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In some ways these pandemic days also reflect a confused time experience. In many ways life has come to a standstill, yet things are changing at every moment. It is a restless, disconcerting, and confusing time for almost all of us.
All my time reflections started when I realized that the Easter season is coming to an end. This week we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord and ten days later, Pentecost, when, after the exuberant celebration of the Holy Spirit coming down on the Church in wind and fire, we are immediately jolted back into “Ordinary Time.”
A time is ending. A time is beginning. Or is it? Ordinary Time for Christians is the awareness that all of our time is now spent in the extraordinary time of the Paschal Mystery when every moment is a Kairos moment. With Pentecost we are being invited to renew our commitment to live each moment in the time-transcending presence of the living God who in the Holy Spirit is always acting and always working his will. In and through time we are called to live in the timeless presence of God.
Living is the present moment is not something new that has come with the resurgent interest in Buddhism and mindfulness. Brother Lawrence spoke of it in The Practice of the Presence of God and Pierre de Caussade of the Sacrament of the Present Moment in Abandonment to Divine Providence. Certainly, one of the goals of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is to bring the retreatant to the awareness that “God loves me so much, even entering into the very struggle of life. Like a potter with clay, like a mother in childbirth, or like a mighty force blowing life into dead bones, God labors to share divine life and love” (Sp. Ex. #236). In his 1972 article, “Consciousness Examen,” George Aschenbrenner, SJ reminds us that the Examen was intended by Ignatius to develop in the retreatant a deep discerning sensitivity to God’s active presence in our daily lives.
Perhaps as we move toward Pentecost we can make this a time of preparation and prayer, so that we might perceive more deeply the presence of the Spirit now and at every moment, and re-commit ourselves to live each day (each moment) in Kairos, the time out of time, living our lives as a continual dialogue with the Lord.
THE TIMES, THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’ continued
Fr. Frank Kaminski, SJ
As Certain as the Dawn | May 20, 2020
George W. Bur, SJ