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SILENT COMPANY


SOLITUDE IN GOD'S PRESENCE BRINGS GREAT COMPANY


Jesus himself shows us the need

for getting alone with God,

separating ourselves

from the pressure of the world,

and simply from the distractions

of other people's presence,

however dear that presence might be.


Practically, it may be difficult for us at first to find the opportunities we need for solitude with God - but God is far more humble than we humans, and he'll take whatever we can give him.

10 minutes alone in the bathroom,

a few minutes in the car in a lay-by on the way to a meeting; Wander off to the end of the platform, away from the complaints of your fellow travellers,

and give God the 20 minutes you spend waiting for that train, and he'll find whole days for you later!

Be convinced about God’s love for you. God’s deeply personal and intimate love for you is greater than anything else you have ever experienced. God will never disappoint you. Feelings are changeable, but God’s love is constant.

Constantly desire to know God more fully and more intimately. God’s character is so beautiful that the more you come to know God the more you will fall in love with God. Read God’s love letters. Understanding the Scriptures is not primarily a matter of intelligence, but the product of our relationship with God.

“The Bible is God’s love-letter to us. Not a love letter conveyed in one systematic context but one that comes through a diversity of times, places, people, experiences and stories that make it so rich –something that must be treasured.” C S Lewis

We need to become “in love” with God; we need to have eyes only for God:

we need to hunger to be alone with God just as lovers hunger to get away together, just the two of them.

God loves us with a passion never imagined by even the most besotted of human lovers; we need to reciprocate as best we can, weak and imperfect though that is.

Most of us wait until we're in trouble, and then we pray like mad. Wonder what would happen if, some morning, we'd wake up and say, "Anything I can do for You today, Lord?" - Burton Hillis

Jesus, my lack of silence makes me and others more restless than ever. The noise of my life does not help either.I hide from you in my excess.“Be still, and know”.Fill my emptiness with your stillness. Sr. Kathleen O'Sullivan



Contemplative prayer, according to St. Teresa of Ávila

is “‘nothing else than a close sharing between friends;

it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us.’ Contemplative prayer seeks him ‘whom my soul loves.’

It is Jesus, and in him, the Father.

We seek him, because to desire him is always the beginning of love,

and we seek him in that pure faith

which causes us to be born of him and to live in him”


Contemplation is a gaze of faith, fixed on Jesus.

"I look at him and he looks at me":

this is what a certain peasant of Ars used to say

in the time of the holy curé (St. John Vianney)

while praying before the tabernacle.


The ‘prayer of simple regard’, a silent stillness in the presence of our Lord,

is hard to achieve in an overactive life,

but it is one to which all of us must aim.


Words and lists, petitions and intercessions, that much overused form of prayer, can be just busy distractions from the silent prayer of simple regard. Just as initiatives, programmes, targets and action plans can be no more than symptoms of panic in a church that sees to have lost its faith.

‘In returning and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.’ Those words were first uttered in ancient Israel by Isaiah is his sermon to an anxious and faithless people. They are true for our church today.




A MORE HUMAN SILENCE


The deepest moments

that make us more fully human

that recognize the worth of life

and the value of what people do

are not found in victory parades

or in great speeches by world leaders

in the noise of conflict

or the seeking of power


The deepest moments

that make us more fully human

are the moments we find

filled with silence

for only in silence does remembrance live

not to recall memories

not to learn lessons

not to thank God for victories

or grieve with God amid the wastage

but where we become part of a moment

that recognizes

there is no word

no action

no intent

more human

than to halt everything

and do nothing

but wonder

in silence



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