Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Silence, Abandonment, Presence in the World

I pray for those who never pray, who never lift up their minds and hearts to God, and especially for those who do not even recognize that there is Something greater than themselves, who have become insensitive to their own searching, dissatisfied, wounded hearts. I pray that they might be surprised, stirred, awakened.

Of course, prayer is the fruit of silence, as Mother Teresa reminds us. And we live in a culture that flees from silence, from the depths of the heart where the recognition of our nothingness and the longing for God are found. People flee because they are afraid of their nothingness, and it is beyond their imagining that there might be a Something that answers the aching cry of their nothingness, and fills it.

So our culture is absorbed with noise, with the distractions provided by the mass media, with anything that will take a person away–for a time–from the seemingly unanswerable riddle of his or her own self. But even here, there is hope. Because the Something that corresponds to and answers the painful, frustrated, and alienated human heart has chosen to reveal Himself. He has chosen to take flesh and make Himself known, to seek out every human person on the roads of the world. Like the Shepherd who looks for the lost sheep, He does not hesitate to plunge into the brambles if He thinks He might find the sheep there. The brambles are full of thorns, but this does not deter Him. He knows the pain of thorns.

He is greater than fear, and He is searching for those who are trying to run away. They try to distract themselves in the world of technology, but He is there too. Perhaps they will bump into Him on the TV, or the internet or the radio--perhaps there they will come across Him, His words, the expression of His love, in a way that strikes them for the first time.

Whether He is there or not, however, depends on us.

It is through us that He continues His search. We give voice to His words. We are His hands reaching forth, and through our eyes His loving gaze is bestowed on others. This is why those of us who know Him must abandon ourselves completely to Him, and allow the love and mercy that we have experienced to flow through us and touch those who are sent to us.

Therefore, let us meet Him every day in the silence of our hearts, and let us allow Him to surprise and awaken us with His love–because it is not a theory about life that changes us, but the embrace of His merciful love, now, in this moment in which we live. Let us live together and sustain one another in this moment, and together let us be instruments of His presence in the world–joyful servants of His mysterious work of awakening the human heart.