Faith Matters

Messy meditation: Opening the gift of time

Advent begins on Sunday, and in the first of four reflections for the season, Jim Deeds and Brendan McManus SJ, authors of Finding God in the Mess, challenge us to think about time - useful when Christmas can feel so busy and rushed...

Jim Deeds and Brendan McManus SJ

Reflections on time - can we make better use of the time God has given us? Picture by Mal McCann

THE rocks in the mountains around us were formed millions of years ago.

By the end of this week we will have taken approximately 161,000 breaths.

Each one of these breaths will involve a process of taking in air, converting it into its constituent parts; using that which we need and giving away that which we don't.

That, right there folks, is the miracle of life.

Most of us, most of the time, don't even know we are breathing - we simply get on with it.

Some of us will have birthdays this week.

Some of us will have hospital appointments this week.

Sickness will visit someone we know this week.

For some, their life on this earth will come to an end this week.

Others will be born into this world.

It only takes a minute to say a prayer - there will be 10,080 this week.

If you dedicated one hour this week to helping someone vulnerable, elderly, lonely or homeless you would still have another 167 to play with.

Weeks can come and go. As we get older they seem to go quicker. It would be easy - and a shame - to forget how much a week can hold.

This week will hold a path full of possibilities and experiences.

All we have to do is take a step along the path and keep our eyes open along the way.

For reflection

1. Concentrate on your breathing for a moment to check you are alive.

2. How could I make better use of the time given to me?

3. What are the things that I waste time on, how could I handle them better?

  • Finding God in the Mess: Meditations for Mindful Living by Jim Deeds and Brendan McManus SJ is published by Messenger Publications. They will have a new book with Messenger Publications early next year.

Brendan McManus SJ, pictured left, and Jim Deeds

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