Sunday, 26 February 2012

‘Nothing in the whole of creation
 so resembles God as silence’.

Today at church on this first Sunday of Lent the sermon was on the suplication and silence of prayer, 
and the words above were used in speaking on
 the "silence" part.

Now I had heard or read
 the words of Meister Eckhart before,
 and sometimes the word "stillness" is used in place of "silence",
but today the words broke over me as an epiphany 
and I saw how amazingly I have been blessed.

Firstly I have been forced to lead a life of much literal stillness.
Often ill as a child, then in my teens
 spending two years in bed, 
mostly lying flat on my back
 with no outside stimulus at all except the radio.
(Those were the good old days of earphones hanging 
on the bed head of each hospital bed, and reading,
 even for a bibliophile like me,
 is hard work when you have to hold the book 
above your head. 
 Your arms soon give out!)

I have long known and appreciated 
those two years as my grounding in silence,
and beginning to recognise and face my own demons,
 but today the knowledge hit me 
like a tidal wave of joy.

How privileged am I not to have faced 
the overwhelming temptation which comes with being
 strong enough to go after 
every ambition I believed myself capable of;
or every distraction that attracted me.

Sure, it was lonely.

As has often been said though
 there is loneliness and there is solitude,
and I guess I was adapted to the solitude despite myself,
and it became a rich, deep, place of second nature. 

When so many of my friends and loved ones
with their over-busy lives
and yet cannot bring themselves 
to let go of anything
in order
 to have a little time to be still
 I ache for them. 

Perhaps the world needs a Lenten period 
of seeking silence
 more than it knows.

Even if it were a non- religious 40 days,
I wonder what it would yield,
that few minutes here or there sinking into silence.

Not easy at first I know,
 still it might well become a habit, and 
then where would we be?

More thoughts on this next time perhaps.

 In the mean time
 if there is something which you can see no sense in,
something hard in your life at present,
I pray that a time might come 
when you will see a harvest of richness and joy from it,
much as I saw anew out of mine today.

Be Blessed

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