Present Moment: An Anthology

Jesus Christ

  • Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own (Matthew 6:24).

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

  • All our anxieties relate to time. A human being is the only time-conscious creature. Humans alone can bring the past to mind, so that it weighs on the present moment with its accumulated heritage; and they can also bring the future into the present, so as to imagine its occurrences as happening now. No animal ever says: “I have suffered this pain for six years, and it will last until I die.” But because a human being can unite the past to the present by memory, and the future to the present by imagination, it is often necessary to distract him in his sufferings — to break up the continuity of misery. All unhappiness (when there is no immediate cause for sorrow) comes from excessive concentration on the past or from extreme preoccupation with the future. The major problems of psychiatry revolve around an analysis of the despair, pessimism, melancholy, and complexes that are the inheritances of what has been or with the fears, anxieties, worries, that are the imaginings of what will be. In addition to cases of true insanity and mental aberration — when scientific psychiatry is essential — there are many others for whom this unhappy preoccupation with the past and future has a moral basis. A conscience burdened with the guilt of past sins is fearful of divine judgment. But God in His mercy has given us two remedies for such an unhappiness. One is the Sacrament of Penance, which blots out the past by remission of our sins and lightens the future by our hope for divine mercy through continued repentance and amendment of our lives. Nothing in human experience is as efficacious in curing the memory and imagination as confession; it cleanses us of guilt, and if we follow the admonitions of Our Lord, we shall put completely out of mind our confessed sins: “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Lk 9:62). Confession also heals the imagination, eliminating its anxiety for the future; for now, with Paul, the soul cries out: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). The second remedy for the ills that come to us from thinking about time is what might be called the sanctification of the moment — or the Now. Our Lord laid down the rule for us in these words: “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Mt 6:34). This means that each day has its own trials; we are not to borrow troubles from tomorrow, because that day too will have its cross. We are to leave the past to divine mercy and to trust the future, whatever its trials, to God’s loving providence. Each minute of life has its peculiar duty — regardless of the appearance that minute may take. The Now-moment is the moment of salvation. Each complaint against it is a defeat; each act of resignation to it is a victory. (excerpt from From the Angel’s Blackboard)

St. Gianna Molla:

Saint Gianna Catholic quote present moment: Inspiration, Quotes, St Gianna, Catholic Quote, Catholic Faith, Gianna Molla, Saint

  • “The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day”.
  • “God’s Providence is in all things, it’s always present”.

St. Therese of Liseux:

  • “If I did not simply live from one moment to another, it would be impossible for me to be patient, but I only look at the present, I forget the past, and I take good care not to forestall the future.”

St. Padre Pio:

  • We must rise up and value every instant of time that passes and is in our power. We must not waste a single moment. By divine grace we find ourselves at the beginning of a new year. This year, which only God knows if we shall see its end, must be used in reparation for the past and in preparation for the future.
  • “My past, O Lord, to Your mercy; my present, to Your love; my future to Your providence.”

St. Faustina:

  • O My God, When I look into the future, I am frightened, But why plunge into the future? Only the present moment is precious to me, As the future may never enter my soul at all. It is no longer in my power to change, correct or add to the past; For neither sages nor prophets could do that. And so what the past has embraced I must entrust to God. O present moment, you belong to me, whole and entire. I desire to use you as best I can. And although I am weak and small, You grant me the grace of Your omnipotence. And so, trusting in Your mercy, I walk through life like a little child,Offering You each day this heart Burning with love for Your greater Glory. — 2
  • O Jesus, I want to live in the present moment, to live as if this were the last day of my life. I want to use every moment scrupulously for the greater glory of God, to use every circumstance for the benefit of my soul. I want to look upon everything, from the point of view that nothing happens without the will of God. God of unfathomable mercy, embrace the whole world and pour Yourself out upon us through the merciful Heart of Jesus. — 1183 (*pray this one daily*)

Brother Lawrence

  • If I were to be responsible for guiding souls, I would urge everyone to be aware of God’s constant presence, if for no other reason than His presence is a delight to our souls and spirit.

