“Blessed are those who live in the present moment, for they will see God in all things.”
If I had been there when the Beatitudes were written, I would have asked for this to be included. To me, living in the present moment is as important a virtue as meekness, peacemaking, mercy, and all the other virtues listed at Matthew 5: 3-12. It’s just as hard too!
We live in a complicated, fast-paced world that pulls us in many directions. The job I had for 30 years before I retired required me to multitask. I had two computers with two monitors on my desk. I also had to monitor several programs during the day and coordinate the calendars of several colleagues. In retrospect, I am surprised that I was able to have a decent conversation with my husband every night when I got home. I got to a point where I was pretty good at multitasking. I managed to achieve everything that was expected of me on the job. But many times that night when I took the exam, I couldn’t remember the times when God was in my time. I was so scattered in different directions that I had failed to be with God in those moments of the day. The real eye opener for me came on a Sunday at Mass when I completely missed the consecration because my mind wandered to what I was going to cook for dinner that evening.
The First Principle and the Basis of St. Ignatius reads: “The goal of our life is to live with God forever. God, who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love lets God’s life flow into us without limits. ”(Contemporary version by David Fleming, SJ) If we live our lives consciously that God is with us, gives us life and waits for our answer, then how can we not live in the present moment? How can we not turn down the volume, let go of the hustle and bustle and be attentive to God? Realizing that every moment is a gift from God given to me out of total generosity, I found it easier to pray for a desire to be more aware of each moment. We meet God in the present. In the present we can receive the infinite graces and possibilities that are offered to us. In the present we can connect with God’s creation.
Another fundamental point of Ignatian spirituality is that God is actually always present to us in every way. Our God is constantly communicating with us; we just have to listen. God says to us: “I AM”. (Exodus 3:14) God is here with us in the present now and is not hiding in the background of our days.
So disconnect from the background noise of the day and live in the quality time of the present moment. Recognize the constant distractions popping up and pray for the grace to be attentive to God here and now. Do it today; There is no time like the present!
Photo by Rosario Janza on Unsplash.