Imagine Yourself Falling no idea where or when.
As we grow older the one caution expressed to us is don’t fall. Falling, especially for older people, becomes the probability of broken hips. I had an aunt who died just prior to her 104 th birthday. She fell, broke a hip, and lived only a short time thereafter.
But falling can also be a wake-up as a warning to be more cautious especially as we age. In the last year I fell several times, never with any serious injury, but the signs were still there to become aware of their frequency. Point here is the ultimate need for a cane, walker, or slowing down as unseen obstacles can take their toll on anyone.
There is another manner of finding ourselves in a situation where a fall can either be a sudden awareness of losing our soul or remembering our catechism teaching us to never forget God when sin gets the best of us. Problem here is when sin gets its grasp on our ability to change or repent the path to freedom appears too strenuous, so staying with the obstacle of pleasure is easier to live with.
This is one path to falling, but it has its side effects as well. It can be like the man who had slipped off a mountain and was able to grasp a tree root to hold onto. As long as the root was well positioned to hold his weight he could remain intact as long as he could hold on. There is an old cliche in the form of a joke that says as that man hangs onto the tree root; “Help, is anyone down there? The voice says let go! “Who are you? the man cries out, I’m God, let go. The man calls out again, “is there anyone else there?
As humorous as that may sound, there is a realistic conclusion that we should adhere to. The fear of falling into hell might be the last thought of anyone who is about to take their last breath. God still is aware of the final condition of a sinner who with their last effort cries out to God with, “I’m sorry, please forgive me!” All of God’s creatures are able to turn, repenting in a nanosecond and save their soul from eternal damnation. God never created a moment of despair for his creatures and always waits for us to turn back to his mercy. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (Jn 3: 16 - 17). Perhaps there is no other verse in Sacred Scripture as profound as this. God will hold out any self-condemnation of sinners until they reach beyond in a final acceptance or denial. The decision of the final eternal destination lies with the sinner, not God!
So when God says let go from the evil in your heart open those hands reaching towards perdition and find the hands of Christ reaching for your soul that belongs to him.
Ralph B. Hathaway