Thursday, February 3, 2011

Present Moment

When I was much younger in religious life, I frequently read writings by Father Gerard Sloyan. One of his statements has stayed with me over the years: We must live in the “sacrament of the present moment.” That is such an interesting, rich phrase. I am one who likes to anticipate upcoming events and am often busy with planning future moves. Remembering Sloyan’s phrase has caused me occasionally to pause and reflect on how and why the “present moment” is a sacrament of sorts.

Here in the monastery we live a schedule which dictates a pattern of actions in set times and manner—such as Liturgy of the Hours, Mass, meals, parties, dish charges, etc. One attends to these in a more or less dedicated way … but sometimes one doesn’t give complete attention to the at-hand task or pleasure. I find myself often anticipating when an event will be “over” and what I intend to do next, rather than giving full attention to what is immediately in front of me.

Perhaps this is a common occurrence; still, I believe there is a sacredness, a grace that can be found in even the most mundane of activities.
Being fully present to the at-hand event, person, thought, etc., calls for concentration and care. It can be taxing—but one owes that kind of attention, at least most of the time. Who knows what graces await us in any kind of situation, if we learn to live fully in the “now.”

1 comment:

  1. Two of the most mundane tasks that taught me to live in the "now" moment were doing the dishes (by hand) and ironing. These were previously dreaded activities, but once I "learned" to live in that moment, they were joyous events.