In John 10:10 Jesus tells us that a part of the Gospel message is living life more fully. During Lent, I found myself pondering what this meant. As I meditated on his passion and on his acceptance of each aspect of his crucifixion, I came to believe that living life to the fullest means embracing each moment of each day. It means accepting what God allows to happen in each moment, and praising him as Job did. Job 1:21. It means accepting the good and the bad. It means trusting that God will make something of both.
I have been studying mindfulness practices over the course of the last week. The course I am taking explained several different forms of mindfulness practices. Some had to do with enhancing focus, like meditating on one’s breathing. Others had to do with being more self-aware. For instance, there was an exercise where one focuses on the process of walking, like focusing on raising one’s leg, placing it on the ground, and rolling the foot on the floor. Then, there were acceptance exercises and compassion exercises. The compassion exercises were directed at one’s self and others.
In my efforts to learn to live in the moment, I spent over an hour and a half at a restaurant yesterday practicing mindfulness by endeavoring to stay present while experiencing the food. This may be common practice for many of you, but I spend most of my time reading about various topics, thinking about these topics, or escaping into television, novels, computer games, and social media. So truly working to experience food while sitting in a restaurant by myself was something very new for me.
Today, I spent some time with the breathing exercises, and I will find other ways in which to stay fully present in the day today stuff. I hope in time, I will be able to blog more fully about mindfulness and the spiritual walk. However, in pondering how much this pandemic has caused many to focus on survival over quality of life, I hope by sharing some of these concepts, you too might find a way to turn this gime isolation into something more transformative.
On this note, I encourage you to spend some time existing in the moment with the Holy Spirit. Practice just sitting in his presence and experiencing his love. If you feel resistance to his love, talk to him about the source of your resistance. Ask him to help heal you and to show you the resources you need to more fully engage in life because the sole purpose of life, from a general perspective, is to learn to walk with and in God each moment of every day. One can only do this by living in the moment.
Ms. Debra D. Weldon, O.P., JD, MTS
Resources for those who are interested: