As we draw the curtain over 2013,and “press towards the mark” (2014), ponder on these words of wisdom from Balthasar Gracia, and strive to end this year well and alive;
You ought therefore to think of the finish, and attach more importance to a graceful exit than to applause on entrance. ’Tis the common lot of the unlucky to have a very fortunate outset and a very tragic end. The important point is not the vulgar applause on entrance–that comes to nearly all–but the general feeling at exit.
Two things bring life speedily to an end: folly and immorality. Some lose their life because they have not the intelligence to keep it, others because they have not the will. Just as virtue is its own reward, so is vice its own punishment. He who lives a fast life runs through life in a double sense. A virtuous life never dies. The firmness of the soul is communicated to the body, and a good life is long not only in intention but also in extension.You lose nothing if you gain your end. A good end gilds everything.