Comprehend vs. Appreciate

I went to a funeral today at St Pius Catholic Church in Rochester.  The priest was Father Paul Nelson.  He was ordained 51 years ago!  And he's awesome.

His funeral sermon was one of my favorites ever.  He used the word "mystery" on multiple occasions - which is one of my favorite words in the English language.  And it is such an appropriate word to use at a funeral.  It is all such a mystery - this journey of life and death.

(Interestingly, I did hear in a movie that the opposite of death isn't life.  The opposite of death is being born.  Life is a word that encompasses it all.)

Father Nelson also made this really interesting point about comprehending vs. appreciating.

He said that in life, there are a multitude of things we can never fully comprehend.  He beautifully described the complexities of the galaxy and universe....millions and billions of stars and planets.  Its more than we can comprehend.  But that doesn't mean we can't appreciate it.

In a life of faith, there is much we cannot fully comprehend. Life. Death. Existence. Relationships. Tragedy. Hope. Love.

But even though we can't fully comprehend those parts of life - we can still appreciate them.  And we can appreciate one another - and how one human soul can deeply impact another.  I'm stretching this idea out farther than Father Nelson did, but I don't think he'd disagree.

It was really a neat nugget of wisdom - that idea of comprehending as compared to appreciating.  I've been thinking about it a lot this afternoon.  I realized I try to comprehend a lot of things that would probably be better left appreciated instead.

As a side note,
I don't really want to get any older.
I want to stay 29 forever.
Why does time keep moving so quickly?

I guess it's just a mystery I'll have to learn to appreciate.


  1. Beautiful posting. Thanks for sharing. BTW....have Paul's book if you are interested.

  2. This is great. Thanks for going through your days, soaking up life and passing along the ideas and lessons you learn.