Whenever I am tempted to worry about the future, I think of what a Jesuit wrote on that topic back in 18th century. The Jesuit- Jean Pierre de Caussade, the book- the classic Abandonment to Divine Providence. And the message- concerning the sacrament of the present moment. And when I get temped to leap to future I think of a Jesuit maxim “age quod agis” (do what you are doing).
Obedience is beter than sacrifice – the words from the first reading from the Book of Samuel- point out a similar truth. We all want to do the discipline we want to do. We choose penances- our sacrifices. But the ultimate penance, however, may be simply to learn from each moment- to live in the present and not to run away from the message of this present moment. The challenges we face in life right now are what will purify us and what is old and useless- those old wineskins.
And God alone knows what each of us needs to be spiritually whole- to receive new wine…whether it be to reconcile- to give our natural gifts for the sake of another- to learn from another- to live for something larger than ourselves- to live in the present without counting time, comparing our efforts.
What we have to do this year- this day- this hour is to accept what comes our way- as the raw material of our growth, our faith. To the yes of faith there is no such thing as a dull moment. When we let the spirit of Christ sharpen our senses and free us from useless anxieties and worries about tomorrow, we can begin a new to find true life in each present moment.