A Still Heart

A Still Heart

A Still Heart
Read Time: 5 Minutes

A trip to the mountains at any time of the year provides an opportunity to reflect on the grandeur majesty and power of our loving and mighty Lord. “He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the highest mountains as well.” (Psalm 95). It reminds me of the mountains and valleys of life itself. He walks with us through the ups and downs. He is by our sides. Do we see Him? Lent is always a time to try and lift the veil that separates our world from His; a time to use the tools of Lent to see more clearly; a time to reconnect in silence; to listen to the voice of God.

Reflecting on Lent from past years, I can clearly see the altar and statues draped in purple, for sorrow, for penitence. I’m sure the Congregation of Notre Dame sisters spent many hours making sure that everything was proper. Something was always, “given up”, usually candy or dessert or chocolate. A few of us frequently walked from the school to the nearby church at noon to say the Stations of the Cross. Stillness and peace pervaded, offering an ideal time for reflection.

Finding that time for peaceful reflection is not easy in the current age. Hustle, bustle, work, appointments, sports, and mere chaos squeeze peace from our lives, like juice from a lemon. The resulting effect can be as sour as that juice too!  Seeking the quiet moments may seem impossible. But these moments can bring clarity to our restless lives as they have for Elijah, Samuel, and Gandhi.

St. Columba Church, Iona, Cape Breton

In 1 Kings 19:11-13 we see Elijah in a cave. “….the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a still small voice.

So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.  Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” The Lord was in the small still voice.

Samuel (Samuel 3:3-4) was asleep in the silence of the temple when the Lord called him. He had an important message to Eli from the Lord. He grew up to be a great prophet and the last of Israel’s judges. It was he who anointed Saul first King of Israel.

Mahatma Gandhi regularly took time in quiet prayer and fasting. “When I don’t understand something, I reach up and hold God’s hand and we walk together in silence.”

Saint Augustine who led a rather “unvirtuous” (that adjective may be too generous!) life until his conversion, opened his Confessions with “Our hearts are restless and will not rest until they find rest in You,” (cor nostrum inquietum est donc requiescat in Te). In directing our lives to God, we replace restlessness with peace.

Many in my family suffer greatly from FOMO, which is Fear of Missing Out. The Lent I want to practise JOMO – Joy of Missing Out. So… in the next few weeks, let us find silence and peace. What can we hear if we invite silence into our lives this lent?

Find a place in your day to listen to God’s voice and still your restless heart. We pray for a new heart, a new spirit as in Ezekiel 36: 26-27 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

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