August 3

1 Kings 19:9-18

“and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.” vss. 11b-12

Elijah had fled for his life and was hiding in a cave when the word came to him that the Lord was about to pay a visit. He leaves his shelter and endures in turn a great wind, an earthquake, and a fire, traditional signs of God’s presence, but nothing happened. But then came the sound of sheer silence–and in the silence the Lord came. It’s a familiar story, one that has resonated with countless readers through the centuries. Thousands have borne testimony that this is indeed the way that God continues to make contact with those who crave divine intimacy. There is so much noise in our world! Clamoring voices come at us from every direction, disturbing our thoughts and fueling our fears. Like a constant buzzing in our ears those sounds besiege us through the day, and can even keep at us in our dreams. Many have found that relief comes in the pure silence of meditation, a time when we can relax into the presence of the Divine Mystery. It’s not an easy discipline! Our minds have grown so accustomed to sounds that we grow uncomfortable when we’re left with only our thoughts and feelings. Some can’t even endure even a minute without acoustic stimulation. But eventually, with practice, the time will stop dragging and cease altogether–and in the sheer silence God is!

Thought for the Day: What keeps me from meditating?

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