Dying Twice

More than three months ago I mentioned that I am doing Fr. Mike Schmitz’s Bible In A Year Podcast. What a blessing it has been! Yesterday was Day #285 as we navigate through Sirach. A couple verses from Tuesday’s reading inspired Fr. Schmitz to address a certain theme.

The verses were…

“How can he who is dust and ashes be proud” (Sirach 10:9)

“He has removed some of them and destroyed them, and has extinguished the memory of them from the earth” (Sirach 10:17)

These verses obviously address pride and make us think twice about developing a heightened sense of self. Fr. Schmitz is a famous priest who has a large global audience due to his ability to leverage his digital presence. Despite that, one of his spiritual mentors told him not too long ago, “No one will remember you after you die.”

A raging ego does not reside inside of Fr. Schmitz. Even with his crazy popularity and the souls he is saving each day, this humble priest agreed with the opinion of his spiritual mentor.

Fr. Schmitz then made it hit home. He asked: How many of you know the first name of your great great grandfather? What about your great great uncle? Just a few generations removed and I personally couldn’t identify the names of my great great grandparents. We really do have short memories, huh?

It gets even more sobering. Fr. Schmitz then said that we all die twice on earth. The first death is when we take our last breath before physically dying. The second time we “die” is when our name is uttered for the very last time. This could come 10 years, 50 years, or 100 years after our physical death. But let that sink in. There will be a time when our names will be completely extinct from this world.

With all that said, it is not wise to walk around like a big deal nor to make it our mission to build a legacy while on this planet. Eventually it will all be for naught. Rather, build for eternity. Don’t Blink.