Silence

Lent 33 ~ Time to Leave

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          Despite keeping to a regular Lenten posting schedule, I was still surprised to realise that Holy Week was almost upon us. With that dawning, came the usual regret that life wasn’t more quiet, less harried to allow me to sink deeper into this final quiet.

          But I also knew that one thing at least was in my hands: to cut off from two online communities I was added to recently and to regain some measure of quiet. I have never liked being part of online communities where I cannot block notifications of posts. Something about those bell-icons, red bubbles, green bubbles, what-have-you – annoy me deeply. Yet, as it is not in my nature to simply ignore any form of messages or notifications, in order to have some peace, every single day – sometimes even several times in a day – I have to stop everything just to clear the ever-growing cache of messages.

          Soon, I realised something else too: I was making a habit of scrolling through those hundreds of messages before deleting them, in the fear that there might just be something important to take note of, and in the process, I was being drawn into so many lives and endless rounds of conversations.

          I’ve always been interested in people. If there’s a vineyard of need, I want to help if I can. And there have been times when the pain of people in these two communities have moved me to reach out and offer them my bread. However, it was also growing upon me that I was being drawn out too much and in danger of wading into imagined needs, pouring energy and help into what were actually hidden wastelands.

          About a week or two back, I decided that today, my Thursday of illumination, would be the day when I would cut my ties to those two online communities which were connected to my professional life. Unfortunately, when the day arrived, I wasn’t as sure that I should do it.

          But Someone was sure that I needed to cut off.

          Driving along shadowy roads to work, the skies above were silver and lavender, embroidered with a sprinkling of diamond~stars. My heart ached. For the thousandth time, I wished I could just quit my job and just rest from the never ending cycle of hope and disappointment.

          Just then, I caught sight of a familiar blue-caped emissary, perched on the side of the narrow road. The kingfishers have become a little rare in recent months. This was the first time ever I saw one sitting unexpectedly on the road. Hitting the brakes to avoid injuring it, I knew immediately that the only reason the little kingfisher was there in such an odd place was because God had meant it to be His sign to me, to tell me,

Quieten Down, Listen Up

          The noise had to go. No matter what minute benefit I stood to lose, it was time to leave the communities. So, as rain~pearls curtained the fading hours after work, I deleted my ties and left for good.

          All because a little blue king had perched by the side of the road to bring me God’s will where I had none.

Lent 1 ~ In the Heart of God

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My greatest happiness is to be before the Blessed Sacrament , where my heart is, as it were, in Its centre.   ~  St Margaret Mary Alacoque

          I have been looking forwards to Lent for a few weeks now. Like Christmas, Lent marks an especial time of inner quieting, a time when heaven grants me a singular strength to withdraw from the world and to place my heart into God’s, at Its very centre. 

          Where my journey will take me this year I know not, but no one is ever the same emerging from the time spent in God’s Heart.

Lent 36 ~ Close Your Mouth

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          It has been a wonderful, delicious two days of being on a break. To have it coincide with Holy Week is a coincidence not lost on me: God wants me silent and attentive. And today, He made sure I got the message.

          On a long evening drive today along country roads with the family, I wondered about God’s silence these past 2 days. The last I heard His voice on my heart was on the Feast of the Annunciation when He told me it was time I rested and let Him take over. I agreed. I was truly spent. But I needed to walk Holy Week right too and for that I needed to hear from my God.

          So, I began to search for Him and to listen out for His voice. So many, many little things came and went, pressing their sweetness upon my heart. Our family spent a lovely day in the sun out in the garden today. At one point, I heard the plaintive cries of an eagle high up in the sky. Its shadow fell fleetingly upon our front lawn as it crossed the sun’s eyes. Looking up, I saw two of them, swooping and soaring in the happy blue skies, watched by fattened white clouds, their calls bringing an immediate quietening to my heart.

          No Word did I hear but peace reigned strong as I cut and gathered gardenias for our Sunday altar. A good lunch and a short but deep rest afterwards filled me with all the energy that had been missing for a time. The kitchen put into order and meal prep complete, we piled into our car for that sunset drive.

          Just a few minutes out of town, a huge gold moon rose in the sky before us. The Passover moon, I thought to myself. The Feast of Freedom from slavery and tyranny, it had begun yesterday and would end on Easter Day. Again, a quiet descended into me.

Will You speak to me, Lord? I asked and released the asking into the purple~orange sunset.

          Once home, in a quick reading before I went to cook dinner, I felt a faint quickening within as an unexpected word came before me,

Pilgrimage

          I understood immediately and jumped to obey. Tell me what to do, Lord, I answered, all quivering-ly eager and ready. But nothing could have prepared me for what came next.

You need a spiritual pilgrimage.

Begin by closing your mouth.

   ~  Egyptian Desert Fathers