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Be Still – A Reflection

June 8, 2020

Be still and know that I am God

Be still and know

Be Still

Be

In these days of social distancing I have heard a lot about ordinary folks like you and me, dear reader, becoming monks. We didn’t choose it, rather it was brought about by a Pandemic beyond our control. It happened in order to keep all of us, especially the most vulnerable, safe.

So many don’t have the luxury of working from home or even having a home to shelter in. This pandemic should be raising this issue along with so many others to the attention of our leaders and every citizen of every nation.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this something had been lost. This issue began long before the pandemic. It is the issue of too many in the church being tone-deaf to the reality emphasized by the pandemic. So many are huddled down in their own shelter and world that they forget about others. This is especially sad for me to see as a pastor. Too many people have turned inward, only concerned about their “rights” and not about the rights of others.

In the monastic tradition (specifically in the Cistercian/Trappist order which Thomas Merton was a part of for 27 years) contemplation and silence are an essential part of their sacred calling. These words from the Psalmist—Be still and know that I am God (46:10) were an essential part of their daily living.

Merton in describing love and solitude has the following to say in his book Loving and Living: Christianity is a religion of the Word. The Word is Love. But we sometimes forget that the Word emerges first of all from silence. When there is no silence, then the One Word which God speaks is not truly heard as Love. Then only “words” are heard. “Words” are not love, for they are many and Love is One. When there are many words, we lose consciousness of the fact that there is really only One Word. The One Word which God speaks is Himself. Speaking, He manifests Himself as infinite Love. (p. 18)

May we listen in the silence dear reader and hear the gentle whisper of the Spirit… Be still and know… Be still… Be… Be Love.

One Comment
  1. “May we listen in the silence dear reader and hear the gentle whisper of the Spirit… Be still and know… Be still… Be… Be Love.” Oh yes. Amen, Michael. This is so needed. Bless you, Brother. ❤

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