Fr. Jacques Philippe

Fr. Jacques Philippe

a guide for the spiritual life

The Present Moment

One of the essential conditions of interior freedom is the ability to live in the present moment. For one thing, it is only then that we can exercise freedom. We have no hold on the past—we can’t change the smallest bit of it. People sometimes try to relive past events considered failures (“I should have done this . . . I should have said that . . .”) but those imaginary scenarios are merely dreams: it is not possible to backtrack. The only free act we can make in regard to the past is to accept it just as it was and leave it trustingly in God’s hands.
- Interior Freedom, p.81

One of the wisest sayings in the Gospel is “Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” Let us absorb this lesson Jesus teaches. We often complain about how much we are suffering, without realizing that it’s our fault. As if today’s suffering weren’t enough, we add regrets about the past and worries for the future!
Interior Freedom, p.85

If it’s a mistake to add the burden of the past to the weight of the present, it’s a still worse mistake to burden the present with the future. […] We are obliged to plan for the future and take thought for tomorrow. But we should do it without worrying, without the care that gnaws at the heart but doesn’t solve anything—and often prevents us from putting our hearts into what we have to do here and now. Hearts anxious about tomorrow can’t be open to the grace of the present moment.
Interior Freedom, p.87

We may spend our whole lives waiting to live. Thus we risk not fully accepting the reality of our present lives. Yet, what guarantee is there that we won’t be disappointed when the long-awaited time arrives? Meanwhile we don’t put our hearts sufficiently into today, and so miss graces we should be receiving. Let us live each moment to the full, not worrying about whether time is going quickly or slowly but welcoming everything given us moment by moment.
Interior Freedom, pp.90-91

Called to Life
In the School of the Holy Spirit
Time for God
Interior Freedom
The Way of Trust and Love