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From Chapter 1 of Saint Josemaría Escrivá’s book The Way: Character


Don’t put off your work until tomorrow.


In David Copperfield Charles Dickens wrote:

Procrastination is the thief of time. Collar him.

Time is sacred. When we procrastinate we allow ourselves and our reasons for procrastinating to steal something most precious, the time we have been given. It’s funny how we hate to have our time wasted by standing in line or waiting at a stoplight or behind a slow driver, yet we will fritter and waste away our own time on the most inane of things. In an article on Catholic Online Mary Regina Morrell wrote:

There is a lesson in all the religions of the world. Sacred time.

Sacred time has the feel of those experiences of absorption, where the linear ticking of seconds disappears and our feelings of anxiety are balanced by a sense of peace.

Being mindful of the sacredness of time encourages us to be mindful of God, and nurtures awareness. Engaging in the rituals of our faith, surrounded by sacred symbols drawn from our ordinary lives – bread, wine, water, oil, flame – reassures us that all of life is sacred. The rhythm of the liturgical year reminds us that life must have a meaningful rhythm, as well.

We may turn also, to the wisdom of the saints, like Benedict, whose Rule included a construct of time that allowed for a necessary balance of prayer, work and leisure. For St. Benedict, the ordinary was so charged with the sacred that he wrote, “Regard all utensils as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar.” Benedict wove within the lives of his monks, times of prayer throughout the day. When hearts and minds are so often turned toward God, an awareness of God at all times and in all places grows.

I will confess that herein lies one of the secrets to my great love and devotion of my Catholic faith. The liturgical calendar and its seasons help me to mark each day and give me a sense of my place in Time. Within each day I have the Liturgy of the Hours and the various prayers or meditations throughout the day to help me mark the day and my place in Time. Though I don’t do it as often as I should there is the Angelus that I could be praying three times per day. These are but a few examples of the routine and structure that I cherish and that helps to keep me focused and on track. When I truly participate in these areas I get a sense of the universal, the divine, and never feel like a day has gone by wasted.

The Angelus (1857-59) by Jean-Francois Millet

The Angelus (1857-59) by Jean-Francois Millet

“Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.” – Victor Kiam

“You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” – M. Scott Peck

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. – Pablo Picasso

And why is this point by Picasso so important?

“God has promised men pardon if they are penitent, but not if they procrastinate.” – Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Peace of Soul