Yesterday morning the clocks went forwards an hour. Which sounds very dull, admittedly. But when you break down what is really happening, there’s something much more interesting going on.

Imagine if you didn’t understand our modern concept of time. If you understood time in terms of the natural rhythms of life, sunrise and sunset, full moon and new moon, birth and death. What would British summertime even mean? (and while we’re at it, what would British mean?)

It would mean that we all simultaneously agree to wake up one hour earlier/closer to sunrise, and move our schedules forwards an hour too. Incredibly, we all make this change at once, waking an hour earlier every day, so that we can enjoy one hour more of sunlight. Millions of people, most confessing that they are “not morning people”, all doing what they need to do to wake an hour earlier every single day.

It is astonishing that we think of it as losing an hour’s sleep and not as simply waking earlier every day. It says something about our separation from nature. For us, time has become something artificial, something primarily about other people’s rhythms, not the natural world’s. It has become something we create and define, a rhythm we dictate rather than dance to. In this note, thank God for the Church’s liturgical calendar, with its lumpy organic character, giving a bit of rhythm to the life of the soul. Thank God we don’t have a sterile religion, without feasts and seasons and God given rhythm.

We should also recognise the power of reframing our ideas. If we were all told to move our lives to be an hour earlier, we’d say no. If we asked those who wake up at 7 to suddenly start waking up at 6 each morning, they’d say it’s asking too much. But if we reframe it as just changing the clocks and missing one hour of sleep, we can all do that and we hardly even mention it (except for me, it seems). We have made a significant change consistently across a large population, just by a small change to our thinking, a slight shift to our frame of reference.

God bless you!

Trinity Time!

Yesterday, I had two thoughts about the Holy Trinity. The first concerns the three words that characterise Mary’s life in the Bible: Ecce- Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; Fiat- Let it be done to me, according to the word of the Lord; Magnificat- My soul magnifies the Lord.

What I noted is, that Ecce relates to the Father, who we all belong to by our very existence. Fiat relates to he Son, the Word of the Lord, who acts in all creation and is to act in fullness in us. And Magnificat relates to the Holy Spirit, in who we go out, bringing Christ to the world and bring Him glory!

We have received all from the Father. We live and must live fully, in the Son. We must live out, and so be united to, the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit.


This is pretty…


Not how I imagined the Trinity…

The second thought follows on from this: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, also correspond to the past, present and future. The Father is the firm foundation of all existence, from whom we receive all things. The Son is the revelation and presence of God in the world, through whom we have all things. The Spirit is the revealing of God, Father and Son, by whose power God is being conceived and brought forth in creation, in whom all things are.

The past, the present, and the future are intimate united and interwoven (and I’d argue, not as linear as we might suppose). Each is fully present within the others two. The past is revealed not in itself, by in the future, as time passes and the past bears its fruit. It is by the present that we know time (or anything in it) at all. The future is the power of motion within the past and the present, it is the motion and life of them, and the world of possibilities.

To be united with God the Father, who is the source and origin of all Being, all life, all everything, we must be united His Son, the Word of God, the Divine Wisdom, Jesus Christ our Lord, who is the ever present expression of God the Father throughout creation. And to be united to the Son and the Father, we must be subject to the Holy Spirit, the divine breath of life, the one moving all creation forwards in God, bringing forth God, forming matter into the Body of Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven.


Well, what do you think?

Thanks for reading, and God bless you!

The Present Moment: Living in it and God in it (innit)

What is the present moment? Where is the present moment?

The past is knowable, but can’t be changed. The future is changeable, but can’t be known. Is the present possibly both? The present is given to us, and we have no time in which to either know or change it. Yet at the same time, it is where we live: and living is both knowing and changing. The present cannot be known, but it is the only moment that can ever be lived. The present cannot be changed, but it is the only moment we can ever change the world from. The present is both past and future, with the weaknesses of both, and yet a great power all of its own.

In this infinitely small gap between the past and the future, there is no time for change to occur. And yet, occasionally, a change will occur. Miraculously, each thing becomes something it wasn’t; what was off turns on; and although “trees are green”, trees become golden. Miracles can only happen in the present. While it is future, we have only possibility; once it is past, we have only history; in the present, we have neither, and the impossible can occur.


I would find it tempting to simply conclude that the present does not and cannot exist, if only it wasn’t where I myself lived. This is possibly the most important fact about the present: I live there, and can’t live anywhere else. The past and the future both reject me, as long as I live, and so I’m forced into this paradoxical moment. It may well be true, that the present only exists for people. Objects make no attempt to know or decide; they just react; they just are. To them, the past, present, and future are all as unknowable and unchangeable, and, ultimately, non-existent.

On the abyss of the present, where we stand both blind and powerless, we exist. Our life makes a paradox of time, and this is its power. The only time we are given is this moment in which we can know nothing and do nothing, and yet, we live: we know ourselves and we change ourselves, and thus we change the world. In the present, we have nothing to give but ourselves.

I’ve heard that the present moment is closest to eternity. I’m not entirely sure how. To God in eternity, all things are known, and yet all are subject to Him. To God, past and future do not exist. Perhaps what they mean, is that God knows and acts, as we do in the present. There exists nothing antecedent to God for Him to know. As we live, and so work, “on the abyss of the present”, so God Himself works “ex nihilo”-out of nothing. God does not know anything as “given”; to God there is no history. God knows us completely and perfectly, but not as facts, but as His own present work: God’s knowledge of us is contained in God’s knowledge of Himself, in His Logos, His Word, His Wisdom, His only begotten Son, through Whom He creates all things.

God is with us in the present. Even in its emptiness, He is with us intimately and profoundly, living and creating ex nihilo, and enabling us to live and create with Him. He dares even to live and create within us.

As the saints and wise people throughout the ages have been telling us, we ought live in the present moment, for the glory of God.

“Jesus, I will not wait; I will live the present moment and fill it with love.”
Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan

“I simply recall that I must live each day, each moment as if it were the last one of my life. I leave aside everything accidental and concentrate only on the essential; then each word, each gesture, each telephone call, and each decision I make is the most beautiful of my life.”
Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan

“It is not the number of our works that are important, but the intensity of the love that we put into every action.”
Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God”
1 Corinthians 10:31

“Happy the soul who reposes in the bosom of God (in sinu Dei), without thinking of the future, but managing to live moment by moment in him, without any other preoccupation than doing well his will in every event.”
St. Paul of the Cross

God bless you!

P.S. I wrote this after reading a chapter of Testimony of Hope, by Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, on the present moment. The more philosophical rambling on time is mine, but the whole thing is inspired by this brilliant chapter of a (so far) brilliant book. I can’t recommend it enough.

I’ve also began (yesterday) to look into “mindfulness”. So far, it seems like its a very good thing, getting people to live in and appreciate the moment. It seems like a welcome remedy for our hectic world. But it seems sad to me, that this is coming from eastern religions and psychologists, when Christians have been doing it for a long time, and with reference to God (which, I believe without evidence, must improve it). It seems we have failed to offer the world the solution it needs, even though we have it plentifully.

Thank you for reading the post-script. God bless you again!!