Friday, July 15, 2005


I am preparing to head out for three nights and two days of solitude at a retreat center/monastary in Michigan and coincidentally leading our community through a time of reflection meditation, silence, listening and communal discernment the Sunday I return to Pittsburgh. So I have been thinking about silence, listening and hearing God in the midst of a culture that moves at the speed of light. Psalm 131:

O LORD, my heart is not lifted upmy eyes are not raised too high
I do no occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me
But I have calmed and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
my soul is like the weaned child that is within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time on and forevermore. (NRSV)

Oh to be so satisfied, content and at peace in God's presence like a baby who has had its full at the breast of her mother. Words are not needed but silence speaks. I am mostly fussing in GOd's presence not like a contented and weaned child.

I also got on the Taize web site and found some profound stuff on prayer, silence and listening to God. "Silence means recognizing that my worries can’t do much. Silence means leaving to God what is beyond my reach and capacity. A moment of silence, even very short, is like a holy stop, a sabbatical rest, a truce of worries. Remaining silent, we trust and hope in God. Silence makes us ready for a new meeting with God. In silence, God’s word can reach the hidden corners of our hearts. In silence, we stop hiding before God, and the light of Christ can reach and heal and transform even what we are ashamed of. Maybe we sometimes avoid silence, preferring whatever noise, words or distraction, because inner peace is a risky thing: it makes us empty and poor, disintegrates bitterness and leads us to the gift of ourselves. Silent and poor, our hearts are overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit, filled with an unconditional love"

Sit down and do some holy chillaxing today!

1 comment:

marlaena said...

hey bj,

i just returned this morning from some holy chillaxing. i spend 40 hours in prayer and fasting, a good portion of it in silence and solitude, at a retreat center in the north hills called providence villa (run by the sisters of divine providence).

are you familiar with ruth barton's book "invitation to silence and solitude" - if not, i'll buy you a copy (that's how confident i am you'll like it!). in the "gratitudes" section of the book she begins this way:

although the journey into solitude and silence is a solitary one, we take the journey within a larger community of those who have gone before and those who share the journey with us now. these are the ones who support us in saying yes to God's invitations in our lives. they are the ones who cheer us on. they faithfully release us to God and then receive us back into their company with reverance and attention to whatever has been received from God in that solitary place.

bj, i'll be praying for you and terry next week. it's a joy to share this journey with you both.