Time is Eternity

Time is too slow for those who wait,

Time is too fast for those who fear,

Time is too long for those who mourn,

Time is too short for those who rejoice,

But for those who love, time is eternity.

Times of sorrow seem interminable. There is the need to remember and rejoice- a great part of this is remembering of childhood memories. The care of my family.

Care- I felt cared for and that care translated into love for me. That love translated into the center of my vocation. But the sorrow of loss does not easily turn to joy. The eternal name of love- that same love- Jesus yesterday, today, forever. That love cannot be taken away. There is a deep consolation in knowing that love for all eternity.

-St. Augustine

Time

(1) The holiness of the Old Testament saints, and indeed that of St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin, came through their absolute obedience to God’s will.

Today God still speaks to us as he used to speak to our ancestors at a time when there were neither spiritual directors nor any systems of spirituality. To be faithful to the designs of God then comprised the whole of one’s spiritual life. Religious devotion had not become a science crammed with precepts and detailed instructions. Nowadays, no doubt, our special needs make this necessary, but in the old days people were less complex and more straightforward. Then they knew only that each moment brought a duty which much be faithfully fulfilled. Those spiritually inclined needed nothing more. They were like the hand of a clock which, minute by minute, crosses its appointed space, for, ceaselessly prompted by divine grace, they attended without thinking to each new task offered them by God at every hour of the day.

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spiritually inclined like the hands of a clock

minute by minute

crosses its appointed space

faithful to the designs of God

each moment brought a duty which must be faithfully fulfilled

designs- a hand of a clock moment by moment

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Find the sacred word, be in God’s presence

Let go

The less I do, the more God can do

This prayer is a vestibule, away into God’s presence

When a thought or felling attention, return to the sacred word. DOn’t take possession of it. Sink into a deep peace.

Don’t possess, let go.

Help us to remember that what we keep we lose, and only what we give remains our own.

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These are times during the grieving process when we break apart to a gamut of emotions.

There is crying. There are tears- and certainly regrets.

I hold onto something I heard once, that the past is a dream, the future is a vision. But he present well lived makes the past a dream of beauty and the future a vision of hope. We learn to live with our remembering- with this dream of beauty, this vision of hope.

The Present Moment

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.

Featured Examen

“How do things stand between me and God? Where am I coming from, and how is my life in Christ growing?” I can answer such questions satisfactorily only if I take leisure to reflect. Here is a way of examining this deep and dynamic personal relationship.

1. Recall that you are in the presence of God.
Recognize that God is intimately involved in your life, wherever you are and whatever you are doing at the present moment. Take time to recognize God’s presence. God is concerned for you and about you.

2. Give thanks to God for the favors you have received.
Use your imagination and your senses. Be concrete in looking at the day’s gifts. Just notice.

Look at your more permanent gifts that allow you to live today. How has God blessed you, and what do you contribute to others and to God? Give thanks for the many blessings of your life.

Ask for an awareness of the Holy Spirit’s aid.
Ask for the Holy Spirit to explore the mysteries of the human heart. Ask for the freedom to look at your interior life without condemnation or complacency. Trust in the Spirit — it will lead you through pain and darkness, and into gratitude and joy.

Now, examine how you are living this day.
Review your day. Look at your internal events of the day. Where was your heart divided? Do you notice the Holy Spirit or the evil spirits? Notice where you acted freely and when you were un-free. Explore the mystery of your inner self.

Pray the words of reconciliation and resolve.
After reviewing your day, look compassionately upon yourself and recognize your need for God. Express sorrow for your sins. Praise God for the times you responded with charity, and ask for the desire to see God more clearly

Be courteous!
End your prayer respectfully and completely. Say your goodbyes in a way that is comfortable for you.

A few final points:
Growth in friendship and intimacy takes time and constant attention. Try to give 10 minutes each day to this examination.

Cover all five points each day, but allow yourself to linger more at one point than another. Let the Spirit guide you.

Find a prayer spot and make it sacred. Make it your own.
Regulate your breathing. Breath is a source of life.