A Capital Sin

For the first time in my life I find myself committing the capital sin of envy. I am envious of the accomplishments of young people who accomplish things, especially those things that improve the quality of life of others. Young technocrats are offering the world tools that help families, communities and societies communicate easily. Biologists and others in medical fields are bringing better surgical procedures and products to the sick and suffering. Film makers are spinning tales that defy the imagination in breath and depth.


There was a time within my sphere of influence, I helped to improve the quality of life of those in my charge. Little by little, I have lost my charges. Even when I do volunteer work for the needy, I feel disengaged, superfluous. Yet, I am here.


A friend of mine wrote to me recently and mentioned quite casually that Pope Frances says that prayer is the work of the old. To my mind, the Pope’s words make sense. My emotions, however, remain flat-lined. As the immortal bard said:


“Prayers fly up. My thoughts remain below.

Words without thoughts never to heaven go.”


Oh, well. If it is the best I can do, at least prayer might keep me from committing envy.

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