Take Time Pondering Time


By Fr. Frederick Edlefsen


In the 1930s, at a Catholic mission near the Rio Grande, a Native American Christmas Eve dance was scheduled in the church for 10:00 PM, to be followed by Midnight Mass.  White onlookers sat in the church’s balcony waiting for it to start.  Hours passed.  At 2:00 AM, an onlooker went to the Pueblo village, inquiring when the dance would start.  The Pueblos said, “When the time is right.”  Night went on.  Then, at an unexpected moment, the church doors opened.  Cold and fatigued onlookers heard drums, rattles, and low-pitched singing.  

The time was right.  Blessed Peter Faber said, “Time is God’s messenger.”  Grace and redemption usually work within providential rhythms of time.  The Father sent his Son to be born of a Virgin “in the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4).   Grace makes us saints, in time.  

Lose track of time – from time to time – in meditation.  Some saints stared for hours into the clouds and horizon, open to the movements of divine intuition or supernal wisdom, from beyond the sun.  Holiness grows of its own accord if we let it.  Anxiety, impatience, and control-freak tendencies are confronted when we stop tracking time.  Charity and joy blossom in the heart, over time.  The Holy Spirit makes all good things happen when “the time is right”.

“For what is time? Who can easily and briefly explain it? …. And yet we say that ‘time is long and time is short’ …  A long time past, for example, we call a hundred years ago; in like manner a long time to come, a hundred years hence. But a short time past we call, say, ten days ago: and a short time to come, ten days hence. But in what sense is that long or short which is not? For the past is not now, and the future is not yet. Therefore, let us not say, ‘It is long;’ but let us say of the past, ‘It has been long,’ and of the future, ‘It will be long.’ … Let us therefore see, O human soul, whether present time can be long; for to you is it given to perceive and to measure periods of time.” (From the “Confessions of St. Augustine”)

What is time?  Take your time pondering the question. 




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