Mercy Unbound - Embrace the Gift of the Present Moment

Fr. Greg Cormier is a priest at St. Joseph’s in Cecelia, Louisiana, in the Diocese of Lafayette.

I spoke in his parish recently and he suggested I read, Abandonment to Divine Providence, by Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, a French Jesuit priest born in 1675, ordained in 1704, died in 1751. His last five years were spent as director of the theological students in the Jesuit house of Toulousse.

What is "Abandonment"?

Where Fr. Caussade uses “abandonment,” St. Francis de Sales uses the word “indifference” or “detached.” We all have attachments to something that keeps us from doing God’s Will.

Caussade wrote on union with God:

The state of self-abandonment is a blending of faith, hope, and love in one single act which unites us to God and all his activities.”

The Source of Holiness

The holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and all the saints, comes down to their ability to do God’s will.

We have to learn to see God not just in the highs of life, but in moments of misfortune and sadness.

St. Therese always said that it was not the splendor or the greatness of the deeds that mattered, small deeds are supremely important if done in obedience to God’s will and out of love for Him. Our daily life is not just a collection of mundane trifling actions that play a part in our striving for holiness; we must see God and His majestic splendor in the mundane and the highs and lows of our existence.

Sacrament of the Present Moment

Father Caussade wrote of the “sacrament of the present moment.” We must see God’s presence and the opportunity to love and be kind in every second of our life, and praise God not just in the mountaintop experiences.

In the context of the moment, we have two thieves in our life that take us out the present moment: the past and the future. In the AA 12 Step Program they say, “One Day at a Time.” They are saying the same thing – but maybe it should be said, “One Minute at a Time?”

Caussade wrote, “Let us love, for love will give us everything.”

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