Now.

I was praying the other day on my own vocation, my own sense of being called by God to carry out a mission, a purpose that bears my unique signature. A few thoughts sprang to mind in the silence, here are a few I wrote in my journal.

Yes, we must always discern God’s unfolding will, opening out into the future. What’s next, what to do, where to go, how long to remain…

Yet.

My vocation is always first here, now, in front of my nose, already fully present in every passing moment. Never am I without one, never am I merely awaiting a calling to echo from on High to give my life direction. Waiting is a High call, loving in the waiting is the mission.

To be faithful, I cannot linger long in the past of nostalgia or regret, nor dwell long in fear or fantasies of the future. I must pause always in the present, rest there, as it is the only existing intersection of Time and Eternity.

If I do not see and embrace His will in the present moment, I will never embrace His will in the next. It’s all in how I meet the present.

The challenges now, the joys now, the tedious work now, the exhaustion now, the eating now, the rest now, the play now, the annoyance now, the laughter now, the estrangement now, the doorbell now, the crying baby now, the budget planning now, the conversation now, the party now, the confusion now, the sickness now, the demands of daily duty now, the interruption now, the loneliness now, the making love to my spouse now.

These are the full, absolute, total, complete will of God. These are each and all the apogee of your calling. Especially the least sexy, thrilling.

As my first spiritual director said, “If you love Him, cross or empty tomb, and everything in between, every moment is as good as it gets because it’s what God has allowed or given.”

Slow down, look up, breathe deeply and drink it in. Each moment is rife with glory, teeming with beauty, bubbling with life, surging with power awaiting my faith to split the nucleus of my own living death.

Fr. Steven had that sign in his sacristy that captured this so well. “O Priest of God, say this Mass as if it were your first Mass, your last Mass, your only Mass.” Yet, each moment for the Baptized is pregnant with the Mass, with the Passover of Christ burning within, commissioned for the solemn offering of my body with Christ’s to the Father in the Spirit for the life of the world.

Satan hisses, always to turn us away from the moment — “Not now. Later. Someday. Back when. Over there, not here. Be afraid. If only…then.”

God whispers so differently — “My heart is ready. Here I am. Now is the day. Remain with me. Fear not. Let it be.”

In God’s Kingdom, there’s no St. Elsewhere. You’re either a saint in the here and now, or you’re no saint.

All asceticism exists to ground me with full freedom in the present, so I can embrace His will in all liberty, resisting the evil spirit’s distraction and surrendering to the Good Spirit’s call. All prayer exists to open eternity to me, just in time.

Love, always in season, in every fresh moment…

The sound of many waters
Calms the sea in me
The voice that ends the silence
Meets me in my need
Like fireworks
Igniting in my chest
The weight of Your glory
The reverence
I’m in awe that You would come to me
In awe that I could hear You speak
Speak to me
Speak to me
I’m listening
Speak to me
Speak to me
I’m listening
The sound that shakes the heavens
The whisper on the wind
Breaks my inhibitions
And settles me within
The mystery, You’re closer than my skin
Your still, small voice moving me again
I hang on to every word You say
I live to hear You say my name
Speak to me
Speak to me
I’m listening
Speak to me
Speak to me
I’m listening
Speak to me
Speak to me
I’m listening
Speak to me
Speak to me
I’m listening
I’m listening
I’m in awe that You would come to me
In awe that I could hear You speak
I hang on to every word You say
I live to hear You say my name
I hang on to every word You say
I live to hear You say my name
Speak to me

4 comments on “Now.

  1. Jennifer says:

    oh Tom, I was just having a discussion with a dear, earnest younger friend from l’Arche who is discerning his next steps and I was trying to explain all this. I was quite relieved to be able to receive then forward your post and say: “here. what Tom said!” 🙂

    p.s….the rest of my family, by the way, is spending today crossing the ice (about a mile walk) to have a campfire in the snow on the island! thought you’d love to join them in spirit! they’ve been sending amazing photos….they are checking out a frozen waterfall right now!!!!! glorifying in the wonder of creation? seems perfectly vocational to me!

  2. Dear Tom,

    You can’t just post things like this without warning. We need disclaimers at the top of soul crushing posts like this.

    Regards,
    Your concerned readers

  3. Katy Dornbos says:

    God whispers so differently — “My heart is ready. Here I am. Now is the day. Remain with me. Fear not. Let it be.”

    Yes, He sure does whisper differently. And He says the most wonderful things.

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