Franciscan Moments @ Saint Miriam: November 12, 2018

The Psalmist moves my heart. In Psalm 62 we read, “For God alone my soul waits in silence; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be greatly moved.” 
I have found that the rhythms of life and death move through our being. Life blesses us when we are grateful and as we wait to experience the stillness where we can lash on tightly to God’s love in. However, in our busy world, we are so lost to silence. The alarm wakes us, the smart devices unstill us from slumber, the constant beeps of the modern world’s gadgets irk us deeply, often without knowing their full potential to unsettle us at our very core. We are modern creatures, but we were never meant to be so; we were meant to be God’s highest creation, His life achievement, in us, God was to move and have His being in a world so lost without Him. But, alas, the alarms and sounds of our modern contrivances distress us to the point we barely have time for a meal, let alone a place of waiting, of stillness, of fulfillment. 
Today, I waited for God to speak to me somehow so that I might find a place to write. I sought silence, but it would not come easily today. Telephone calls, voice messages, the gym, text messages, emails, dropping off Katelyn to work, traffic, the radio, news broadcasts, social media, and the needs of visitors plagued my existence from my waking. Even in my life as a priest, I can lose touch with God so easily. I thought perhaps God would not come today, but then a box arrived with our latest order of Saint Miriam Holding Crosses.
I had lost the ability to use mine daily in prayer when I gave it away to someone in dire need. I willingly let go of something that I cared about for another; but, isn’t that what we all should so more easily? I forgot how it felt sheltered in my hand. I forgot how God could come so easily if only I waited in stillness. 
I have found that the use of a holding cross is a personal process. Through your sense of touch and reflection, you express your love of Christ and your need for him. By holding onto something inanimate, you find the ultimate Animate in sense, touch and prayer. Sometimes I find myself reciting a familiar prayer by rote memory, such as the Lord’s Prayer, or the 23rd Psalm, but sometimes no words are needed at all. Simply holding the cross silently in my hand during quiet meditation is the prayer – the being – I so longed to feel again. 
I pray that you might find God’s peace in the stillness you make your own by intentional prayer. Perhaps a Holding Cross is the symbol you need, but however, or whatever you must do, find the peace of Christ again. You – and the world – are both severely in need of the good, the honest, and the holy and all of this comes by first being still. 
St. Francis once said, “Holy humility confounds pride and all the men of this world and all things that are in the world.”  
How will you humble yourself and see we are nothing apart from God? How will you make way for the Lord? How will you be still to find God in your life? How might making intentional stillness today, be a way to a greater and more satisfying life? 
May God’s peace be yours this day.

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