Make Haste Slowly

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The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Fred Mislang, SVD (Christ the King Seminary, Quezon City)

Saturday 4th Week in Ordinary Time

Photo: Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo at Night from Wikimedia Commons

Festina Lente (make haste slowly), so the Latin adage says. “If you must hurry, then hurry slowly.” Nowadays, people rush to and fro, but most probably they don’t know why they are hurrying at all, or worse, they don’t know exactly where they are going. 

Hurrying inordinately is counter-productive, that is, you will most likely get a heart attack, high blood pressure, gastric problems, and what have you. “Rushing about in desperation will lead us away from what we are really looking for: satisfaction, peace of mind, and happiness,” E. Zelinski observes.

We need to have a “Dog-awareness.” Someone advises us that we should notice like a dog does that notices everything – every bush, every flower, every weed. Dogs have time for everything; they live in the present moment. As Maya Angelou tells us, “we need hours of aimless wandering, or spates of time, sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of the treetops.” Hence, if you haven’t time to relax, do it anyway. Meditation gives you back more time that it takes. See it as a time to improve your efficiency and effectiveness.

Yes, solitude makes us tough towards ourselves and tenderer towards others: in both ways, it improves our character, so says Friedrich Nietszche. So why don’t we give solitude or quiet time for ourselves a chance?

In the end, a certain W. R. Laxton aptly wrote: I cannot overstate the importance of the habit of quiet meditation for health of body, mind, and spirit. Modern man’s life is grossly abnormal…We have neither time nor opportunity for quiet…We need to explore our lives…As we sit quietly and unhurried in His (God’s) presence.” 

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