Friday, February 17, 2006

Be still and know

A Reflection from Anam Cara
A book by John O’Donohue, paraphrased here.

A man set out to explore Africa. He had three or four African people helping him to carry his equipment. But he was in a desperate hurry on his journey through the jungle.

And so they raced onwards for about three days.

At the end of the third day, the Africans sat down and would not move. The man urged them, pleaded with them to get up, telling them of the pressure he was under to reach his destination before a certain date.

They refused to move.

He could not understand this; and after much persuasion, much pleading, much cajoling, they still refused to move. Finally he got one of them to admit the reason.

This African said: ‘We have moved too quickly to reach here; now we need to wait to give our spirits a chance to catch up with us.’

The mystery of ourselves never leaves us alone. Behind our image, below our words, above our thoughts, the silence of another world waits.

A sacred world lives within each of us.

No one else can bring us news of this inner world.

It is a task that belongs to us.

So let us stop awhile to allow ourselves to catch up with us.

Reading on being alone
Mark 6:31-33

“Jesus said to his apostles: ’You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for awhile’; for there were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat. So they went off in a boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves.”

Being still and being quiet is an imperative in the spiritual life of all people no matter who they are, or what they believe. Jesus tells us now that we must come away to some lonely place by ourselves, to come to the quiet and rest awhile. Rest was the seventh essential work of creation. It implies implicit trust and hope in God.

A quiet pause

Reflection on the Quiet
Psalm 131

Come to the Quiet
From ‘Come to the Quiet’ - John Michael Talbot

Lord, my heart is not proud,
Nor are my eyes fixed on things beyond me.
In the quiet, I have stilled my soul
Like a child at rest
On its mother’s knee.
I have stilled my soul within me.
Israel, come and hope in your Lord.
Do not set your eyes on things far beyond you.
Just come to the quiet,
Come and still your soul
Like a child at rest on its daddy’s knee.
Come and still your soul completely.

Reading for those who labor
Mt 11:28-30

Jesus said: ‘Come to me, all you who labor and are over burdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’

A Blessing

May the Spirit of Jesus guide you and bless you.
May you see in what you do the presence of God.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May you never become lost in the clutter, and the day never burden.
May you find quiet spaces and lonely places to release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement and completeness.
May you be present in what you do.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May the Spirit of Jesus calm, console and renew you.


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