Sanctifying the Present Moment
One 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: "Do not fret, then, over tomorrow; leave tomorrow to fret over its own needs; for today, today's troubles are enough."
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 His 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. The moment is always an indication to us of God's will. The ways of pleasing Him are made clear to us in several ways: through His Commandments, by the events of His incarnate life in Jesus Christ Our Lord, in the Voice of His Mystical Body, the Church, in the duties of our state of life. And, in a more particular way, God's will is manifested for us in the "Now" with all of its attendant circumstances, duties and trials.
The present moment includes some things over which we have control, but it also carries with it difficulties we cannot avoid, such things as a business failure, a bad cold, rain on picnic days, an unwelcome visitor, a boil on the nose on the night of the dance. We do not always know why such things as sickness and setbacks happen to us, for our minds are far too puny to grasp God's plan. Man is a little like a mouse in a piano, which cannot understand why it must be disturbed by someone playing Chopin and forcing it to move off the piano wires.
Those who love God do not protest, whatever He may ask of them, nor doubt His kindness when He sends them difficult hours. A sick man takes medicine without asking the physician to justify its bitter taste, because he trusts the doctor's knowledge; so the soul which has sufficient faith accepts all the events of life as gifts from God; in the serene assurance that He knows best.
Nothing is more individually tailored to our spiritual needs than the " Now Moment", for that reason it is an occasion of knowledge which can come to no one else. This moment is my school, my textbook, my lesson. Not even Our Lord disdained to learn from His specific Now; being God, He knew all, but there was still one kind of knowledge He could experience as a man. St. Paul describes it: "Son of God though He was, He learned obedience in the school of suffering." (Heb. 5:8)
The University of the Moment has been built uniquely for each of us, and in comparison with the revelation God gives each in it, all other methods of learning are shallow and slow. This wisdom is distilled from intimate experience, is never forgotten; becomes part of our character, our merit, our eternity. Those who sanctify the moment and offer it up in union with God's will never become frustrated, never grumble or complain. They overcome all obstacles by making them occasions of prayer and channels of merit.
The one who accepts God's will in all things escapes frustration by piercing the disguise of outward events to penetrate to their real character as messengers of the God he loves. It is strange how differently we accept a misfortune, or even an insult, when we know who gave it to us. Demands that might seem outrageous from an acquaintance are met with happy compliance as if it is a friend who asks our help. In like manner, we are able to adapt with good grace to the demands of every Now when we recognize God's will and purpose behind the illness and the shocks and disappointments of life.
The swaddling clothes of an infant hid the Son of God in Bethlehem, and the appearance of bread and wine hides the Reality of Christ dying on Calvary in the Mass. This concealment of Himself that God effects with us is operative in His use of the Now to hide His Will beneath the aspect of very simple, everyday things. We live our lives in dependence on such casual, common benefits as air and water; so Our Lord is pleased to receive from us in return the thousands of unimportant actions and the trifling details that make up our lives, provided that we see, even in our sorrows, "The shade of His Hand outstretched caressingly."
Source: Ven Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Life is Worth Living