Tending Life’s Rhythm
Be still and know that I am God.
1 Kings 19:11-13
Elijah went out and stood on the mountain. Then God went by. There came a mighty wind, so strong it tore the mountains and shattered the rocks. But God was not in the wind. After the wind came an earthquake. But God was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire. But God was not in the fire. And after the fire there came the sound of a gentle breeze. And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
…for pondering…taken from
“Small Graces: the Eloquence of Silence” by Kent Nerburn
When the wind stops, it is so loud that everyone pauses to listen.
We hear the rain, but not the falling snow.
The silence of a winter morning is sharper than the silence of a summer dawn.
No meditation better clears the mind than to listen to the shape of the silence that surrounds us. It opens our heart to the unseen, and reminds us that the world is larger than the events that fill our days.
"Silence is not the absence of noise, but the absence of clutter.”
The opposite of silence is not necessarily noise. Rather it is the frenzy, the anxiety, the clutter of our minds and hearts that fills us up so we cannot hear the voice of our deepest selves, the voice of God. Without silence, we never learn to listen – to ourselves, to God, to one another. Without silence, we never get to know the person we really are, what it is that we really want to do, what it is that we are afraid of, what it is that speaks of God in us.
For your Reflection
1. Pray Ps. 46:10 in a protracted, very slow way...
Be still and know that I am God…
Be still and know that I am…
Be still and know…
Be… (rest in “be-ing” in God’s arms)
2. Close your eyes and listen to what is playing inside your head, your heart. Write out what you hear. What is really going on inside yourself?
3. Where are the places of silence in your life? Are there any? How might you enhance those spaces for yourself?
4. There are two kinds of silence: one is bitter, the other sweet. Bitter silence freezes people out. Sweet silence is the quiet that takes us inside ourselves so we can offer a listening heart to God, others and the Self. How do these two kinds of silence play out in your life? What might you want to change?
What do you want to say to God about this?
Forego a TV program one night; refrain from turning on the radio or CD in the car. Savor the time of silence. Listen to your heart. Listen to God. Listen to the cries of the world around you. What do you hear differently?
Copyright © 2018 by Kathleen McNany, OSB
Benedictine Sisters of Baltimore, MD.