Touched by the darkness of night I am forced to my knees as I cry out to God, where are you?…I cannot find you within the whirling storms of my broken mind. A mind desperately searching in patterns of the past – my heart warming, singing, whispering, come in to the new. Come ‘’ in to being, come into peace, be willing to shed, to be, to allow; to accept this night, this desert of the barren as my compassion. ‘’Be’’ compassion, be your gentle heart. Come in to the stillness of your softness. Put away the harms of years past. A broken sorrow crying tears of hollow chasms that ache for glimmers of the holy. A lifeless and hollow emptiness, a nothingness, a landscape devoid of contours – greying and stripped of all familiar shapes and form. There in the echoing silence, shimmers of a dawn mould about me. Being, surrendering, embracing; finally the glowing warmth of a tenderly held eternal love song.
Christ dwells within the deepest fibre of my spirit. Does not Christ call me to welcome my own soul as I would a stranger, as Christ himself? How do the many forms of ‘forgetting’ I engage with nourish and nurture this vision, this acuality, this ‘ being’ within the deepest recesses of my own being.
This Advent and Christmas tide is about welcoming and birthing of Christ within each darkened crevice of my being. As Christ came and welcomed the stranger, can I also welcome the stranger- the shadow inside myself? This is what I sense God says to me. Do I have the courage to set aside cherished forms of forgetting and can I open myself toward the unknown friend?
John Michael Talbot, founder of Little Portion Hermitage monastery, Arkansas, writes on Obedience in ‘ The Universal Monk- The Way of the New Monastics’, ”for the monastic tradition obedience is a spirituality based on listening that becomes a whole way of life. We learn to really listen before we respond, and we learn to […]