By Fr Roderick Salazar SVD
A quiet time? Regularly? Every day? How can I find that? I’m busy. I have a family. I am a mother, a father, i have children to rear and support. I have to study. I have to wash and iron clothes, cook meals, prepare classes. Ah! A quiet time? Every day? To pray?
Yes. Regularly. Every day. I choose the time. I mark it. And keep it. I choose the place. My schedule varies. I travel. Still, i must return to the time reserved for God. Separate from everything else, even from community and family prayer time. My time. God’s time. Our time together.
I hear and heed God’s voice in the old song by Jim Reeves, Welcome to my world:
“Welcome to my world, won’t you come on in, miracles I guess still happen now and then. Step into my heart, leave your cares behind, welcome to my world built with you in mind.
Knock and the door will open, seek and you will find, ask and you will be given, the key to this world is mine.
I’ll be waiting here, with my arms unfurled, waiting just for you, welcome to my world..”
And I enter face time. God’s time. My time with Him.
And then I find out that when I do this regularly, nothing of the time is wasted. In fact, the rest of the day is full of Him.
Not that I no longer face problems or pain or inconvenience. But when they come,I am comforted or made strong or calm by His presence.
Thomas Keating in his book Open Mind, Open Heart assures me:
“The chief thing that separates us from God is the thought that we are separated from Him. If we get rid of that thought, our troubles will be greatly reduced. We fail to believe that we are always with God and that He is part of every reality. The present moment, every object we see, our inmost nature are all rooted in Him. But we hesitate to believe this until personal experience gives us the confidence to believe in it.
This involves the gradual development of intimacy with God. God constantly speaks to us through one another and from within.
The interior experience of God’s presence activates our capacity to perceive Him in everything else– in people, in events, in nature. We may enjoy union with God in any experience of the external senses as well as in prayer”.
Thus, Thomas Keating.
Celeste Snowbear adds her short but delicious line:
“We must also pay attention in the ‘cracks’ of our life, to see the ‘gracelets’ (ah I say, lovely word: just as we have bracelet and anklet and droplet, we have little unassuming graces everywhere, sprinkling our lives: Gracelet )… moments of meaning in the mundane”
Comes now Frederick Buechner:
“There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hidden-ly, always leaving you room to recognize Him or not to recognize Him, but all the more fascinatingly because of that, all the more compellingly and hauntingly …”
“Here and there even in our world, and now and then even in ourselves, we catch glimpses of a New Creation which, fleeting as those glimpses are apt to be, give us hope both for this life and for whatever life may await us later on. “
“If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher, it would be something like this:
LISTEN TO YOUR LIFE.
See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness, touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it. Because in the last analysis, ALL moments are KEY MOMENTS.
And LIFE ITSELF IS GRACE.”
May I accept this, Lord. May I heed your loving invite:
Welcome to My world.