Let us Make Good Use of Time
Presence of God – On the last day of the year, I recollect myself in the presence of the Child Jesus, to examine in the light of eternity the value of time.
Time passes and does not return. God has assigned to each of us a definite time in which to fulfill His divine plan for our soul; we have only this time and shall have no more. Time ill spent is lost forever. Our life is made up of this uninterrupted, continual flow of time, which never returns. In eternity, on the contrary, time will be no more; we shall be established forever in the degree of love which we have reached now, in time. If we have attained a high degree of love, we shall be fixed forever in that degree of love and glory; if we possess only a slight degree, that is all we shall have throughout eternity. No further progress will be possible when time has ended. “Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good to all men” (Galatians 6:10). “We must give every moment its full amount of love, and make each passing moment eternal, by giving it value for eternity” (Sr. Carmela of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.). This is the best way to use the time given us by God. Charity allows us to adhere to God’s will with submission and love and thus at the close of life we shall have realized God’s plan for our soul; we shall have reached the degree of love which God expects from each one of us and with which we shall love and glorify Him for all eternity.
O Lord, if I look back on the year just passed, a year given me by Your divine Providence in which to increase my love of You, I can only grieve over myself and say to You: “How little I have loved You, my God! How badly I have spent my time!”
“How late have my desires become enkindled, and how early, Lord, did You go in search of me, calling me to spend myself wholly in Your service! Did You perchance, Lord, forsake the wretched or turn from the poor beggar who sought to approach You? Can it be, Lord, that there is any limit to Your wonders or to Your mighty works? O my God and my Mercy! Now will You be able to show Your mercies in Your handmaiden. How powerful You are, great God! Now it will become clear, Lord, if my soul, looking upon the time it has lost, is right in its belief that You, in a moment, can turn its loss to gain. I seem to be talking foolishly, for it is usual to say that time lost can never be recovered.
“Blessed be my God! O Lord, I recognize Your great power. If You are mighty, as indeed You are, what is impossible for You who can do all things?
“Well do You know, my God, that in the midst of all my miseries I have never ceased to recognize Your great power and mercy. May it prove of avail to me that I have not offended You in this. Restore the time I have lost, my God, by granting me Your grace both in the present and in the future, that I may appear before You wearing the wedding garment, for You can do this if You so will” (Teresa of Jesus, Exclamations of the Soul to God, 4).
On my part, O Lord, I can think of no better way to make up for the time I have lost than to try with all my might to increase my love. Yes, my love will grow if, for Your sake, I fulfill all my duties and perform all my good works “with all my heart” and “with all my good will.” Alas! I am so weak, so careless, so indolent! I am inclined to flee from exerting myself; I try to avoid making sacrifices; My nature always seeks what is easiest, what is least tiring, and soon falls into negligence and laziness. Help me, O Lord, and strengthen my love by Your almighty power. What I do for You is so little; grant, O my God, that I may at least do it with all the love possible.
Note from Dan: This post on making good use of time is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art for this post on making good use of time: Modified Detail of The Voyage of Life: Old Age, Thomas Cole, 1842, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.