[Jesus] said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while” (See Mark 6:30-34,53-56).
Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB in her book Illuminated Life:Monastic Wisdom for Seekers of Light uses the following quote from the Desert Mothers and Fathers.
“One of the elders said, ‘Just as it is impossible to see your face in troubled water, so also the soul, unless it is clear of alien thoughts, is not able to pray to God in contemplation'” (p.105).
Jesus tells us that withdrawing to recollect ourselves is very important. We do not have to be out there doing everything, all the time. On the contrary, over busyness can be a way of avoiding things that are very important.
Life is so full of disappointments and losses. Everyday we experience something that reaches the wounds we have within ourselves. Sometimes we can even overdo being helpful to others and not pay attention to what God is saying to ourselves.
“Sitting in our cell requires patience to not run from ourselves or flee back into the world of distraction and numbness. It means being fully present to our inner life without anxiety. Interior peace comes through sitting in silence, through attentiveness and watchfulness ” (Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, Desert Fathers and Mothers: Early Christian Wisdom Sayings Annotated & Explained, p. 120).
God grants us the grace of Contemplative Prayer so that we may know our true selves from God’s perspective. We are too caught up in what we should be doing, saying and understanding. We think it is all up to us. God sees us as loved completely without exception. God knows every fiber of our being. God has planted within us God’s loving desire to love God more deeply today, so that tomorrow we may love God even more than today.
“What, dear brothers, is more delightful than this voice of the Lord calling to us?” (RB 1980: The Rule of St. Benedict in English. The Prologue, p.16).
Are you finding time to be alone with God?
Peace be with all who enter here.
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB
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