This is amazing:
Ever been on a plane in which you thought it was soon going to be all over? Coming back from my honeymoon in Montreal my wife and I were on a bouncy plane in one of the worst snowstorms Montreal had seen in awhile (and that's saying something!). Needless to say, I said a few Hail Marys that flight.
However, I'm often surprised when I hear stories of near-miss tragedies. Here's three quick ones:
A priest-friend of mine was flying not long after his ordination and the oxygen masks fell and they all thought the end was near. The plane soon righted itself and the woman next to him couldn't get over how calm and cool he was the whole time. He said, "Well I figured that if I just became a priest and God was deciding to take me home at this point, then I was in pretty good shape for the journey."
A second colleague was on a plane that seemingly just dropped about 20,000 feet very quickly. She said that she just looked at the person next to her and said, "Hi my name is Michelle and you're probably the last person I'm ever going to see. I guess we should know each other's name at this juncture." (Amazing how closed off we can be from people when we travel--I'm at fault here too--I almost never talk to people on airplanes).
Lastly, a non-plane story. Many friends were in NYC on 9-11 when all kinds of things started running through their head. Just North of the towers in Midtown, many wondered if they'd be able to get home that dreaded night or if more attacks were imminent. In the days that followed this attitude pervaded the city. It made some altruistic and piously fearful. Many went back to church fearful of their sinful lives while others took a much more hedonistic attitude and took to the bars in a madcap week of drunkenness and what I call "end of the world sex." They had as much sex as they could, while they still could. They did all kinds of crazy and risky behaviors because who knew what tomorrow would bring.
As for myself, I'm not sure why but I felt very calm both on my honeymoon flight and again during 9-11. I found myself angrier at what had happened than fearful of what might happen or for my own lot in the afterlife. I'm not sure why that's the case because I know I'll have plenty to answer to God for, but I wasn't very concerned about that or even about personal safety. I traveled on the subway and on buses. I flew a few weeks after and didn't have too many cares about it. My friend Dan made me feel much better when he, an amateur statistician told me that the chances of something like an attack or even a crash are infinitely tiny and that I probably have a greater chance of falling down the stairs.
But I'm rambling now...my question to you....How do you spend your final moments if you think you don't have much time left?
Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 4/29
2 hours ago