Carpe diem! Seize the day! Or, even more appropriately in our impatient culture—seize the moment. Don’t let another second pass by without intention and action. The thought is a healthy one, if one considers that each moment one can choose to be with God. Yet, how often do we allow moments of opportunity to pass us on our road of life? How often do we numb out and avoid actually living our lives in order to avoid momentary pain and suffering? This week, we will examine the Gift of the Moment in our lives—and how best to care for each one!
Looking at one’s watch (or smart phone analog clock app), one can see just how quickly the seconds pass in each day. E. Knight wrote, “Waste not the smallest thing created, for grains of sand make mountains, and atomies infinity. Waste not the smallest time in imbecile infirmity, for well thou knowest that seconds form eternity.” It is telling to see what we do with each moment in our lives. If we attempt to just “pass the time” in morbid anticipation of our impending deaths, we are just letting our opportunities slip away. On the other hand, if we take each moment as if we were meeting (or were about to meet) our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, our entire paradigm shifts!
All too often, our preoccupation is with enduring rather than thanksgiving for each moment. Why is it so difficult to give thanks—even for our hardships and tribulations? Do we forget the words of St. Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians, “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Why then, are we so afraid of momentary affliction?
The answer rests upon whether or not we trust in God in each and every moment of our lives. A nun at a monastery in Paris came rushing to the Abbess of the monastery completely distraught and almost despondent. “Mother Maria,” she said, “I have been afflicted with severe pain from rheumatoid arthritis for most of my life. Now, the pain has left me! Why has God abandoned his daughter?” This nun understood that her affliction was a manifestation and presence of God’s love for her! She knew that her suffering was necessary for her salvation—and in fact, preparing her for that eternal “weight of glory.”
Likewise, each moment, we must trust in God that whatever we encounter, be it joy or pain, is something necessary for our salvation. Then, when confronted with our neighbor in need, we respond with God’s love, instead of disdain or distrust. Then, when afflicted in pain, we experience the pain as a joyful gift, instead of a terrible burden. Then, when confronted with the love of our Savior, we can enjoy being immersed in it, instead of cringing from it.
May our Lord bless each of us with the strength and wisdom to put our trust in Him, so that we may truly seize each moment in the lives with which He has blessed us. May His loving-kindness and great goodness enable us to truly care for each blessed Gift of a Moment.