Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Find silence and solitude

Mark 7:31-37
Jesus is presented with a man who has a speech impediment and was deaf. Sometimes we have a speech impediment. We talk too much. We have a hearing impediment. We listen too little. We may hear just fine, but we aren't really listening. We are thinking about what we want to say in response, or just thinking about something else beside what someone is saying.

Jesus' solution is a very monastic one. He takes the fellow away from the crowd to be just with Jesus. This is a big part of what I do in a monastery. I need solitude and silence, so I might begin to listen to God and not listen to my running commentary in my mind. Jesus touches the man's ears first, and then his tongue. I need to learn to listen before I go around talking.

I need to be open to God, to a world beyond my own head. Ephphatha! "Be opened," is what Jesus says. Take in the divine presence and be quiet about it for a while. Find silence and solitude. It is the first step in being open in ears and tongue.

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