BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.
Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.
Take a couple of gentle, slow and deep breaths…becoming aware of your breath going in and out… stay focused on this breath of life……
Breathe in all that is of God and from God…all that is true, honest, pure, admirable, noble, decent, virtuous, worthy of praise, good, loving, kind – all that deserves respect..
Settle into silence, into peacefulness, into profound silence, into pure joy. Keep listening in quietness, stillness and serenity. Come to that place, that space within, that place of deep silence – Solitude…to just being here and now, without having to accomplish something.
Now I invite you to consecrate your time and all that come with this moment….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..
Every day that we wake up is a good day. Every breath that we take is filled with hope for a better day. Every word that we speak is a chance to change what is bad into something good….every moment of the day brings new opportunities and possibilities.
May this moment and all other coming moments open new doors for you and may God bless you with wisdom and courage to walk in faith, as you continue your journey of life!
As a doe longs for flowing streams
So my soul longs for you, oh God
My soul thirsts for God
For the living God (Psalm 42)
These are ancient words — over three thousand years old — and yet they are still living words. Most of us have experienced dryness in the throat, restlessness of the spirit, longing of the heart, urgency of the desire, passion for something bigger than us……
There are those moments when we have to pull back from the daily routines of our lives and bless ourselves with silence, solitude…….freed from lectures, sermons, chants, laments, buying and selling and the like that crowd our lives!
The other day somebody told me how terrible their weekend was because, their Cable was out, the internet didn’t work, the phone has not been working properly…static fills all conversations. OH, how dependant we are on the modern conveniences! Could this be an opportunity to bless ourselves into silence?! What would it mean to bless ourselves into silence?
Elijah, the prophet, fled into the wilderness and sat under a broom (Juniper) tree! (I Kings 19:4) “Yahweh,” he says, “take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” The day before, Elijah had put four hundred priests of Baal to death. He is caught in the old patterns of retribution and now fears for his own life.
An angel had instructed Elijah to go to Horeb after forty days of wandering. He was to climb the sacred mountain and wait for Yahweh. First a mighty wind came, then an earthquake, and a great fire. Yahweh was in none of them. Instead, he finally came in the silence of a gentle breeze.
The Psalmist prayed (63)……
O God, You are my God whom I seek;
For you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts,
Like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.
Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary,
To see your power and your glory,
For your kindness is a greater good than life;
My lips shall glorify you.
Thus will I bless you while I live;
Lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,
And with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.
I will remember you upon my couch,
And through the night watches, I will meditate on you:
You are my help and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me.
Imagine the Greeks thirsting for “Zeus” or the Canaanites thirsting for “Baal” or the Babylonians for “Nebo” or the Hindus thirsting for “Kali” or any other blood thirsty god!!!???
Our poet thirsts…his whole being thirsts for God.
Psalm 63:1-2: flesh & soul refer to the whole person (nephesh). It’s about an urgent longing (hunger from the depth) for God.
Psalm 63:2-4: Not kindness, but “steadfast love” or “covenant love” is better than life itself – what an affirmation of faith. The “love” of God is better than the gift of life itself!!! So, lips will praise and hands will bless…..the whole being will bless God.
Psalm 63:5-8: My whole being has feasted with the best (marrow & fat, best of the flesh of sacrifice). So, he praises, meditates, contemplates “God” day and night. Remembering “Covenant love” he can only shout for joy.
In the middle of the night, in deep darkness, sleeping in a mud hut with the domestic animals around….when all kinds of demons could be lurking around, our poet says, “my soul clings to thee and thy right hands upholds me” –what an affirmation of faith.
Listen to what Jesus says……..
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness: they shall have their fill. (Mt. 5:6)
The hunger which this beatitude speaks of is not the hunger which could be satisfied with a candy bar and the thirst is not the kind that could be satisfied with a cup of coffee or a glass of ice-tea. It is the hunger of the person who is starving for food and the thirst of the person who will die unless he drinks.
Blessedness comes to the person who, in spite of failures, hangs on to a passionate love for the highest, the best – for goodness/truth, holiness. The true wonder of man is not that he is a sinner, but that even in his sin, he is haunted by goodness.
The hunger and the thirst refer to the craving, the urgent longing of a person for goodness and not the possession or achievement of it.
Peter was asked a similar question, “Do you love me more than these? He had to make that difficult choice. The question for us also is the same, whether or not we love God enough to part with those things that get in the way, whether or not we are really passionate….
We are challenged to make that difficult choice: to choose wisdom rather than material wealth as Solomon did, to choose God’s life-giving word even when it costs us much, to choose the eternal rather than the immediate and the transitory…We can make difficult choices only if we really hunger and thirst, if we really desire…if we are really passionate!
If we really desire, hunger, thirst…if we are really passionate and passionately strive for holiness, righteousness, goodness, truth, love, wisdom – God and God’s ways, we will do those things that will help us find God and God’s ways…
Get in touch with your own inner longings! Become aware of your own desires, the desires of your hearts….Bless yourself with good, noble, wholesome and redeeming desires!
May your kingdom come…..May your will be done….Give us today our daily bread….
Forgive us our sins….Lead us not into testing times….
To hunger and thirst means to have “a healthy, hearty appetite”, to desire intensely, deeply, personally, to long for something urgently, to will to attain what is desired….
If you don’t feel the fire within, pray for an awakening to that fire.
If you don’t feel the fire within, pray for an “yearning” for that fire of God.
a deeper hunger for God
a longing for the fire of God’s love
an openness to goodness and truth
a hunger and thirst for justice, love and peace
a longing for change, growth, transformation
a love for contemplation
a passion for service
a passion for God and God’s way
a will to will God’s will………..
I will hold you always in the palm of my hand. (Isaiah 41:13)
Take a moment…..pray, sing, meditate on your desire, your hunger for being held in His Hands, in His will and in His Love!
Keep me in the hollow of thy hand,
Lead me through this wild and stormy land,
Thou doth guide my feet though the pathway may be steep,
Keep me in the hollow of thy hand.
Keep me keep me day by day,
Guide me guide me all the way,
Never never let me stray,
Keep me in the hollow of thy hand.
Keep me in the center of thy will,
All thy plans for me may-I fulfill,
As I go my way, help me Lord from day to day,
Keep me in the center of thy will.
Keep me keep me day by day……..
Keep me in the circle of thy love,
Looking down to comfort from above,
Help me see thy face, as I pray for daily grace,
Keep me in the circle of thy love.
Keep me keep me day by day…….
Fr. Gus Tharappel, msfs