Monday, May 29, 2006

The Holy Moment

I have been reading a lot of St Augustine lately for my medieval philosophy group which I put on on Tuesday nights.

I read the entire book on Time again, and then re-read it, and then looked at secondary sources. It's very beautiful and full of unanswered questions. I really believe his questions are a great means to meditation.

Anyways, there is one thing that really struck me about what he says in his piece on time.

The only true time, the only time that is truly real, is the present moment. The future time such as tomorrow, two minutes from now, and so on, does not exist, it can only be anticipated. The past also doesn't exist, what has happened has happened, and it will never happen again in that moment ever again. So, St Augustine concludes, and rightly so, that the only true time is that moment which we live.

Why is this important? I have come to realize that we spend such a great deal of time worrying about the future (I am someone who falls into that trap all too often). However, the future matters in that it can be anticipated, but it can't be known. We ought not to worry about our holiness in the future. We need to worry about our holiness in the present moment. This has been sometimes described as the sacrament of the present moment, giving God glory and living out holiness to the greatest of your ability and thanks to God's grace in the present moment you are living.

Now, I'm not saying "don't think about the future". We can anticipate it, and therefore, in order to attain holiness, sometimes we need to see that which is to be anticipated, that which is already present to God in all eternity. We must discern God's will in that present moment we are living and it will lead us to that anticipated future. The same can be said for the past. It can be reflected upon, look upon the lessons learned in life and apply them to the moment you are living. The point is that the only way to attain holiness is by living that present moment to its fullest, to not waste time. The past has happened and cannot be changed, the future is only anticipatory and that which we anticipate may not even happen, the only certainty we have is the now.

So, we must follow this example if we are to attain holiness. We must live that present moment for God alone, and do so for each moment, being constantly aware of God's presence in our life.



Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

ths guy has a challenge to your reasoning.
we can go into the future!