Sunday, September 09, 2012

Be opened

At the vigil Mass last night I was struck by the tension in the Gospel reading with its challenge to be simultaneously open — to be able to hear and to speak — and silent — to hold deep within ourselves the mystery of what God has done for us. In the midst of a country and church that is stretched almost beyond bearing, I kept thinking about whether I was willing to pray for the grace to "be opened," for the grace to hear God in places that I would rather not listen. The contrast between Jesus putting his finger in the man's ear, and how often I (mentally!) stick my fingers in my ears and chant
la-la-la was particularly sharp.

As I sat out on the porch in the cool of the morning, I found myself contemplating what it means to speak and to be silent, to hear and to be heard, to hold God within and proclaim him in the streets, and I listened to this piece from Margaret Rizza's collection New Dawn. It's a gently haunting litany of ways in which we might hear the voice of the Lord: in the silence of the the heaving of the the words of a stranger...

While the piece itself feels like it was cut from stillness, I loved its acknowledgement of God in the midst of chaos: "in the heaving of the seas". I might desire undisturbed solitude and silence, a serene spot to contemplate the mysteries of the divine, but the reality of my life looks more like a heaving sea than a placid lake.

"Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it." Thomas Merton

A version of this post appeared at RevGalBlogPals. Photo is of the ocean at Gloucester, MA, near the Eastern Point retreat house.


  1. This is a beautiful post and speaks to my soul. Margaret Rizza's piece is icing on the cake.

  2. I agree with Cathy!

  3. I have been thinking of "be opened" all day long... and now your post, the Margaret Rizza piece, and these comments from Cathy and Cindy. This reminds me that there is hope.

  4. Wow. I don't think this deeply usually. Thank you!

  5. I have also been thinking about being opened and hearing what God is saying. What really speaks to me in this post is the challenge "to hold deep within ourselves the mystery of what God has done for us". That is a powerful statement.

    I listen to Margaret Rizza every single day for her music is hauntingly beautiful and it speaks to my soul. Thank you for this post.

  6. Splendid reflection my friend