–– Sito di FORMAZIONE PERMANENTE MISSIONARIA –– Uno sguardo missionario sulla Vita, il Mondo e la Chiesa A missionary look on the life of the world and the church –– VIDA y MISIÓN – VIE et MISSION – VIDA e MISSÃO ––
Augustine had been searching for love and God and he eventually found them in the most unexpected of all places, inside of himself. God and love had been inside of him all along, but he had hadn’t been inside of himself.
There’s a lesson here: We don’t pray to make God present to us. God is already present, always present everywhere. We pray to make ourselves present to God.
This is also true for our presence to the richness of our own lives. Too often we are not present to the beauty, love, and grace that brims within the ordinary moments of our lives. Bounty is there, but we aren’t. Because of restlessness, tiredness, distraction, anger, obsession, wound, haste, whatever, too often we are not enough inside of our ourselves to appreciate what the moments of our own lives hold. We think of our lives as impoverished, dull, small-time, not worth putting our full hearts into, but, as with prayer, the fault of non-presence is on our side.
Our lives come laden with richness, but we aren’t sufficiently present to what is there. Sometimes we aren’t as lucky, our health and our lives must be radically threatened or taken from us before we realize how rich these in fact already are, if only we made ourselves more present to them.
Rarely are we enough inside of our own skins, present enough to the moment, and sensitive enough to the richness that is already present in our lives. God and the moment don’t have to be searched out and found. They’re already here. We need to be here.
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Ronald Rolheiser, a Roman Catholic priest and member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, is president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.
He is a community-builder, lecturer and writer. His books are popular throughout the English-speaking world and his weekly column is carried by more than seventy newspapers worldwide.