Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lost Time

I WAS PLAYING a game of Solitaire when I was suddenly reminded of a prayer of St. Teresa of Ávila:
A Prayer to Redeem Lost Time

O my God! Source of all mercy! I acknowledge Your sovereign power. While recalling the wasted years that are past, I believe that You, Lord, can in an instant turn this loss to gain. Miserable as I am, yet I firmly believe that You can do all things. Please restore to me the time lost, giving me Your grace, both now and in the future, that I may appear before You in "wedding garments." Amen.
Wasted time!  Playing Solitaire only makes you good at playing Solitaire, and as its name suggests, it isn't even good for the pleasant companionship of friends, as are other card games like Poker.

Actually, when I was playing that solitary game, I was mulling over my singlehood.  Now, I don't like talking about myself, especially when it comes to dating and relationships (Dawn Eden is much better at that), but lost time is particularly relevant here, for I am no longer a young man.  Dare I say that most every woman I've ever dated was well-suited to be my wife? Although friends and family may disagree in more than a few instances, usually that is true. In nearly all cases, the persons involved, me and her, were not the problem, rather it was the course of the relationship between us that was wrong.  Anyone who has experienced modern dating life knows what I'm talking about, and for those who haven't, you don't want to know!

Blame is easy to assign.  We all know what the problem is.

So where do I go from here?  How, with God's grace, can this lost time be restored?


  1. Mark,

    But are you sure it was truly lost? Maybe singleness is God's will for you? I know that when my husband died after 32 years of marriage I really questioned remarrying. Came close once, but circumstances (= God's providence) closed that possibility. Still praying about it, but trusting that Our Lord will open or close those paths according to His will.

    I do think that dating may not be the best way to establish a solid relationship. Working together on something you both care about is much more fruitful.

  2. Be Bold!
    Walk up to a woman and strike up a conversation...there are plenty of us around, and we're losing time too.
    It seems like if you don't meet someone in college, that you're out of luck, since it's so hard to meet people once you start working all day. And although people are so pro-marriage (in Catholic circles at least), in my experience people are really down on setting up people they know. I had a blind date a year ago, and although he wasn't a good match at all, it was so nice of my friend who set us up to at least TRY to bring people together.
    Yes, a "singles" club is cheesey, and some of us are a bit too old to hang out with those 20-somethings, and if you're not interested in volleyball or happy hours it just isn't appealing. And I don't have the time to waste on silly things like that.
    So, be bold! Introduce friends to each other! Ask that solitary person at Mass to stay for coffee and donuts! Marriage and family are good but people need to meet!
    And those that have met need to discuss what the goal of the relationship is. I wasted 4 years with a man that I finally realized was never going to propose. Four wasted years. And now at my age and in my work environment, there is nobody available. People have told me to join a club or take a class or volunteer...but I had no luck there.
    People were not meant to be alone. Of course there's a minority who are happily single their whole lives, but that's not for most of us. I'll be 90 years old and still hoping to get married. I know it's right for me, although I don't know if I'll ever get the chance.
    And I can't believe the time I wasted.
    Never give up hope of finding someone, and be bold in your relationships!

  3. Why not the diocesan priethood? You seem to be a natural.

  4. I don't have a vocation to the priesthood. But I'd love to preach - as it turns out, I will have to give some lectures in the near future, which may be satisfying.

    Although it is harder for me to find single women, due to a greatly reduced social life, I still do get out and meet people, although I do need to get out more.

    I can see why folks don't like setting up friends with each other any more - modern relationships are so short, that it is a waste of time and harms friendships.

    Ultimately, this posting was a lament for the wasted years of my youth, and really not much more than a hope for that to be redeemed.