“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7, The Book of Common Prayer, p. 633).
A very wise spiritual director once told me that it is better to pray while feeling physically hungry. His reasoning for this is that when we are hungry and wanting physically it is a reminder that we “do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). There is also the famous words from the Beatitudes. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God” (Matthew 5:3). Matthew 5:6 is just as important. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
The inspiration for writing about waiting and being hungry came from a blog post by The Episcopal Bishop of Minnesota, the Rt. Rev. Brian Prior.
The Advent season invites us, dare I say challenges us, to NOT fill our waiting space. I know that sounds incredibly inefficient at best and uncomfortable at worst. However, when we allow our waiting space to be an empty place, in my experience, God’s grace begins to seep into our souls. I believe this is because God is always patiently waiting for us to empty our space in order to provide us with grace. And it is only that grace which will truly fill us, heal us and make us whole.
It is hard for me to write words better than those. So instead of writing more I will conclude this blog with the following question.
Are you allowing an empty place in yourself while waiting for God alone to fill you this Advent?
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB
“What, my dear brothers, is more delightful than this voice of the Lord calling to us?” (The Rule of St. Benedict, The Prologue, vs.19).