Church by the Quiet Sea

     Listening to the voice of love requires that we direct our minds and hearts toward that voice with all our attention. How can we do that? The most fruitful way – in my experience – is to take a simple prayer, a sentence or a word, and slowly repeat it. We can use the Lord’s Prayer, the Jesus Prayer, the name of Jesus, or any word that reminds us of God’s love and put it in the centre of our inner room, like a candle in a dark space. Obviously we will be constantly distracted. . . . Still, as long as we keep the candle in our dark room burning, we can return to that light and see clearly the presence of the One who offers us what we most desire. This is not always a satisfying experience. Often we are so restless and so unable to find inner quietude that we can’t wait to get busy again. . . . Still, when we remain faithful to our discipline, even if it is only ten minutes a day, we gradually come to see – by the candlelight of our prayers – that there is a space within us where God dwells and where we are invited to dwell with God. Once we come to know that inner, holy place, a place more beautiful and precious than any place we can travel to, we want to be there and be spiritually fed.  

Reference: Henri J. M. Nouwen, Here and Now: Living in the Spirit, 7-8. 

Photo credit: Intellimon Ltd.


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