Staying in the Present


Do you worry about the future? Are you scared of what might go wrong, fearful of the “what if’s” of life?

Do you find yourself thinking of the past? Missing loved ones, regretting choices, glorifying memories?

As we look to the past and to the future, we miss the present- we miss God in our midst.

Jean Pierre de Caussade calls this the “sacrament of the present moment”- living in the now, contemplating where God is in others, within, in nature, and in all things.

Eckhart Tolle, in his bestseller The Power of Now, writes “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”

While your past forms your identity, your identity is not limited to these past days, nor is it stuck in this present form.

Your future, while filled with hope as it is fear,  is also only partly under your control- as we know-so much can, and often does, happen.

In the present, we are invited to encounter God in all things.

Here are three simple steps to living in the present:

Begin each day with gratitude– from the first breath, the movements of your body, to the relationships and awaiting tasks- all yourself to enter into a present appreciation of the gift of the day.

Throughout the day, take a minute, (yes, just a minute if that is all you may have), to breathe. Look around- what do you see, what do you hear, what do you feel? As the Vincentian tradition teaches us- ask yourself “where do you see the face of Christ (God)?).

At the end of each day- consider the Examen -a gift of the Ignatian tradition as a tool to reflect on the day- helping us to sharpen that tool of self- reflection on your most recent hours.

In conclusion, find comfort in these words from Philippians (4:6): “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Listen, and watch, and find how God is answering these prayers, all while paying attention to how God is using you to answer the prayers of others.


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