Saturday, February 21, 2009

Living in the Present Moment

Perhaps one of the most helpful things in my spiritual life has been the idea of living always in the present moment. It is simple, and yet is a grace that is beyond simple understanding. In what does it consist? In my mind is the idea to live in reality, that is to live in the present moment, for only the present moment is real, the past is gone, the future is not yet here, only the now is what it is, only in the now is my opportunity to fulfill my desires and aspirations. It is very easy for many of us to live trapped in the past and its pitfalls, wishing in one way or another things had been different, and yet we are simply unable to change what the past is, and we waste the opportunity to live in the present moment at the fullest and with the opportunity it brings. At other times we may think about the future and how in the future I will do this or that, or when I get this or that I will be this way or that way, but the truth of the matter is that the present is all I have, and it is in the present that I can, and have the potential to direct my life towards the end for which I was created, that is union with God. It is in the present moment that I am being loved by God and it is only in the present that I can respond to that love also in an unconditional way by His grace. It is in the present that the indwelling of the Trinity takes place in my heart and my chance to live in union with God is being offered to me. It is now, that I have the opportunity to love God with all my heart, with all my soul, and my whole strength, it is now that I have the chance to love my neighbor, it is now that God is dwells in my heart, it is now that I can choose to say YES to God like Mary did in all things in her life, it is now that I can choose to be a saint with the help of God, it is the now which is real. It is in the now that I can find peace and joy, even in the middle of difficulties for God is with me now, and I do not even have to fear about the future for as some saints have said God is already there, so He will meet me when I get there and no matter what the circumstances of that future are He will lead me, guide me and provide for me, so I have nothing to worry about it. It is the present moment the time to be grateful , and even in the now I can be grateful about future blessings that God will certainly provide out of His generous nature. It is in the present moment that I am being challenged to allow myself to be loved by God and to respond to that love with total trust, it is in the present moment that I am being given the opportunity to live in the presence of God and experience His mercy.


  1. Very true! "It is in the present that my chance to live in union with God is being offered to me." Sometimes I pray for a closer relationship with God, and then if I realize that this isn't just something God will beam down to me in the future, but that I can do something about it right now-- that's when I find out how much I really want it.

  2. SO BEAUTIFUL, Fr. Fernando! I am taking this to heart. And what better time to start than now, as Lent begins, to try to be clothed at every moment in the loving God of "now".

  3. Thank you for this wonderful post. I have had to learn the hard way about living in the present moment; it has been a struggle, but through the grace of God I am finally beginning to be able to let go of the past and stop worrying about the future. My beautiful mother died January 6, 2009, and my father and grandmother (mom's mom) died August 8, 2008 and December 23, 2008 respectively. I had been punishing myself with the things I never did, whether out of laziness or neglect until I was shaken out of that thought process by two things. One was one of EWTN's Mother Angelica's books in which she talks about living in the present (and explains why), and the other was from two of your brother priests, Fr. Chris Uhl and Fr. Jim Walther, who told me that the past doesn't matter anymore. My family is beyond worrying about what I did or did not do, and if Mom was still here, she would have forgiven my faults anyway. I am finally learning to "let go and let God." Thanks to you and your brother priests for such wonderful counsel.

  4. Joann - My mother just died February 18, 2009. My family and I prayed that she would not sufffer long, but that God's will be done, and she only suffered for a month. I've begun to be bothered by the thought that I did not do enough to keep her alive longer, and this simply is not true. I realize that it is only a temptation to try and take away my peace. Thanks to Fr. Fernando for this beautiful writing that we can contemplate, and know that it is a blessing and a gift from our heavenly Father. May God grant eternal rest to our relative's souls. God bless!

  5. Thanks Fr. Fernando for your inspiring words. I for many years have had difficulty with living in the now and not worrying about a past I cannot change.

    And it was in the Sacrament of Reconciliation where I felt that healing and love of Christ. And in that encounter with Christ, I truly felt His love which gave me the strength to help me live in the NOW and share HIS love with others.

  6. Although I agree that dwelling on the past is not healthy......I also beleive that memories of our past can bring much joy into our lives right NOW..for example getting our brand new shiny bike, our first day of school, our first holy communion, conformation, our first love, our first kiss, our high school prom, and our wedding day..........those things are what makes our life NOW what it is, ..even the bad memories of the past, makes us stronger, and in many ways closer to God.........What is consider being in the Now today will be the PAST in a few years.
    For most of us life has beeb be full of unexpected twist,many struggles and very challenging. We have worn many different hats, and have face many diffcuclties , but when we look back at the past, and how our lives have changed, hopefuly for the better, those things that happened in the past what makes the things that are happening NOW are even sweeter !!!

  7. Father Fernando,
    Thanks for the beautiful inspiring words. What you wrote is exactly true. I had trouble forgetting about the mistakes I did in the past, making it difficult for me to concentrate on God. Reading your inspiring words will help me to go on, knowing that we have a God who is merciful and forgiving.
    I wish I can read more of this on your blog.

  8. Fr. Fernando,
    I,too, fing your words inspiring.

    Would you teach us more about His mercy and forgiveness...

    Thank you

  9. For many years I lived only in the moment, not wanting to deal with the regrets I had, and mistakes I made in the past, neither wanting to face the fears I had about the future. I did survive and even often enjoyed myself -- moment by moment -- but besides for that, had little to show. I did not have victory over the past, and dared not think about the future. I was stuck in the moment, getting no where fast!

    Then one day I realised that God is in the past, present, and future at the same time. He was present when I made mistakes and when I was hurt by others. He is with me as I struggle in the moment; giving me victory as I wait on Him and put my trust in Him. And, He is already in the future, walking ahead of me, preparing the way.
    There is no place I get to, where He had not yet been.

    So, I need not Fear. He was, is, and will be with me always. I realised that I needed to have a testimony of victory that covers my past, present and future to be truly victorious at any given moment.

    Our testimony about the past is especially important, since our past is part of who who we are already at this moment. 'If we do not deal with our past, it will deal with us.' Not dealing with your past, eventually makes you a prisoner of it. We need to forgive those who had wronged us... our relationships with others should be healed and restored, otherwise it hinders our relationship with God. Also, we need to learn from our mistakes, not make the same ones again, and teach others likewise. Everything that happened to us was part of God's plan for us. He allowed it for a reason: To draw us unto Him, to reflect His glory, and extend His Kingdom. The scars we have because of our previous wounds, are what makes us strong for our journey ahead. Our testimony about the work God had done in and through us, is the inescapable story each one of us has... Do not forget it, make use of it in your service to God and others!

    When it comes to the future: If we live only in the moment, we will not be accomplishing much, but for enjoying ourselves, which is the typical aim of all the pleasure-seeking hedonists around us. Scripture teaches that without a vision we are sure to perish... Indeed:'Those who know Jesus can smile at the future' We can trust God to lead us to reach out into the future even as we are struggling in the moment. We need to escape from the lie that satisfying our immediate needs, are what life is all about. We need to ask God to help us to sacrifice the immediate on the altar of the eternal. This is what enables us to continue the good fight... the assurance that 'in due season we shall reap if we faint not'...

    My prayer is therefore that God will give us eyes that can see into eternity, so that we will be able to perceive our actions of today in the light of the future destiny He has in mind for us... A destiny that involves having His Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.

  10. God is that very present moment of life we live in everything else doesn't exist! :)

  11. Alot to think about,For now Im Speechless!

  12. Anonymous,Thats me Ernie Townsend Alot to think about,Love you Jesus