Everyone asks the question of why do we get older in life? We are all affected by it and someday we are going to die. Because we are human, only our bodies die, not our souls that live eternally. The remains of our bodies “return to dust” when we die but our soul lives forever. Our remains can become first, second, or third, class relics used by others to pray to God through our souls.  If we are in heaven after we die, those we leave behind, can use our relics to pray to God through us. Please pray to your deceased loved ones, friends, or enemies. Not only may they help you, but maybe you can help them to become closer to God.

As all things exist through time, they become worn by the effects of interactions of physical substances. This is a very crude, one sentence description of the universe. The main effect of this is the process of deterioration of all things from what they are today to what they will ultimately be. We exist in this time environment and our bodies are subject to the same effects as all other things in the Universe. We call it in simple terms; aging. Our bodies start out brand new at birth and in that same instant begin to age. I have heard it said that, we start to die the moment we are born.

All of us will someday die. It is the fact we live with. We may live a short life, or we may live a long life, 80, 90 or even 100 years or more. Nevertheless, the result will be death caused by aging, disease or some unforeseen mishap. The human body, once dead, will return to the basic elements of which it is made. Some call it dust. In the bible it says, in Genesis 3:19 “By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread, Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Returning to dust, is not however, the end of the story. All forms of matter, alive or dead, do not disintegrate or cease to exist. On the contrary, all things exist, on the path to another form. The world-famous Oceanographer, Jock Cousteau, stated that there is not one drop of water, more or one drop less on our planet then there ever was. The same is true for the universe; there is not one molecule, more or less than there ever was. The mass of the universe was and always will be a fixed quantity, always changing yet always the same size. Many modern scientists believe that the universe is the expansion of a single event in time called the “big bang theory”.

Creedence is given to this idea since materials traveling through space have been measured to travel in one expanding direction from a single source. Physics shows us that the universe is expanding to a maximum state of randomness called entropy. This fits the idea that all things can reach the state of being in the bible’s statement previously mentioned; “dust”.

The human existence is life within the confinements of the universe. Humans are forms of matter brought to life with a soul through the benevolence of God. All living creatures are given a soul in life. Every animal and plant has a soul that sustains its life. Every form of life, through the aging process, reaches the point where it can no longer sustain life. When, that happens, the soul leaves the body to which it was assigned. Only human souls are by God’s plan, eternal. All other souls cease to live when its body dies.

The road, from living creature to “dust”, varies depending on the environment in which it exists. The word dust in the Bible is a general description of basic earth or soil from which all things on earth came. The remains of plants and animals will proceed to dust without concern for the future.

But it is a very different story for humans. The soul of a human does not die when the body dies. It leaves behind a trace on the body. There is a spiritual connection between the body and the non-physical entity of the soul. It is not a physical connection but something more than a memory. That is why, those who were connected to them when alive, cherish their remains and treat them with great respect when the soul passes. They were loved when they were alive with their soul and there is respect and love for their remains after the soul has passed.

The living can maintain a connection to the soul of another who has passed into eternity. A living person can offer prayers for the soul of a dead person in hope that they will find favor with God when they are in His presence. It is also common to keep something that belonged to the deceased as a remembrance. Things that belonged to the deceased and are not disposed of or buried can be kept in memory. Sometimes, an actual part of the anatomy of the deceased is preserved. It is previously stated that the remains are spiritually connected to the soul.

They are called Relics. Any part of the remains is considered a first-class Relic. Items that were in direct contact with the deceased are also considered second-class Relics. A ring worn on the finger would contain traces of oil or bits of skin from the body of the deceased. If an item was in contact with a second-class Relic, then that would be considered a third-class Relic. Catholics believe, a soul in heaven with God, can be asked to pray to God to help you. Since the soul is much closer to God, in heaven, then the chances that God will listen will be greater. If someone has a Relic of another person who is with God, then it is like a direct connection through the Relic to the person with God. There are souls who are declared as saints by the Church because they lived exemplary lives before they died. Any saint, with God, makes direct connection with Him to hear your prayers. Many miracles have happened when living persons ask, through prayers to the Saints, for help. Many other persons also keep Relics of the deceased just for the purpose of remembrance. After a loved one passes, some may wish to keep the memory of the loved one a while longer because of the hardship of the loss. A Relic can be any object held on to as a memory. The hood ornament of an old car can sit on the desk as a relic. In some ways, pictures are also a form of relic memory.

Walter Brennan

The post song “Old Rivers” popped into my head as I was writing. The field, the plow, the mule and Old Rivers are relics.

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