January 17, 2014

I am reminded today by my friend to listen, for God speaks to us in whispers, in grand gestures, in dreams, and in providing opportunities to show that it with pure belief and faith in God, all things are possible.  That, of course, reminds me of one of my favourite videos:

It also reminds me of another video with this same actor playing Christ, where he is sitting in a coffee shop, waiting for the arrival of another man.  The man comes in, as Christ stands up to greet him and shake his hand, but he’s busy removing his coat, sitting down with his coffee, and then proceeds to talk for the next hour, not taking a break.  Christ appears slightly taken aback at first, but sits back to listen, often beginning to offer some comment, but the man continues in his monologue, leaving no room for a possible dialogue.  The man eventually glances at his watch, quickly gets up, grabs his coat and leaves, never once thinking that Christ might have something to say to him.

Do we fill up all our silences with noise?  With cell phones and computers, iPads, texts and television?  Have we forgotten to listen?

Morning prayer actually talked about Antony, the Abbot in Egypt who began the first Christian monastery, after ensuring his sister’s comfort, and then giving away all his possessions, he became one of the first Christian Fathers who were hermits in the desert.  After about 20 years of that, he formed the monastery and assisted the brothers in forming communal worship and work, assigning them labor by which they were able to provide alms for the poor.

I remember speaking with Judith Schenck, an Episcopal hermit here in Montana, who seemed surprised at some of my reading choices (Evelyn Underhill, most particularly).  Poor woman – once again, I managed to overwhelm a priest with questions (I had been referred to her by the priest at our church because she couldn’t answer the questions I had).  I need to remember not everyone has the interest in the minutiae of the details. 🙂  Oddly (and I would assume having nothing to do with me, but the timing was odd), Rev. Schenck soon thereafter renounced her hermitage and converted to Judaism.  I’m the first to admit that Judaism is a completely fascinating, utterly unending area of study and meditation.  I’m just not sure how an Episcopal minister gives up a belief in the divinity of Christ.  Hopefully, it was as a result of her own listening to God’s guidance, to put her on a path in which she will find fulfillment and a home for her heart.  She remains in prayers.

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