Friday, August 25, 2017

Living Without Regrets

Living without desires was a line in a poem by the Japanese poet Sansei Yamao which a religious uses in the beginning of his article in the Kyeongyang magazine to give the readers some idea of his thinking on the subject. He liked what the poet was saying and found himself praying: "If I die now it will be alright."

He makes clear that it is not that he has arrived at this stage in the spiritual life but he wants to examine his heart when he says these words to see what his feelings are. It's a help in his prayer life. When there is a agreement with what he says and what his heart feels that is a good sign.

The article quotes Boethius (480-525 AD) The Consolation of Philosophy "Nunc fluens facit tempus, nunc stans facit aeternitatum." (The now that passes produces time, the now that remains produces eternity.) In other words the duration proper to the eternal Being must be conceived as everlasting  while temporal being is open to a succession of states distinct from one another. We are not able to grasp the 'now' for it quickly becomes the past. Rarely, however, we have moments that are filled with great joy that  last, moments of ecstasy.

Most of us lose the present moment because we either live in the future or past.  We can see our present as a stepping stone to the future or what is worse to see us heading towards some future obstacle. The possibility is also to live in the past because of unhealed scars, sins and the like, that cast a shadow over our present now.

We need to be present to the eternal now where we are in God's presence. The past nor the future are what are important but the now and in the Scriptures we are continually invited to the present. The miracle medicine is trust: Matt. 6:25-34. Trust leads us to the ever present now. We are not given a cross that is beyond our strength to carry. We follow Jesus in the  present.

The only way we are to view the problems, sins, and negativity of the past is with mercy, and with its experience. St. Paul asked God to remove the 'thorn in his flesh' 2nd Cor. 12:1-10 but  God did not, and he  began to see it with different eyes: "My grace is all you need,for my power is greatest when  you are weak."

The future is taken care of by trust,  the remorse of the past is taken care of by mercy, and  both of these can be assumed under gratitude. It is with this gratitude that we enter the present moment and from which we have peace and joy. According to the tradition of our  elders in which they were right on: when one is content all goes well. Rather than you give thanks because you are happy you are thankful and consequently happy. Isn't this the way to have nothing to wish for or to live without regrets?

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