Dagger of The Mind
It took me a long time to realize that my understanding of eternity in relation to time was subtly off the mark in a way that negatively impacted the process of spiritual transformation. I think many of us fall into this trap also, an idea that runs in the mind like a broken CD, quietly in the background so that we don't notice it. The enemy is expert at tampering with our thoughts in this way, but the Holy Spirit imbues us with the gift of discernment that only comes with a deep prayer life.
For a lot of my life, in fact, I saw the next life as a journey into an eternal future that would leave this life behind in the mists of the past. In the kingdom of heaven, this life with all it's sins would eventually be forgotten and recede into the oblivion of a billion years past. Along with this came the notion that this life is not really important, as long as I somehow could enter the gates of heaven. Of course I had to give some kind of heed to the need to live a virtuous life however that may be done, but it tended to shift the responsibility always to the future. In my case as I was really intent on following the Lord so it was a very near future, tomorrow or maybe in a year I will have progressed in this area of cooperation with the Divine Will. It's not that unrelated to the one who has no concern for God, but knowing deep down that it is essential, thinks that he or she will worry about that when they are old and facing death.
Yet how mistaken this thinking is. What the Lord revealed to me is that the importance of this life is far far more profound. It is a drop of eternity in "time" that will be forever present and visible from heaven. For those who are in glory, somehow the wounds of sin have been glorified and taken up into the wounds of Jesus, so that the vision of this life is no longer a source of anguish but a source of eternal praise and thanksgiving for having been rescued. The level of thanksgiving for the Divine Mercy will correspond to the wounds of the sin. Yes somehow this life will always be present, also for the souls lost to perdition, the vision of which will be their eternal despair. I desire that no-one, not even my greatest enemy could be lost in such a tragic way. This desire brings me great comfort because I understand that it is but pale reflection of the desire in God that all would come into His kingdom. It is for this that we were created.
Each action in this life has a consequent action in eternity. There is a "coupling" between this life and our eternity that is occurring in each present moment, so that it carves and molds out a corresponding habitation for us there, or moves us in the opposite direction. Like a see-saw with one side on earth and the other side stretching into the heavens, the smallest movement here carves out out a great arc in eternity, an infinite swathe of consequence. The Virgin at Fatima said to the three children there. "If you only knew what awaited you in eternity, you would do everything in your power to change your lives". In our brokenness and fear we could immediately think of Hell. Although the consequences move both ways I believe she meant primarily Heaven. Why? because it is what we are created for. In Medjugorje, the fulfillment of what was started at Fatima, she exclaimed that if we only knew what our mission was in this life, and how much she loves us we would cry tears of joy (paraphrased). There she beautifully reveals the invitation to heaven while also warning against Hell.
The present moment is so pivotal and key to the spiritual transformation that Satan will do anything to take us out of it, moving at the subtle level of our stage in the spiritual journey. God will always call us back to it. The temptation to worry about tomorrow or despair about yesterday is truly a "dagger of the mind" which we need to identify with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Without prayer we simply cannot "see" as God sees.
"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day", Matt 6:34.