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The Sacrament of the Moment

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Published : September 15th, 2019
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Those of you who have looked into it will see similarities with 'the principle of gratitude' or mindfulness.

I find this approach, which I first studied many years ago, to be a better and more sustainable approach because it has a more certain foundation in reason, by the perspective of gratitude in the three great gifts of God: repentance and forgiveness which result in thankfulness, and gratitude.

To see the hand of Providence in all that happens to us, to seek to conform ourself to the tender mercies of God, to have our hearts set on a destination that calls to us in our hearts and by our nature, is a powerful armor against the powers and principalities of the darkness of this world.

It is not a path that allows for pride, greed and anger, the three great distractions of our wicked age, to burden us down and lead us astray.  By taking up this challenge, this cross if you will, we must let go of those things that would lead us into the abyss of endless darkness and death.

This is the great blessing, the sacrament of the ordinary, that perceives the will of God for us to act in every moment, and calls us into union with it.

Come, simple souls, you who cannot understand a single spiritual term, who stand astonished at the eloquence of the learned whom you admire; come, and I will teach you a secret which will place you far beyond these clever minds. I will make perfection so easy to you that you will find it everywhere and in everything. I will unite you to God, and make you walk hand in hand with Him from the moment that you begin practising what I will teach you.

Come, not to study the map of the spiritual country, but to possess it, to walk in it at your ease without fear of losing your way. Come, not to study the theory of divine grace, nor to find out what it has accomplished in the past and still continues to accomplish; but to become simply subject to its operations. It is not necessary that you should understand what it has said to others, nor to repeat the words intended only for them and which you have overheard, but you, yourself, will receive from it what is best for you.

One grain of pure faith will give more light to a simple soul than Lucifer received in his highest intelligence. The devotion of the faithful soul to its obligations; its quiet submission to the intimate promptings of grace; its gentleness and humility towards everyone; are of more value than the most profound insight into mysteries. If one regarded only the divine action in all the pride and harshness of creatures, one would never treat them with anything but sweetness and respect.

There is not a moment in which God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals His divine action.

The whole creation cannot fill the human heart, for it is greater than all that is not God. It is on a higher plane than the material creation, and for this reason nothing material can satisfy it. The divine will is a deep abyss of which the present moment is the entrance. If you plunge into this abyss you will find it infinitely more vast than your desires. Do not flatter anyone, nor worship your own illusions, they can neither give you anything nor receive anything from you. Receive your fullness from the will of God alone, it will not leave you empty.

To escape the distress caused by regret for the past or fear about the future, this is the rule to follow: leave the past to the infinite mercy of God, the future to His good Providence, give the present wholly to His love by being faithful to His grace.

This state of abandonment to providence is full of consolation for those who have attained it; but to do so it is necessary to pass through much anguish. The doctrine concerning pure love can only be taught by the action of God, and not by any effort of the mind. God teaches the soul by pains and obstacles, not by ideas.

With God, the more one seems to lose the more one gains. The more He strikes off of what is natural, the more He gives of what is supernatural. He is loved at first for His gifts, but when these are no longer perceptible He is at last loved for Himself.

'But,' say you, “what will become of me if ...?' This is indeed a temptation of the enemy. Why should you be so ingenious in tormenting yourself beforehand about something which perhaps will never happen? Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. Uneasy forebodings do us much harm; why do you so readily give way to them? We make our own troubles, and what do we gain by it?

You will, without doubt, succeed, if you never lose sight of the great and consoling truth that nothing happens in this world but by the command of God, or at least, with His divine permission; and that, whatever He wills, or permits turns infallibly to the advantage of those who are submissive and resigned. Even that which most disturbs our spiritual plans changes into something better for us. Keep firmly by this great principle and the most violent tempests will not be able to trouble the depth of your soul, even though they may disturb the peacefulness by upsetting your feelings.

The high road to all perfection is pointed out in the 'Our father.' Thy will be done. Say this with your lips as best as you can; and still more perfectly in your heart. And you can be sure that, with this internal outlook nothing is wanting to you, nor ever will be. Learn by this to find peace in all what difficulties and troubles, because all will come right when God pleases, and according to our desires, if He should will it so, or allow it. Trials and temptations are such great graces that the wicked are rarely converted without them, and good people are made perfect by them.

Job blessed the name of God in his utter desolation. Instead of looking upon his condition as ruin, he called it the name of God and by blessing it he protested that the divine will under whatever name or form it might appear, even though expressed by the most terrible catastrophes, was holy. David also blessed it at all times, and in all places. It is then, by this continual recognition of the will of God as manifested and revealed in all things, that He reigns in us, that His will is done on earth as it is in Heaven, and that our souls obtain nourishment. The whole matter of that incomparable prayer prescribed by Jesus Christ is comprised and contained in abandonment to the divine will.

The proud soul cannot comprehend itself, but the simple soul, with the light of faith,can very clearly see things as they are. The perception of divine providence in all that occurs at each moment, in and around us, is true knowledge, a continuous revelation of truth, and an unceasingly renewed interaction with God.

The Holy Spirit, who arranges all the pieces on the board of life, will, by the fruitful and continual presence of His actions, say at the hour of death, 'fiat lux,' let there be light, and then will be seen the treasures which faith hides in the abyss of peace and contentment with God, and which will be found in those things that have been every moment done, or suffered for Him.

When we see how God gives Himself to us, all that is common becomes wonderful; and it is because of this that nothing seems to be so, because this way is, in itself,  extraordinary. Consequently it is unnecessary to make life full of strange and unsuitable marvels and miracles. It is, in itself, a miracle, a revelation, a constant joy even with the prevalence of annoyances and shortcomings. It is a miracle which, while rendering all common and sensible things wonderful, has nothing on the surface that is sensibly unusual and miraculous.


Jean Pierre Caussade, The Sacrament of the Moment

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