Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Preparing for Lent - 3 of 3

Finally, we come to the “Be” of “Be Here Now” – our orientation toward our creator, the invitation to abide, to be still, to cease striving, the practice of resting and listening.


Breathe in slowly.

Breathe out slowly.

Let’s continue…

In John 15, we are not only invited to abide in Christ, we are informed that in order for the fruit of the spirit to grow from our lives, we must abide in Christ. The fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control is germinated when our lives are rooted in God, when we slow down, allow ourselves to be still, and remember that there is a story bigger than ourselves and a power greater than our own.

When we find a rhythm of Sabbath in our lives, when we identify pockets of time (whether it be a quiet coffee break, a day set apart, or a sabbatical year) in which to release control to God and open our hearts to hear the spirit’s stirrings, we are reminded of who we are. We are a beloved creation, with unique gifts to share. We are also a limited creation, and we are not expected to do it all.

The poet Rilke writes,

I am, you anxious one.
Don’t you sense me, ready to break into being at your touch?
My murmurings surround you like shadowy wings.
Can’t you see me standing before you cloaked in stillness?
Hasn’t my longing ripened in you from the beginning as fruit ripens on a branch?

In Psalm 46, God speaks into the midst of chaos with the words: Be still and know that I am God. In a few retreats I have attended, this verse is used to draw us into a time of rest and quiet.

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I AM.

Be still and know.

Be still.


Our prayer exercise for the practice of being was an invitation to centering prayer. Taking your word from the lectio divina in the “Here” post, try sitting quietly in the presence of God, with nothing to share, nothing to ask, nothing to expect. If you find your mind starting to wander, simply repeat your word – silently, slowly, calmly – to draw you back to the moment. Rest in God’s presence. Be present. Abide.

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