Sacrament of the Present Moment

By Terry Wardle

January 3, 2011

Sacrament of the present moment. I doubt there is a more important concept for our spiritual and emotional lives. It is in some ways a grounding principle of personal well being. What is this thing called sacrament of the present moment? Simply stated, it is the discipline of being fully present in the moment. Not preoccupied with the past or the future, but completely open and aware of what is present in the now. It involves increased awareness of God in the now, others in the now, creation in the now, and most certainly self in the now.

I have learned a great deal about the sacrament of the present moment over the past years. The spiritual dimension of this has been shaped for me by Jean Pierre deCaussade, Ronald Rolheiser, and Richard Rohr. The more psychological dimensions have been informed by the writings of Dr. Daniel Siegel. This is all great stuff and highly important to my own well being.

Now for the confession. As much as I know about the sacrament of the present moment, I spend most of my time far from it. I replay the past over and again in my mind and then jump to the future to anticipate how things will work out there. All the while my anxiety grows and the inevitable fretting begins. All that energy takes me right out of the moment and I miss what is happening all around and within me in the moment.

So I am trying to remember the wise words I heard recently. “The past is already gone. That’s why it is called history. The future is still to be experienced. That’s why we call it a mystery. All we have is the gift of now. That is why we call it “the present.” Wise words to remember. The source? A paraphrase of the wisdom of Kung Fu Panda!

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