Full of Sound and Furry Signifying Nothing


I attended a Mass at the Basilica of Fatima a few days ago and cried tears of joy throughout almost the entire Mass.  The love I saw made me reflect on my own life.  The joy I saw made me realize that the Holy Spirit is alive and well.  The happiness I saw made me see the real love Christ talked about.  My own life and the life of my friends makes me think of the play by Shakespeare about the King facing death and looking back on his life.


"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day till the last syllable of recorded time and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.  Out, out brief candle!  Life is but walking shadow. A poor player who struts and frets upon the stage. It is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and furry signifying nothing."    


My memory of this passage may not be totally accurate, but I know what Shakespeare was trying to say, and it fits my life perfectly.  Time passes by and does not return.  It is recorded in the realms of Heaven - everything we do, we do not do, we accomplish, we fail to accomplish, we try to do, and what we fail to even try to do. 


We think what we are doing is so very important but in 6000 years of history and at least at the present 6,000,000,000 people living in the world, what does God see?  I am here thinking what I am doing is so important.  What does He think of me?  He sees the entire world all at once and in fact, He sees all of history - past, present and future - all at the same time.  I am one little atom in the body of Christ and that is good.  But I am also one of (how many) the inhabitants of this earth and one of the many creations of God, angels, devils and people.  How many of us thinking creations are there - one hundred billion, a trillion, many trillion?  I don't know! 


I must admit that I am not very important in comparison to the rest of creation, and yet God has a special concern for me and why I don't know.  I sometimes think I am important because all I know is what I know.  I don't know what the world knows, what Mary knows, what God knows.  I just know what I know and I don't know if what I know is anything or not.  I only know it is not much and I don't know if it is true or not or at least how much truth is missing in the truth I do know.  Some things I know but cannot comprehend,  like infinity or God in the Eucharist.  


We strut and fret upon this state of life thinking we are doing a great deal and that we are so important, but then?  Then we see people who are really doing something important in the world, and we look back on our tomorrows and think. 


I fight for truth.  I seek the truth in the Church, in the Bible, in science, in the great thinkers, in prayer.  I fight against what I know is false.  I fight against what I know is evil.  I never compromise what I perceive to be the truth.  I defend the Pope against the liberals and the conservatives.  I have protected Fatima against the skeptics and those who exaggerate its meaning.  I have come here to die in Our Lady's arms.  But then, have I done anything at all.  Not really!  Christ said that when we have done all that He commended of us, we have done nothing.  Nothing except what we have to do just to avoid Hell.  Is avoiding Hell, doing something to be proud of?


The Joy of Real Love


From all parts of Portugal the handicapped, not just handicapped but severely handicapped, mentally and physically, were brought in to attend the Mass in the Basilica of Fatima.  In the Mass were mostly children, they could not walk, feed themselves, think properly, control their limbs, or any of their bodily functions.  There were hundreds of them and they came from hundreds of miles around to visit Our Lady.  It was not the handicapped that impressed me, but those who took care of them.  Every handicapped had at least one person caring for him or her.  Everyone of these people were full of love and happiness and joy to do what they were doing.  They were not doing it as a job, but they were doing it out of the joy and love of doing it.  They loved and they loved doing the love they were doing.  They knew the handicapped could not survive without them and they were needed and loved in return.  They had a joy in this work I have never had in my work and they had a love I have never known.  I will continue what God put me here to do, but I am not so stupid as I used to be to think this work is anything.  Compared to the real gifts of the Holy Spirit, the real works of the Holy Spirit, I am doing nothing. 


Full of sound and furry I strut and fret on this stag of life thinking I am something, when in fact God looks down from Heaven seeing everything, and what does He see in me?   I fear, not much in the big picture.


Rick Salbato

Learning what he does not know,

Or to be more honest, how stupid he is.