MY NEW PROFILE PHOTO
Warning, a discussion follows on prayer, meditation,
and God, of course--as each of us understand Him is implied.
I recall in the first grade, Sister Rose Gertrude--when all else would fail--yelled out (her whole four feet of body shaking) "SILENCE!" And boy, would we get quiet. A pin dropping sounded like a baseball bouncing on the floor.
In the small country church, at certain times during the service, it was so quiet that it was LOUD. But quiet lent itself to a feeling of peace, of serene power. I remember counting my heartbeats, because I could hear them, in the silence.
One of our early sober men said when I "talk" to God, for me to be quiet, and know that He is God, not I. This was my first inkling into how to "implement" meditation and prayer, how to start. I realized that quietness had to be a part of it.
I have seen people agitate, grip their hands together, and with furrowed, sweaty brow, beg the Lord's mercy, and that may be good for some. My praying has evolved now into a meditative mode. I sometimes simply desire to BE with God, just be there, and enjoy the moments.
Meditation is union with God. If I am upset, making plans, counting minutes or rosary beads, wishing to be somewhere else--now--it is very difficult to form that union, that desired Oneness.
Leading me to meditation can be told in one word--Silence. Being quiet is the beginning of meditation. It can be the beginning of a new life. I told you last week that my 3,000-mile 17-day scooter ride to Virginia, was for me a life-changing event, an experience that allows me now to look at the universe in a totally new way (for me).
Naturally, I cannot predict the longevity of my present thinking, but I'll tell you this, that my WHOLE SELF feels different. There is a different person in this body. The few people who might be affected by my behaviors may scoff, but I know what I know.
My gratitude to God right now stems from the people God arranged for me to meet during my ride. Several taught me valuable lessons, by baring their souls to me, a stranger. Others, caring and sharing, were at church celebrations, AA meetings. Still others were those random meetings of "strangers in the night..." And how wonderful are those chance encounters, as the spiritual moments happen with openness.
Recently I found myself at a Taize service, during which many successive moments were spent in silence. I could feel the common heartbeats of 45 people slowing to a murmur, and I could "feel a presence" of something other than us peeps. Others felt this also. It was like a change-of-heart happening, a change of many hearts simultaneously moving toward a source of power. There was a Spirit guiding in that church-room and it was not us.
Silence--true meditation--goes beyond words and thoughts, themselves so limited. I have been taught through years of early schooling what, Who God is. I have been given my "picture" of God. But nothing of God is as I have learned to imagine. There are NO words or thoughts which might describe God.
Hundreds of years ago a great mystic wrote in "The Cloud of Unknowing", "You want to know God? There is only one way of knowing Him: By unknowing." I must get beyond my mind and my thought. Then only will I be able to perceive Him with my heart.
And in the noiseless moments, the stillness, the quiet, the silence, I can "know God", briefly at first, then more and more as time endures, I can live with Him and He with me.
Peeps--oh, THERE you are!