God’s grace. Congratulations!

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