If there is one task that life sets us, one charge we must fulfill before we end our days, it is to love the whole world and labour for the whole world’s prospering, despite the finitude, evil, and death afflicting each of the world’s parts. Should we come to our end with such love, saying yes to all that (from the perspective of the finish) somehow “had” to be, we would be round successes. Should we not be able to muster such love, finish our time hateful or unsurrendering, our success would hang in brackets. Thus, the most practical wisdom any of us can grow, and the perennial reason for religion, is the strength to love life in the face of death, to respond “amen” to our history.
From How to Make It Through the Day by John Carmody