A Note From Fr. LeRoy
Most of you have maybe heard or seen the movie, "The Bucket List" starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholas. It's a movie about two terminally ill men who meet each other and discover they have a wish-list of things they would like to do before they "kick the bucket!" It is both a humorous and yet some-what serious story about life and facing our own mortality at death. In the film, Morgan plays a man of faith in God while Jack is basically an agnostic or atheist. By the end of the movie, however, the viewer sees Jack beginning to step out of his cynicism and shell and come to a greater sense of faith in God as he fills his "bucket list" and eventually experiences his estranged family reconciled again. If you haven't seen it, you should rent it and enjoy.
I think everyone should have some sort of "bucket list" whether it be traveling to another country to see where your ancestors came from or going on a pilgrimage to Rome or the Holy Land or other place of spiritual interest. (For Catholics, I think Rome should be on everyone's list.) It might be seeing our nation's capital, going to some famous city, putting your bare feet into both oceans, holding your first grandchild, or going on a hot air balloon ride. I wouldn't recommend jumping out of a airplane, although that may be on some crazy person's list! Whatever it is, it should enrich your life.
St. Ireneaus once said, "The glory of God is man/woman fully alive!" I think a bucket list helps us do that. It also gives us something to look forward to as we enjoy the greatness of God's creation and this world. What I really mean to say is that, our faith in God should be enjoyed and enrich our life in Christ while not neglecting our obligation to pray daily and to attend weekly Sunday Mass. God wants us to experience both.
For myself, I have been fortunate enough to have done a lot of things. I have traveled to many places around the world, including those that are significant to our Catholic Faith. I have built a lot of things and participated in just about every sport, when I was younger of course! (These old bones don't move so well now) I have even had the chance to scale some beautiful mountain tops and see a lot of nice places in my short time as a geologist. There are still plenty of things I could do which I have not, but at this point, because I have had some similar experiences, if I don't get to them all, I am O.K. with that. What is important is that we live, not only a "full-life" here on earth, but also a "life of fulfillment" in God, which means that the greatest plan God has for us is to experience eternal life with his Son, Jesus Christ, in paradise. This can only be done by our faith and deep connection to Jesus himself!
So, pursue your dreams and fill that "bucket list," but remember, to be on "God's list" of those chosen and marked for salvation as well! Words to live by: "There are three kinds of people: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who say, "What happened?" Peace,
Fr. LeRoy Scheierl