Posts Tagged ‘sanctuary’

1 Kings 19God is in the Whisper of the Wind

Monday, February 11, 2019

Elijah’s Cave

Written on February 8, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

Elijah has just served as God’s instrument in the destruction of the gods of Baal.  Jezebel and Ahab are furious with him and they seek revenge in the most ruthless of ways . . . and Elijah knows this.  As we read Jezebel’s words at the opening of the chapter we can see that she throws her entire existence into seeking the end of Elijah.  The prophet, exhausted, pleads to his God for his own end.  He is drained.  He has done as God has asked, and now he feels empty.  But even as he seeks escape, Elijah turns to God . . . and God sustains him with cakes and water.  Elijah rests and sleeps in the shade offered by a desert broom tree.  An angel of God abides with him.  The angel bids him to rise and go and so he walks for forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Mt. Horeb, Mt. Sinai where Yahweh spoke to Moses.  And there Elijah curls into a cave to await his end.  But the unexpected happens.  Yahweh does speak to this tired prophet . . . not in the fierce and thrusting wind, not in the powerful and destructive earthquake, not in the consuming and searing fire.  The Lord speaks in the tiny whispering wind, and he brings news of restoration and legacy.  His words bring hope.

We must still our over-active lives; find a space of quiet in our hyper-speed days.  We must each day seek out a broom tree in the desert whose roots sink deep into the earth to find the rivers that flow beneath the sun-baked and wind-blown dryness.  We must find daily sanctuary in a small cave on God’s holy mountain of our busy world.  That is where we are fed, that is where we will tune ourselves to the voice that speaks in the whisper of the wind, the voice that speaks within, the voice that calls us to unity with the creator and creation.

A re-post from February 11, 2012. 

Image from: http://www.elijahscave.org/

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tornado[1]Friday, May 24, 2013

Matthew 24

Calamities – Part II

When calamity strikes . . . what do we do?  How do we behave?  Where do we go?  To whom do we turn?

This chapter contains the last of Jesus’ speeches in Matthew and as we read we can feel the Messiah’s urgency to gather in his sheep before the coming storm.   From a MAGNIFICAT essay by Peter John Cameron, O.P. when he quotes Aquinas, “Goodness is diffusive of itself” (Summa Theologiae).  He goes on to describe God: When something is truly good, it cannot remain self-contained.  It wants to go out of itself, share itself . . . Goodness implies a self-gift.  And this is why intercessory prayer is the mark of a good and holy person.  This is how we share divinity with Jesus, by cautioning, warning, advising, seeking, and asking . . . just as the Shepherd does with his sheep.

What do we do when calamity strikes . . . ?

Disciples will behave as Jesus does in Matthew 24.

The faithful will call constantly to one another and they will gather to intercede for those who have strayed from The Way.

This giving of self rather than preservation of self can create great difficulty and calamity for ourselves and others, but it is the work we are asked to do.

We are called to be persistent, to persevere, to endure, to walk through the fire.

Yesterday’s MAGNIFICAT MEDITATION is written by Sr. Jean-Marie Howe, O.C.S.O. who cites Simone Weil: There is no fire in a cooked dish, but one knows it has been on a fire.  On the other hand, even though one may think to have seen the flames under them, if the potatoes are raw it is certain they have not been on the fire.  It is not by the way a man talks about God, but by the way he talks about the things of the world that best shows whether his soul has passed through the fire of the love of God. 

We can hear the urgency in Christ’s voice and that urgency is this:  He knows that destruction, calamities and great tribulation are upon the world . . . and he does not want to lose even one of his lambs.  That is why he has chosen us as disciples and our work is this: to go out and bring into the feast those on the highways, to be fishers of men and women, to distribute the fish and loaves and then to gather up the baskets of crumbs.  And as these disciples we will walk through the fire of this world, and we will suffer in ways we had not thought possible.  Yet beyond the flames, there is always the goal: the sanctuary of Christ with open arms, calling the sheep to the fold . . . the sanctuary against all calamity.

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 12 and 13.5 (2008). Print.  

Adapted from the May 13, 2008 Noontime.

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December 15, 2012 – Isaiah 33:17-24 – A Quiet Abode

Yahoo News - AP Source posted by Pete Yost December 14, 2012

Yahoo News – AP Source posted by Pete Yost on
December 14, 2012

We humans look for a quiet place to bind up our wounds and gather strength.  We search for background that explains the inexplicable, details that relieve us of responsibility. We anguish over a world that seems lost to injustice and rampant evil. We feel as though there is nothing but turmoil and chaos and yet, there is a quiet abode.

We hear news that chills us to the bone that innocent young lives are cut short; we see proof that dedicated adults die in the flash of a semi-automatic weapon designed to kill swiftly and indiscriminately.  We cry out for change we suspect will never arrive.  It seems as though it is impossible to find a place of refuge and yet, there is a tent that will never be struck.

We lament the loss of young lives within our own borders but pay no attention to headlines from other places in the world that tell of children who are terrorized daily.  We know that entire families are slaughtered in the name of God.  We exchange commerce with governments that murder their own.  We prop up regimes that snuff out life with the coolness of a shooter who enters an elementary school with assault weapons and yet, there is a tent whose anchoring pegs will never be pulled up.

We struggle with difficult colleagues. Loved ones bicker and argue over who has control when no one in fact does.  We disconnect ourselves from others at precisely the moment when solidarity is needed.   We sever ties in an attempt to preserve whatever strength we have left and yet, there is a  sanctuary whose tethering ropes will never be severed.

The wicked cry out that there is no safety.  Iniquity delights in the sorrow it creates.  A desire for revenge takes hold and evil multiplies itself.  We gather up any vestige of strength that remains and we look for the light we know will pierce the darkness.  The desperate cry out that perhaps there is no God and yet, the Lord is here with us . . . creating for us a quiet abode within his protective arms.

As the world mourns the loss of life in Newtown, CT in the USA, let us also mourn the loss of so much life around the world.  Let us call others to join us as we mourn massacres everywhere.  Let us join in prayer for those who struggle with private demons and public scorn.  Let us enter the only refuge that never disappears and never betrays.  So let us pray . . .

In the storm of turmoil that whirls around us, call us to the tent that the winds of war will never un-tether.

In the maelstrom of emotion that savages any hope of serenity, bring us into the tent whose pegs will always remain anchored.

In the deluge of fear and the tempest of anger that boil up to sap our energy, hold us in the shelter of your compassionate heart.  Clasp us firmly in the arms of your justice.  Remain with us in the safe haven of your quiet abode.  For where you are is mercy.  Where you are is justice.  Where you are is peace.  Where you are . . . is our only safe and quiet abode.

Let us hold in prayer all those who are touched by brutality anywhere in the world.  We ask for your peace and consolation for all those who are traumatized by violence anywhere in the world.  In this Advent time we look to the light that pierces the darkness; we look for the solace of your quiet abode.   Amen.  

To read about the incident in Connecticut, click on the image above.

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