Saturday, September 03, 2022

Taking Augustine for a bike ride


At a celebration of the Liturgy of the Word earlier this week, the presider mentioned that St. Augustine said you should live your life with your death always in front of you. 

These days I get from place to place by biking. I love its portability. I can park in my office, or in the rack just outside, not hunt for a spot in the parking lot or lug my stuff up or down the hill. Biking on the Main Line is, however, a memento mori. At every stop sign, for just a fraction of a second, my death flickers before me. 

I have safe routes to church and school and the local grocery store. I am careful. But I am amazed at the blatant disregard for stop signs, through which barrel huge black SUVs driven by mothers, bright blue Porsches, and silver BMWs piloted by men with more important things to do than stop. I presume Augustine got from place to place by walking, at least in his daily life, at a time when the dangers were horses and not horsepower under the hood.  But I live as Augustine would have it. Remembering that I am dust.