Monday, August 08, 2011

Calming my soul

Yesterday I sat in the car on the way home with my heart heavy. Heavy with worry, heavy with seeing people hurt each other. I asked God, "is this my home?" because I felt lost. Being with family is the most wonderful thing in the world... any kind of family: blood relations but also groups and friends that become close like family. Yet what brings most joy also is what brings most pain. Any time you get that close you see hurt, you get hurt... and you hurt others.

So I drove home with my heart heavy, seeing hurt and realizing there was nothing I could do about it. Instead of trying to fix or soothe it, I am learning to accept it. Accept that the other person is sad/mad/hurt and that I am not their God to heal them. And that they aren't even asking me for healing. Accept the actions of the other and not try to change them. I am learning that real love is JUST listening (as if it were a small and easy task!), not giving advice or trying to change the other person or the situation. I am learning that real love is letting the other person feel, have space, have time, reap consequences.

And, most importantly I am learning that my heart's home is in God. Only He can cure and help the people I love. And I am sick too, so I need to make my home in Him at every moment. I found a great article about silence that made me REALLY understand for the first time how to be silent as a form of prayer. Where else but from the Taizé brother. Silence is recognizing I am worrying about something beyond my reach and capacity and letting Jesus calm anxiety in my heart, like he calms storms.

How is it possible to reach inner silence? Sometimes we are apparently silent, and yet we have great discussions within, struggling with imaginary partners or with ourselves. Calming our souls requires a kind of simplicity: "I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvellous for me." Silence means recognising that my worries can’t do much. Silence means leaving to God what is beyond my reach and capacity. A moment of silence, even very short, is like a holy stop, a sabbatical rest, a truce of worries.

The turmoil of our thoughts can be compared to the storm that struck the disciples’ boat on the Sea of Galilee while Jesus was sleeping. Like them, we may be helpless, full of anxiety, and incapable of calming ourselves. But Christ is able to come to our help as well. As he rebuked the wind and the sea and "there was a great calm", he can also quiet our heart when it is agitated by fears and worries (Mark 4).

Mon âme se repose en paix sur Dieu seul : De lui vient mon salut.
Oui sur Dieu seul mon âme se repose, se repose en paix.

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