Moments for Reflection

Finding some Kairos time

By Sr. Eilish Ryan CCVI, '68 BA, '76 MA

The clock rules! Indeed, during a large part of most of our days, it seems as if deadlines, schedules and appointments drive our lives. What is the alternative?

The ancient Greeks had two ways of expressing time, Chronos and Kairos. Chronos time is the hurried and rushed, real-world itemized calculation by which we organize our days. Kairos time, on the other hand, refers to the qualitative rather than the quantitative dimension of life’s significant moments and events. It flows gently, allowing us to be present in our experiences, thoughts and feelings. We experience kairos time when we are involved in a creative process, meaningful activities or when we engage in rejuvenating moments of reflection or relaxation. We find ourselves in kairos time when we are engaged in a heart-to-heart conversation with a dear friend, lost in the pages of a good book or absorbed in moments of inner peace.

These are the moments that nurture our inner spirits, moments when we return to a state of inner stillness amid the daily demands of life. Our enthusiasm for something or someone lifts us out of rigid chronos time into expansive kairos time in which we touch on the deep holiness of life.

Weaving moments of kairos time into our day relieves hectic days with a sense of fulfillment, purpose and God’s presence. Favorite quotations, images of beauty, photographs and other visual reminders can prompt us to re-enter kairos time, even for a moment.