A Spirituality of Time


A Spirituality of Time

Two basic philosophical understandings of time:

1). Time is essentially a succession of moments, known by contents.

2). Time is the linear march from past, through present, to future.–This is a relatively modern view of time.

A History of Time

In Hebrew Scripture"

1). A point of time is referred as a “day”, a limited space of time as “days,” it is measured by its “content rather than duration.”
-In the Hebrew scripture time expresses whether or not someting is finished, accomplished. Example, When Paul explains the incarnation, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his son, born of a woman…” Gal.4:34.
-Time is the medium for God’s action.

2). Human beings exist in time. God is eternal.
-Western and Greek thinking look at time as measurable, aspect of motion, the measure of change.
-The Greek had different words to translate the Hebrew word for time.

  1. Aion (anglicized as “eon”)- generally means a duration or extent of time…" endlessly extended.
    2.Chronos-relatively rare word in the New Testament meaning “a space of time”…period of time. This would be “chronological time” as we calculate it with watch and calendar, time is something measureable.
  2. Kairos-A rich theological term. It conveys a point of time, an appointed time. A “kairos moment” is a point especially favourable for an undertaking, an essential or decisive point, when time is understood as fulfillment. In the New Testament, kairos is used for time as quality, as a special “place” or moment in the execution of God’s plan of salvation: Ex. in Matt.26:18 Jesus literally says, My kairos is near," “My time is near.” He is telling his disciples the moment for the fulfillment of my whole unique purpose in life is upon me
    -Kairos is a special point of time when the self-revealing of God effects salvation.
    Kairos moments are essential and defining moments.
    -Our lives to are made up of chronos and kairos moments.

-The Chronos time of our lives are the events that happen to us. The kairos moments are the defining moments in our lives, the moment of new insight, of deeper understanding–moments when everything changes.

***One of the great acts of discernment in the spiritual life is to know which experiences are which. It is not unusual to recognzie the kairos moments only with 20/20 hindsight.

The Value of time

-The “value” of time “is not in time” but in clarity of thought:
-Kairos moments are moments in time when we are able to see through time, moments when God’s timelessness (the vertical) is apparent in human time (the horizontal or chorological). These peak moments are much more common than we imagine.

-When we slow down, when we become attentive to the present, when we are rooted in today, in the here-and-now, we permit God to “break through”, into our awareness. Kairos moments present themselves to us, pure gifts from God.

**For Biblical people, then, time is “qualitative and full of significance.” How we receive time, how we use the time given to us as a gift, how we “fill” our time tremendously important. Let us look at time as a commodity, something we expend or use up.
We have a responsibility to use what time we have well.

-The parables of Jesus make it clear that we will have to “give an accounting” of how we have used our time. Ex. parable of ten bridesmaids, the talents, the sheep and the goats.

-We also have to be alert to whether or not we are being enslaved by time… Is there a constant sense of too much to do and too little time to do it? Is this anxiety, itself draining our energy and drawing off the joy of life? And if so, what does it tell us about our life in God?

How do we use the word “Time” in our Daily Conversations?

“Spending Time”-How do we “spend” our time…How we spend our time and spend our money reveals our priorities and values–they tell us (and others) who we really are.

"Making Time-Time is not something we can manufacture, it is one of God’s many gifts.

-What is it that you would like to make time to do? And why aren’t you doing it?

“Taking Time”-When you take something it implies you steal or grab something. When God made time, God made plenty of it. God gives us the time we need to accomplish what is God’s will for us.
-Taking time implies showing down, being intentional, paying attention. Have you ever “taken time” to reflect on how God would have you “spend your” time?


I think it’s time you went outside :smiley:

Thanks for this post, it really gave me something good to think about. Time is truly a gift from God!



-Often we have the sense that the present moment is somehow lacking, somehow incomplete or wanting. What is coming is to be preferred to what is. Somehow, present time must become for us the fullness of time.

“Wasting Time”-is scorned in our culture. If we are ruled by our calendars, day timers, and date books in our everyday world, wasting time is likely to throw our whole schedule off, to send our day spinning into disarrary. What about an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to suggest something new–or even simply to have a moment to reassure us of God’s abiding presence and love.

The question now is: How do you really “spend” your time?

Thomas Merton, “If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the things I want to live for.”

What do you live for?
What do I want to live for?
What do I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.
If the answers to these two questions are not the same, ask yourself: Why aren’t they and what can I do to harmonize my life.

  • Remember, you can answer these questions privately.


Eucharisted-It’s too cold. And it wouldn’t be wise I’m in my PJ’s and it’s 2:05AM :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:


I’ll commend you for sticking to wisdom. Prudence is the eyes of love. :wink:

What do you live for?
What do I want to live for?
What do I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.

  1. Jesus!
  2. Jesus - but more than I am!
  3. Myself!


This is what the Liturgical Year and Divine Office are about.


Interesting comments, goforgoal :slight_smile:

There’s a wonderful book that helps put these ideas into practice: “Abandonment to Divine Providence” by Fr. de Caussade.

His teaching is often described as the “Sacrament of the Present Moment.”

Dave. :slight_smile:


St Augustine gives a good phylosophical look at time, in the “Confessions.”



Thanks for the interesting perspective on time.

So often we are caught up in the day to day drudgery, ignoring the eternal, Kairos.

If I live 70 years, which is 840 months, or 25,550 days, or 613,200 hours, or 3,672,000 minutes, or 22,075,200 seconds, what will I remember?

Only Love. My parents’ love, my family’s love, my friend’s love a stranger’s love.

Most of all God’s love, “Deus Carita Est” God is Love!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!



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