Scripture Reading: Matthew 14:23, Psalm 46:10
Yesterday we reflected on the discipline which God as our loving Father gives in order to put us on the right track. For the next five days, our reflections shall focus on the discipline we need to give to ourselves with the help of the Holy Spirit to remain in the right track as we keep running to win the prize of eternal life. The general state of immoderation and dissolution of modern Christianity may be traced back to the loss of silence. Solitude is often considered one of the traditional spiritual disciplines that is lacking in the lives of many present day believers. It is oftentimes associated with silence. The idea is to be alone with God, to pray, to meditate on His Word, and to simply enjoy His presence. Some people use solitude as a way to distance themselves from the distractions of the world, acknowledge the interior of their hearts, and hear God speak. Being alone can also be used as a time of rest and refreshment.
Dear friends, “St. Eucherius relates that a person who desired to be perfect once asked a spiritual director what he had to do, and this was the answer he received: “Solitude is the place where man finds God. In solitude, virtue is easily preserved; in intercourse with the world it is easily lost.” St. Bernard tells us that he learned more about God and divine things in solitude under the oaks and beeches than from the books and schools of the learned. For this reason the Saints felt an irresistible yearning to leave the noise and bustle of the world and retire into solitude; that is why the mountains, forests and caves were inexpressibly dear to them.
A story was told of a farmer who discovered that he had lost his watch in the barn. It was no ordinary watch because it had sentimental value for him. After searching high and low among the hay for a long while; he gave up and enlisted the help of a group of children playing outside the barn. He promised them that the person who found it would be rewarded. Hearing this, the children hurried inside the barn, went through and around the entire stack of hay but still could not find the watch. Just when the farmer was about to give up looking for his watch, a little boy went up to him and asked to be given another chance. The farmer looked at him and thought, “Why not? After all, this kid looks sincere enough.” So the farmer sent the little boy back in the barn. After a while the little boy came out with the watch in his hand! The farmer was both happy and surprised and so he asked the boy how he succeeded where the rest had failed. The boy replied, “I did nothing but sat on the ground and listened. In the silence, I heard the ticking of the watch and just looked for it in that direction.” There are a lot we can find, there are a lot we can gain, there are a lot we can learn, there are a lot we can hear, there are a lot we can do if only we can spend some quality time in silence each day. Remember that a seed grows with no sound, but a tree falls with huge noise, there is great power in solitude and silence; let us rediscover the spiritual power in this spiritual discipline. St. Bernard said: “Never am I less alone than when alone“; for when I am alone I am with God, who gives me greater joy than the society of all creatures could afford”. We shall continue tomorrow.
- Take this prayer: “Teach me to listen, O God, to those nearest to me: my family, my friends, and my co-workers. Help me to be aware that no matter what words I hear, the message is, “Accept the person I am. Listen to me.” Teach me to listen, my caring God, to those far from me – the whisper of the hopeless, the plea of the forgotten, and the cry of the anguished. Teach me to listen, O God, to myself. Help me to be less afraid to trust the voice inside — in the deepest part of me. Teach me to listen, Holy Spirit, for your voice — in busyness and in boredom, in certainty and doubt, in noise and in silence. Teach me, Lord, to listen to you in all things and at all times, especially in solitude and silence in the name of Jesus- Amen.
Exercise: Meditate on Psalm 1 for at least 5 minutes.
Memory Verse: Habakkuk 2:20.