Jacques Philippe:

  • One of the essential conditions of interior freedom is the ability to live in the present moment. For one thing, it is only then that we can exercise freedom. We have no hold on the past—we can’t change the smallest bit of it. People sometimes try to relive past events considered failures (“I should have done this . . . I should have said that . . .”) but those imaginary scenarios are merely dreams: it is not possible to backtrack. The only free act we can make in regard to the past is to accept it just as it was and leave it trustingly in God’s hands.
    Interior Freedom, p.81
  • One of the wisest sayings in the Gospel is “Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” Let us absorb this lesson Jesus teaches. We often complain about how much we are suffering, without realizing that it’s our fault. As if today’s suffering weren’t enough, we add regrets about the past and worries for the future!
    – Interior Freedom, p.85
  • If it’s a mistake to add the burden of the past to the weight of the present, it’s a still worse mistake to burden the present with the future. […] We are obliged to plan for the future and take thought for tomorrow. But we should do it without worrying, without the care that gnaws at the heart but doesn’t solve anything—and often prevents us from putting our hearts into what we have to do here and now. Hearts anxious about tomorrow can’t be open to the grace of the present moment.
    – Interior Freedom, p.87
  • We may spend our whole lives waiting to live. Thus we risk not fully accepting the reality of our present lives. Yet, what guarantee is there that we won’t be disappointed when the long-awaited time arrives? Meanwhile we don’t put our hearts sufficiently into today, and so miss graces we should be receiving. Let us live each moment to the full, not worrying about whether time is going quickly or slowly but welcoming everything given us moment by moment.
    – Interior Freedom, pp.90-91

Mother Angelica

  • We have to learn to live in the Present Moment. We have to ask God: What are You calling me to do now, in this Present Moment? Not yesterday or tomorrow; but right now. God’s will is manifested to us in the duties and experiences of the Present Moment. We have only to accept them and try to be like Jesus in them.
  • Every moment of life is new to you, and God gives you Actual Grace in that moment. It is different from Sanctifying Grace…God grants us the Actual Grace of this moment, not the grace of tonight or tomorrow, just the grace for this moment….God does not give me the grace today to endure the pain of tomorrow. But if I am living in the imagined pain of tomorrow with the grace I have now, I will always feel at a loss.
  • My ‘Do/Drop System’ is to do it and drop it. When you live in the Present Moment you do whatever must be done, then you drop it and move on. You don’t dwell on the past, or on your past accomplishments. That’s all over. Do it and drop it.
  • Set aside some time for prayer. Meditate on something and you will find courage there. But then you will return to the activity of the day: that pile of dishes, the unruly children, the nagging wife, the nasty neighbor….Even after the ‘prayer time’ has concluded, the meditation continues on because I must never lose sight of Jesus. If I recognize Him within my soul, I will see Him more easily in you. What I do to you, I do to Jesus.

Anthony de Mello

  • “The present moment is never intolerable. What’s intolerable is what’s going to happen in the next four hours. To have your body here at 8 pm and your mind at 10:30 pm, that’s what causes us suffering.”

Jean Pierre de Caussade

  • The present moment holds infinite riches beyond [our] wildest dreams, but [we] will only enjoy them to the extent of [our] faith and love…To discover God in the smallest and most ordinary things, as well as in the greatest, is to possess a rare and sublime faith.”
  • What was best for the moment that has passed is so no longer because it is no longer the will of God which, becoming apparent through other circumstances, brings to light the duty of the present moment. It is this duty under whatever guise it presents itself which is precisely that which is the most sanctifying for the soul. If, by the divine will, it is a present duty to read, then reading will produce the destined effect in the soul. If it is the divine will that reading be relinquished for contemplation, then this will perform the work of God in the soul and reading would become useless and prejudicial. Should the divine will withdraw the soul from contemplation for the hearing of confessions, etc., and that even for some considerable time, this duty becomes the means of uniting the soul with Jesus Christ and all the sweetness of contemplation would only serve to destroy this union. Our moments are made fruitful by our fulfilment of the will of God. This is presented to us in countless different ways by the present duty which forms, increases, and 8 consummates in us the new man until we attain the plenitude destined for us by the divine wisdom. This mysterious attainment of the age of Jesus Christ in our souls is the end ordained by God and the fruit of His grace and of His divine goodness.

Henry Ford (1863-1947) Founder of Ford Motor Company, quoted in 1916
“History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that’s worth a tinker’s damn is the history we make today.”

Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696)  French essayist and moralist
“Children have neither a past nor a future. Thus they enjoy the present, which seldom happens to us.”

Simone Weil (1909-1943) French philosopher, teacher, social activist
“Today it is not nearly enough to be a saint, but we must have the saintliness demanded by the present moment, a new saintliness, itself also without precedent.” 

Mother Teresa (1910-1997); Nun, missionary
“I believe in person to person. Every person is Christ to me, and since there is only one Jesus, that person is the one person in the world at that moment.

François Fenelon (1652-1715) French archbishop, theologian, writer
“You really don’t even own the present moment, for even this belongs to God.”
“Above all, live in the present moment and God will give you all the grace you need.”

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