Friday, July 31, 2009

Silence and solitude: our guides to God

“Of all human experiences, prayer is the simplest and the most profound. The school of Carmel provides people with a means to explore their internal depths for a lifetime of prayer. Two primary necessities in Carmel are silence and solitude. Places and times for silence and solitude are not easy to find in modern society. God-seekers on Mount Carmel face the battle and babble of the ages as they continually turn from peripheral living to searching for God. To live in the midst of the world and be not of it is an ongoing challenge. Silence and solitude are supports that link the whole Carmelite family together. No one is really alone as he or she strives to pray, think with the teachings of Jesus, and respond as one imagines Jesus might have done.

Interior silence and solitude are needed as guides to God that go beyond the absence of noise or people. Self-knowledge and faith are built on these supportive structures which are as lattices for growth in giving and receiving. Carmelites do not forget others; instead they stand alone in God’s presence for others. Prayers for people are offered and a greater sense of God’s goodness is received. God is sought through quiet waiting and pondering, and is received by unknowingly drawing closer to Jesus. Eventually, Carmelites find themselves without masks, adornments or devotional accretions and experience true freedom in the peace of Christ. Teresa said it well: 'We need no wings to go in search of him, but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon his presence within us.'”

n Carmel, Land of the Soul by Carolyn Humphreys, ocds


Anne said...

"Find a place where we can be alone and look upon his presence within us", and
"no one is really alone." Both very lovely thoughts. Thank you so much for this. I will be pondering it and praying with it all day.

Unknown said...

I love Prayer! Thank you for posting this! :)

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

You may an interesting observation, one that I have found to be true: one is not truly alone when one is with God. Isolation is not loneliness is this case. As an atheist, I avoided being alone. As a Catholic, I enjoy those times when no one else is around because I so much love being with God. I do not feel alone because now I know I am not alone.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and reflective message posted today. Much food for thought for our souls. Thank you and Jesus and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Bless You!! John K.