What’s Next? A Reflection for the Memorial of St. Philip Neri

A young man once approached St. Philip Neri for advice. He shared with the saint his plan to study law and become an attorney. St. Philip pressed him for more information. “And then?” he asked. “And then,” the young man replied, “I will be a successful lawyer.” “And then?” the saint asked again. “And then people will speak well of me and I’ll have a good reputation. “And then?” came the question once again. “And then I shall lead an easy life and be happy.” St. Philip asked a final time: “And then?” As he considered the end of his life, it dawned upon the young man that in all of his life’s plans and dreams, he mad made no reference to the will of God at all.

And don’t we sometimes do the same thing? We make our plans, we go about our business, without giving God’s will for us a second thought. You might say that we so often take the “short view”, while God asks us to take the “long view.”

St. Philip Neri reminded the young man, and he reminds us as well, that as we live out our Christian lives we need to always keep one eye on eternity, since it’s our hope to one day look upon God face-to-face.

Photo Credit: Special*Dark via Creative Commons