15th October

Being Fully Present

If your gift is practical service, give yourself to it … Romans 12: 7,

How often do we think, ‘How boring’ about someone we are with, or something that we do, or even about our life as a whole? We can respond to this problem in two ways. The first way is to rush into the pursuit of trifles – into anything so long as it is new and catches our fancy. Some people spend their lives doing this. It is not, of course, an answer at all; it is merely a temporary distraction. The second way to respond to the problem of boredom is to develop an attitude of ‘being fully present’, so that the meaning, energy, colour and adventure with which, all unseen, the present moment is crammed become available to us..

This is sometimes called ‘the sacrament of the present moment’.We can ‘be fully present’ in all sorts of ways. Perhaps the words of someone speaking to us are like water off a duck’s back. Then we decide to become fully present to that person, and we become aware of their unique history, future and present, of the wonder of a life. Or perhaps we are mindlessly reciting a familiar psalm, or Mary’s Song (‘The Magnificat”); then, we imagine that we are the psalmist, or Mary, and we feel as they do. Boredom flees; emotions flow; encounters, tears, healings come.

It is this ability to fuse together the unique time and place of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem with our own specific present…. which is part of the genius of Celtic spirituality; a realisation that the eternal moments of the Incarnation or the Crucifixion or the Resurrection can transcend time and space, enabling us to relocate Bethlehem or Calvary or the Garden of the Third Day in our own back yard.
Patrick Thomas

Fill this moment, Lord.
Open my eyes to your presence.
Open my ears to your call.
Open my heart to your glory
Now, in me, in all