Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Gene Wilder is Dead; You Will be Too

Young Frankenstein

Gene Wilder made us laugh in the incredibly short spark of light he was given on this planet.

Having gotten that out of the way, is it bad taste to observe that even celebrities face the Last Things? The Bear had a period when the idea of Elvis being judged was a difficulty for him. Somehow the juxtaposition of a super-celebrity like Elvis Presley and God caused the Bear's imagination to fail, and so troubled his faith. Of course, nothing could be sillier.

The Bear has found that it is difficult for him to believe in things he cannot imagine. Like the Ascension. Oh, he readily assents to it, and it doesn't bother him too much, but even so, there's always that little weird feeling. Sometimes we can't help those, and we give our assent and move forward.

Anyway, Gene Wilder is dead, and so is judged exactly like all of us will be, very soon. It's later than you think. Are you ready right now? You might have a heart attack, and be dead before the ambulance even arrives. You might get murdered. You'd be surprised how many murder victims are ordinary people. They got up, did their morning routine, never knowing that it was their last day. The Bear remembers a murder in which the victim's keychain, found next to his body, said: "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." The rest of his life was pretty short that day.

Sometimes the Bear believes that irony is the true operating principle of the universe.

You may put your shoes on in the morning. But one day someone else will take them off.

A television show troubled the Bear. Big, tough Bear that he is, he could not view a simulated murder scene. It was too close to the Coleman murder case in which the Bear was involved. Sheri Coleman went to sleep in her own bed. We have no way of knowing what she was thinking before she fell asleep.

It was probably not that her husband would strangle her and their two sons with a length of twine that night.

God already knows everything there is to know about your death. When and how. He could show you a Polaroid picture, if He wanted to. We all carry a ticking bomb that will explode at a time unknown to us. And we're all judged. When was your last confession? What sins are you "struggling with?" Maybe you should win the struggle and put those sins behind you.

Celebrity counts for zero, the Bear is fairly certain. Your political opinions may not count, either. All the things you value may or may not mean anything, depending on what you value. The Bear says: everybody be ready. The Bear says while you're distracted by the shiny things, you can lose your soul in a thousand different ways. The Devil doesn't care.

"We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded by a sleep." Poetry from Billy Shakes, the Tempest (that's what the Bear called him - it irritated the Bard) and not exactly correct. But the tone is right. Life is short. Even a 1300 -year-old Bear will close his eyes and not open them again.


  1. Our demise is something our Church should talk about sometimes since where our next stop is going to be seems rather germane especially for those of us closing in on end of days considerations.
    Since most of the time our local Church is in the throes of activism and a happiness syndrome and never mentions death or dying I thought that reading the book: 'Preparation for Death'--considerations of eternal truths, By St. Alphonsus Liguori would be a worthwhile idea. Maybe others here might feel the same way.

  2. Reading Liguori sounds good. Reading anything about spiritual warfare sounds good too. This message, that the "last day" is coming real soon for each of us, cannot be overemphasized. Especially to some bishops.


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