The Present Moment

Posted by on Dec 19, 2011 in Blog/Articles | 0 comments

 JMJ

St. Therese, pray for us!

In a world of instant gratification, we silly, little human creatures always have our heads in a whirlwind and our hearts in a pitter patter over past and future.  Rarely do we contemplate the beautiful nature of the present moment given to us as the sweetest gift from The Great Giver.

                Mother Angelica is a dear soul that understands this more than any other author or prominent Catholic figure that can be recalled at present:

                “If I’m living in the future or I’m living in the past, I’m not receptive to the grace of the Present Moment.  My mind is everywhere except in my own head, and then the imagination goes wild.  You start limiting what you are capable of, based on past experience.  You absolutely paralyze yourself.”

                In a most charming way, she refers to the Present Moment as the “Sacrament of The Present Moment”:

                “When we take the Eucharist, the host is consumed.  When we accept the Will of God in the Present Moment, our will is consumed.  The

host is dissolved within me, and the Will of God dissolves my will.  A perfect circle of union is established.  Jesus gives Himself up for me in Communion, and in my daily life.  I give myself up for Him.  We mutually offer each other love for love.  That’s the Sacrament of the Present Moment.”

                God has only formed the little soul for the Sacrament of the Present Moment.  We often look to our past mistakes and presume to make judgments that are not ours to make about the future.  No solace can be found in placing our minds in the past, nor by attempting in our human weakness (pride) to become soothsayers and strive in a thousand different ways to predict the future.

Man, in his smallness, only has the Present Moment.  God has made it so.  Man is inevitably inept of being master over past and present.  If he can simply become corrupted in the attempt to make sense of the past and predict a morbid or egocentrically saturated future, it is nothing new to assume that he would make a hopeless mess of things if he were lord over himself.  There is only one Lord, one Master, who can perfectly write the beautiful story of our lives with more eloquence and justice, blissful joy, and inspirational radiance than we could ever manage to surmise for ourselves.

                If we ever want to enter deeper into the Mystery of Christ, it is imperative that we immerse ourselves in the resplendent Truth about the Sacrament of the Present Moment.

                C.S. Lewis understood the sacred phenomenon of the Present Moment all too well.  In one of his few recorded radio sessions, he answers the question: “How can God hear all of our prayers all at once?”

                Lewis intelligently widens this narrow view of time and space for the listener, by using the simple example of a novelist and his characters:

   “Suppose I’m writing a novel.  I write: ‘Mary lay down her book.  Next moment came a knock at the door.’  For Mary, who’s got to live in the imaginary time of the story, there’s no interval between putting down the book and hearing the knock.  But I, her Creator, between writing the first part of that sentence and the second, may have gone out for an hour’s walk and spent the whole hour thinking about Mary…God has infinite attention, infinite measure to spare for each one of us.”

                Our life comes to us moment by moment.  Therefore, it is difficult for us in our narrow-minded humanity to comprehend the intimate, yet vast omnipotence of our Creator.

You have probably heard many a time that God alone can suffice for our hearts deepest yearnings and that only He can give us rest.  There is a place in the human heart that only God can fill.  Is it not true then, that there is chamber in the heart of the Almighty that your precious little soul can fill?  Yes, it is true, and this chamber in the heart of God lies vacant for all of eternity if we choose to reject Him.  God does not require us and our love and praise, but He comes to adore us and love us to life if we first come to virtuously love and adore Him.

     God’s Word was the foundation on which everything that exists is built upon.  His word began creation.  When He speaks something or someone to be, it is.

                If we ever desire to quickly advance in holiness on our journey to The Kingdom of Heaven, we must acknowledge our littleness and stoop low in all humility before our Maker, returning the priceless gift of time, the gift of the Present Moment to He who has so lavishly bestowed it upon us.

      This act of self-surrender and humility is the only way that the human heart will find true fulfillment. 

 

                “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” –Matthew 24:35

                In an interview with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN’s “The World Over,” popular writer Randall Wallace (Braveheart, The Man in the Iron Mask) captured my attention when he said something like: “We like to think of time as our own and yet, we cannot create a moment of it.”

                When we strive to be the masters of our own time, we go against the grain, the natural and beautiful Almighty Truth.  We go against what God intended to be the natural law and thus, fall into the snare of our father, Adam, and our mother, Eve.  Eve wanted desperately, for just a moment, to be the master of her own time.  One simple selfish moment in time stained pure and holy humanity with the black taint of original sin.  Adam betrayed his own identity, going against his sacred instinct to protect because he did not have the courage to face potential death by standing between his wife and The Devil.  He also made the grievous mistake of being the master of his own time.  For a split second, they both lost faith, they doubted.

                It is obvious that God was making a statement when He banished Adam and Eve from The Garden of Eden for trying to be masters of the time given to them by God.

                This selfish desire for mastery over our own time is one of the several ugly blossoms that stem from the root of pride.

                “For, even in the perspective of our relations with our fellow men, true humility has its origin in our right response to God, which implies

not only our awareness of the glory and omnipotence of God, and of our own creaturely finiteness, but a total emancipation from our spasm of self-centeredness in the presence of Christ.” –Dietrich von Hildebrand

                Abandoning one’s self does not guarantee a lack of suffering for the rest of one’s life, but that those moments of suffering will hold sacred grace and meaning and will be in Christ, with Christ.

“What a trial!  But He whose Heart is ever watchful taught me that He works miracles even for those whose faith is like a tiny mustard seed, to make it grow…He works miracles for His dearest friends only after He has tested their faith.” –St. Therese (The Story of a Soul)

                “If you desire to sit on His right hand you must drink the chalice which He has drunk Himself.” -Matthew 20:22

                When we abandon our lives and each precious moment of them to God, we are entering into the mystery of eternity here on earth.  We are furthering The Kingdom, while still journeying there.  Our lives become one with Christ’s.  This is why our time is purely sacred.

                Like innocent little children, we should look to our Eternal Parents to show us how we should spend our time.  Although some of the ways they chose for us may not be so pleasant, we must trust that Our Blessed Mother and our Heavenly Father know best.

                Abandoning ourselves to God is simply affirming The Truth: that we are not our own.