The Crucifixion at the Grotto in Brantome, France.
Bas-relief of The Crucifixion, Troglodytique de L’Abbaye de Brantome
Photo library of TalinMan, Nov 2019

Today is the 101st day of home isolation. With infections having breached 30,000, as of yesterday, this COVID_19 pandemic has claimed 1,177 lives. By now, the long months of isolation have exacted its heavy toll on almost everyone. The question we need to ask ourselves at this stage is: Have I allowed the long period of isolation to enrich my life or not? If yes, congratulations to you for being the winner!

Indeed, it feels great to be a winner. Being cooped up in one’s home for 3 months is no laughing matter. Definitely, it is not by sheer luck that the winner is able to survive this isolation. On the contrary, it came about through day-to-day struggles against negativities – fear, anxiety, stress, sloth, etc.. It required perseverance in following a survival plan, which, in turn, was a result of painstaking efforts in self-reflection and clear thinking in order to come out with the end goal.

In the daily battles against negativities, one important element that one has to be conscious of is time. It would be folly to be mindless and just idly watch the day pass away. On this note, St. Josemaria’s aphorism makes very good sense, as shown below:

Point no. 13

Get rid of those useless thoughts which are at best a waste of time.

St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way

As may be seen above, St. Josemaria”s point no. 13 is quite succinct yet simply exceptional. In such a few words, it helps the reader in several ways, namely:

Being a Winner -Mindfulness

To start with, the reader should establish what is “useless”. By definition, the adjective, “useless“, means :

"of no use; not serving the purpose or any purpose; unavailing or futile". 

Hence, in applying the prescription of Point no. 13, the reader should establish what is useless in relation to the goal that he/she has established for himself/herself. This makes it easy for one to determine whether an idea or thought should be pursued or not. What is important is to always be mindful of what transpires in the present moment. For example, during this period of isolation, it is very easy to spend the day lying on the couch watching television or simply relaxing. By the time you know it, the day would have passed without you doing anything.

Making Good Use of Time

Secondly, Point no. 13 makes it conducive for the reader to make good use of time. When one is oblivious to life’s mission, then, it is of no consequence as to how each day is spent. Obviously, without a purpose in life, one could just drift mindlessly with the occurences of each day. In the absence of a mission in life, there would exist no pressure to make one’s waking hours more meaningful. Hence, a life without direction would be the common outcome. Realizing, however, that time is fleeting, one then becomes more conscious that there is no time to waste. Thus, one becomes more committed to make good use of time.

Being Grateful

Given that life becomes more meaningful because of the discovery of one’s mission in life, one realizes that each day is a gift from God; and , that being grateful for such blessings makes one even happier as the days go by. Indeed, the more gratefulness one nourishes in one’s heart, the happier one becomes.

In closing, the wise words of St. Josemaria exhort us to be mindful that there is only one important thing in life, that is, “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” 1 Tim 4:4-5


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