40th Anniversary: Remembering, Transforming and Recommitting
A couple weeks ago I set aside, as I usually do, a significant block of time to begin to think/pray/write a draft for this reflection. I soon realized, however, that I had a serious case of writer’s block (defined as “the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing”). So I used a familiar writer’s crutch and began to “free write,” i.e. I quickly and without any editing jotted whatever came spontaneously into my mind without worrying about the fact that my consciousness was wildly leap-frogging from one topic to another. Instead of phrases or sentences I found myself making a list, and the list was not a pretty one. It contained all the stressors that so many of us feel these uncertain days related to the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on our health, daily lives, economy, security, communication, relationships, plans for an unknown future, etc. Knowing that that subject had already been developed beautifully by Sister Susan Bremer in her reflection of May 11 ( https://www.ursulinesisters.org/weekly-reflections/finding-god-in-the-midst-of-trials-tragedies )
I then attempted to switched my attention to other themes and found that they too were simply a disconnected jumble. Clearly I was getting nowhere fast.
What was I to do?
I quit. I put the computer to sleep, closed the Bible in my lap, and sat by a window looking at the cloud formations moving almost imperceptibly in the sky. Gradually my overactive mind quieted as I let go of my desire to accomplish any writing today. Obviously it wasn’t going to happen. I became attentive only to the nature outside my window. A line from today’s liturgy passed briefly through my mind, “The LORD is your guardian.” The phrase wrapped me deeper into silence. I had no words, no particular feeling other than freedom from restlessness. I simply sat in stillness. After a period of time, I became conscious that maybe this emptiness was itself my prayer. Often I have heard quoted the line from Psalm 46 “Be still and know that I am God.” Those words began to resonate deeply within me. The starting place is to accept the void and simply “Be still.” If and when I can ”Be Still” --- if and when I can let go of the illusion that I am in control --- I will be able to realize that all along I have been in hands that have been tenderly guarding me, guiding me. And that is more than enough.
So I guess that no apology is really necessary. I do have a reflection to share with you today:
Be still. Let God be God.