from Interior Freedom by Father Jacques Philippe
Our present life is always something good, for the Creator has endowed it with a blessing He will never cancel, even though sin has complicated things.
“God saw that it was good,” the Book of Genesis tells us. For God, “seeing” means not merely taking note but actually conferring reality. This fundamental goodness of life is also expressed by Jesus: “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
Sometimes, though, it isn’t worry that causes us to focus on the future, but the hope of something better or happier.
It may be a very specific event, like a reunion with someone we love or coming home after a long, tiring journey.
Or it may be less well-defined: the time when things will go better, circumstances will change, life will be more interesting.
At present, we tell ourselves, we don’t really have a life, but later we will “live life to the full.”
There is nothing wrong with that, but it does contain a certain danger. We may spend our whole lives waiting to live. Thus we risk not fully accepting the reality of our present lives.
Yet, what guarantee is there that we won’t be disappointed when the long-awaited time arrives? Meanwhile we don’t put our hearts sufficiently into today, and so miss graces we should be receiving. Let us live each moment to the full, not worrying about whether time is going quickly or slowly but welcoming everything given us moment by moment.
To live today well we also should remember that God only asks for one thing at a time, never two.
It doesn’t matter whether the job we have in hand is sweeping the kitchen floor or giving a speech to forty thousand people. We must put our hearts into it, simply and calmly, and not try to solve more than one problem at a time.
Even when what we’re doing is genuinely trifling, it’s a mistake to rush through it as though we felt we were wasting our time.
If something, no matter how ordinary, needs to be done and is part of our lives, it’s worth doing for its own sake, and worth putting our hearts into.
LIVING IN THE PRESENT INSTANT:
Be docile and pliable in the hands of God. You know what you must do to achieve this.
Keep yourself at peace and in complete repose, never become upset and never trouble yourself about anything, forget the past, live as though the future does not exist, live for Jesus in every moment that you are living, or, better, live as though you have no life in yourself, but allow Jesus to live in you at His leisure; to walk thus, in all circumstances and in all encounters, without fear or worry as is becoming the children of Jesus and Mary; never think of yourself voluntarily; abandon the care of your soul to Jesus alone, etc.
It is He who takes the soul by force; it belongs to Him. It is therefore up to Him to take care of it because it is His property. Do not fear so much the judgment of such a tender Master.
Generally speaking, banish all fear and replace this feeling with love; in all of this, act gently, sweetly, steadily, without haste, without anger. Act as if you were dead when the need is there.
Walk in this fashion in all graciousness, abandonment and complete confidence. The time of this exile will end and Jesus will belong to us and we to Him.
Then each of our tribulations will be a crown of glory for us that we will place on the head of Jesus, because all glory is His alone.
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