Fortuna opes auferre, non animum, potest.
(Seneca, Medea, 176)

Pron = for-TOO-nah OH-pehs ow-FER-ray nohn AH-nih-moom POH-test.

Fortune is able to take one's wealth away, but not one's character.

Comment: This is going to sound, perhaps, a bit morbid. I have a trip to Italy coming up with some students, and so once again, I will put my body (life, future, etc) into a large hunk of metal and allow it to be hurled across the Atlantic ocean. And so I will spend some time considering "what if . . ."

It's a little morbid, but it's also real. What if . . . something happens to me and I don't make it? Fortune can take really everything away from me that I touch every day as my life. If that happens, can I still be really who I am? The ultimate example of that is: could I go down in a plane crash and be my real self?

I spent some time while in seminary going every week to visit a Trappist monk at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA. I read his obituary in the paper yesterday. He was 85. He once told me that Trappist monks have this exercise called the "dying daily"
exercise. They lie down on their bed and envision themselves dead.

Morbid. But, it's a way of letting go of all the stuff. My old friend, the monk, finally made his practice real. He laid down one last time, and did what he had practiced. Eventually, we all do.

This is really not morbid. It's life. We have today. As I see it now, we live our best life today, and then we lay it down. Entirely.
Let it go. All of it. And if we wake tomorrow, we do that again.
When the last day comes, whenever it is, we will have lived some really full, wonderful days. We will have lived some really difficult, trying days. Even the most ordinary ones will have been really wonderful. Why? Because we lived out of who we really are.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day Archive