Corita Kent and CPA

“Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.” -Corita Kent

I’ve been haunted by this quote from Corita Kent for days. Corita was a nun and artist in the sixties. Known for her faith, fight for justice in the tumultuous sixties, and wanting to make a dent in the world by making it more beautiful with her art. Unfortunately she died fairly young from cancer.

I love this quote because it’s an honest assessment of my life and a punch to the soul. Honest because the good stuff of life always grows out of darkness and pain. But I don’t want to endure or experience these moments of life. I don’t want to, “love the moment.” I want to run kicking and screaming.

Each moment of life whether it be surreal like watching a sunset over the mountains, or dark like watching a loved one take their last breaths, are the moments that make up the entirety of our lives. Moments strung together is life.

We don’t get to pick and choose which moment will be light or dark, but all of them are important for becoming more human.

Corita’s quote is also a challenge. A challenge for a modern world where paying attention is becoming a premium. Some scientists suggest we all have CPA: Continuous Partial Attention. Our addictions to the internet and screens is making it harder and harder for our brains to pay attention to anything that’s not digital and stimulating our minds at a million miles an hour.

Instead of a deep and focused attention on people, our work, and contemplation, our minds flit and flail barely engaging with anything or anyone. Our minds engage but only on a superficial level.

Love the moment… is hard advice. Hard because paying attention is not a discipline and practice we care much about these days. It’s easier to binge, and check out, and jump from link to link. Maybe that’s just me.

Every moment affects the whole of our lives from the mundane to the spectacular, sorrowful, to the joyful. I’m trying to pay more attention these days to God, people, and all the beauty around us. I want to love each moment and not always be consumed about what’s next. I hope to keep dying to what can be measured, evaluated, and critiqued. I just want to live, create, work, and be present to God and others.

I want to love the moment.

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Monday Motivation by Ryan J. Pelton