I hope this is not a heretical view, but I sometimes wonder if the Holy Spirit doesn't send out "group" inspirations to various contingents of the faithful. Sort of like a "group" e-mail from a higher up to his underlings. I was perusing some blogs and came upon "NOW" http://ebeth.typepad.com/reallearning/2010/01/now.html by Elizabeth Foss. It's often been the case that I've found that other homeschooling mothers of large families have had the same things on their minds.
There isn't much I can add to her piece. I just had a few further thoughts. Mostly that "now" usually isn't so bad. "Now" can actually be quite good, even in the midst of suffering or uncertainty. There are so many little graces throughout the day, the week, the year if we can just get our minds off our troubles and focus on "now". The soft cheek of a cute little girl, a witty teen, a beautiful view, cooking a nice meal, a good book or movie, even the ability to do laundry. So many times lately when uncertain thoughts have crowded my mind I've had to stop and tell myself "But what about right NOW? It's good, it's great even!" Why do I let what "could" happen cloud the joys of what is happening right "now"? There probably are a variety of reasons for it. One is that if you try to be a responsible person who like to have a contingency plan for anything that might befall you. I don't think that is all bad, but there is a fine line between trying to find solutions for problems and letting the "what if's" of them overcome you.
I haven't, of course, plumbed the depths of human sufferings, so maybe I will have to come back and revisit this :), but it has seemed to me lately that most of the difficulties of hard times is our inability to not focus on them. It's a tough one. No doubt about it.
I like what Fr Solanus says:
Worry is a weakness from which very few of us are entirely free. We must be on guard against this most insidious enemy of our peace of soul. Instead, let us foster confidence in God, and thank Him ahead of time for whatever He chooses to send us.Venerable Solanus Casey (1870-1957)
and the ever "to the point" Elisabeth Elliot; "Worry is forbidden (Matthew 6:25, Phillipians 4:6, Psalm 37) It is useless, a colossal waste time. Still we carry on as if it's unavoidable."
I wish I could remember the author and what exactly what was said ( the travails of being middle aged! :), but it was something to the effect that you should treat worrisome thoughts the same as any other tempting thought. Get rid of it ( or distract yourself from it) as soon as you realize it is there.
So, since the message for the New Year seems so very clear, it is my prayer that I will make real strides at taking heed. :)
(The Sacrament of the Present Moment is a translation of a devotional book by Jean-Pierre de Caussade)