Posted November 02, 2009:
The Best Is Yet to Come

by Yves Boulvin (translated by the editor).

Do you realize that whatever your age is right now, the best is yet to come? This can be hard to believe especially because so much seems to lead us to believe the opposite.

As for me, as I look at my past, I remember a time when I would run like a gazelle, a time when I was happy and carefree—the time when I was young.

Is it possible that every age can be an age of grace?

The advertising world promotes the goal of eternal youth through such things as plastic surgery and face lifts. What it doesn’t say is that true youthfulness is the inner youthfulness of a renewed heart, a timeless youthfulness that does not age with the body.

It is true that physical suffering can take over our consciousness, but the more we become accustomed, during the course of our lives, to seeing ourselves as children of Light, children of God, the more we can keep alive in us this ageless inner youthfulness.

This is why we can speak of a beautiful old person and why some people in their seventies and eighties say, "Even though my vision and hearing are deteriorating and I walk with difficulty, I have never been so happy."

The body reaches its physical peak at age 18, 20, or 30, depending on how you measure it.

There is also a psychological peak—linked to our inner harmony, a time when our anxieties have lessened and we have come to terms with ourselves and our past. This psychological peak can come much later than our physical peak or even at the end of our life.

There is also a spiritual peak: the finding of God, our true Love, and the progressive entry into spiritual realms. Spiritual peaks happen throughout our spiritual journey, the journey which keeps alive this inner youthfulness and increases it as the body deteriorates.

The witness of people who clinically died and then returned to life, some of whom were religious, shows that when we leave our physical bodies to enter the spiritual world, we are renewed and rejuvenated to what is considered the ideal age—around twenty, but twenty with the delighted and radiant faces of three or four year old children.

So the best is within me, and the best is also yet to come, because in heaven we will have no handicaps, our wounds will be healed, and our true selves will come forth.

The best is yet to come because I have always longed for a great love, but I have come to realize that no human being and no situation can totally satisfy this deepest yearning. I have not yet reached the fullness of life.

Mystics who have entered into communion with God and people who have clinically died and returned to life, speak of a Love that is beyond words and totally fulfilling, a love which lacks nothing, a love which completely satisfies us, a love where we find what we have always longed for.

The best is yet to come because all the gifts that I did not develop during my earthly lifetime can be developed in the Love of God in eternity.

The best is yet to come because the beauty of nature is nothing in comparison with the splendor of heaven which was seen in some apparitions or simply in the extraordinary presence felt in certain spiritual places or through some icons.

The best is yet to come because I will live in communal, fraternal love with everyone, in a love which I have always dreamed of. And I will gradually find the answers to the questions I have always wondered about.

Of course, before all this happens, I will have to experience death and doubtlessly a certain amount of suffering which I do not wish to endure.

But to stay forever in my aging body with all its physical, psychological, and spiritual infirmities, would be horrible. I would be eternally confined and limited. Fortunately, death will come and free me from my physical body and enable my spiritual being to blossom.

And we will not spend heaven sleeping or only giving honor to God, even though, in supreme moments of thanksgiving, we will know the joy of eternal praise.

The best is yet to come because heaven, the fullness of heaven, awaits me—after whatever stripping or purification I will undergo before entering it.

The best is yet to come also in what remains to me of this earthly life. I will never stop learning. I am on earth to learn—to learn to love, and in order to be truly happy, to learn to give my all to God.

And I will never stop having work to do. For however old or infirm I become, I will still need to receive and to give and to pass on to others what I have learned. This is the work of elders.

And if a more intense suffering comes my way to finish stripping me, like the trees in autumn which shed all their leaves after their blaze of red and gold, I will be able to say, "I did what I could. I received a lot, and I gave as much as I could. Thank you, Lord, for all of this and for all that I have learned."

I remember being moved at the sight of a tomato plant at the end of October, a plant all withered and dried, which had given its all to nourish the last tomato of the season. What a beautiful image of the gift of oneself!

Yes, truly, the best is yet to come. The best is discovering the depths of the Love of God; and this will only happen completely in heaven.

How short is our life on earth compared to eternity—an eternity when we will never be afraid or discouraged, an eternity when we will go from one discovery to the next, from one wonder to the next, glad of the services that we will continue to render to our brothers and sisters on earth.

For us, heaven will be an immense rest and a boundless joy, but it will also include a plenitude of very concrete accomplishments. Our mission in heaven will be to do good on earth.

For if St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus was declared a saint and doctor of the Church, it was not for her own glory. It was so that she intercede for us and teach us the way of spiritual childhood. "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth," she said, "and I will rain down a shower of roses."

This is what Thérèse wanted so much, so that her physical,
psychological, and spiritual sufferings which enabled her to identify with and understand everyone, would bear fruit and be the source of blessings and healings after her death.

The best is yet to come on this very day because I am learning to see life differently and to recognize all its beauty instead of being obsessed with my human worries.

The best is yet to come tomorrow because each day is an opportunity to deepen my inner peace and joy.

Finally, the best is yet to come the day after tomorrow because I will be further along on my journey towards the ecstasy of love and the fulfillment of my deepest desires.

So I will stop focusing on the past—replaying in my mind all the things I regret, blaming myself, holding resentments—and, on the other hand, idealizing it.

I am coming to terms with my past. I accept it all. I accept everything I have experienced, without exception, because what was, was, and I cannot change it. And I’ve also learned some things from my past, things that help me live better in the present.

I have so much to do—so much left to give and to receive. Let me not be afraid. Even if physical death removes me from those close to me—my children and others whom I love—it is so that from the beyond I can protect them better than I could on earth, and I will be reunited with them in a different way.

And when I die, I will not only be leaving those whom I love now, but I will be re-united with those whom I loved in the past, and with those who preceded me and helped me, both people I know and those I don’t.

In my physical body, I sometimes make a long journey to be with family and friends. In my spiritual body, there will no longer be any geographic distance between us. I will be able to be so much more in communion with everyone than I am now. How wonderful that will be!

There is so much in my heart, so much which takes a lifetime to discover. And after that, the fullness of heaven awaits me.

The love of God renews and transforms all my past if I offer it, such as it is, humbly, to God, like a little child offering his mother with all his heart, at times awkwardly, a bouquet of flowers which he gathered all along the way.

Used with permission from Feu et Lumiere, (January 2009), a magazine from the Beatitudes, a new ecclesial community in France.


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