FriendSense

Let’s each imagine that we have a dear friend who loves us very much, a friend who is incredibly attentive, generous, funny, smart, and even quite beautiful.  This friend would do anything – absolutely anything – for you and me, but will not smother us in the process. This friend loves us individually and uniquely, so well and so deeply that the poetry, history, and love notes written about this love could fill a library.  What this friend really wants in response from you and me is some quality time spent together.  Perhaps just 10 minutes a day, and a shared meal on the weekends.  We don’t have to prepare the banquet; we’re simply invited to show up and enjoy.

Now, imagine that we cannot find the time to invest in this relationship.  You and I are far too busy watching TV, doing homework, sleeping, running errands, buying stuff, and earning money.  We have other friends, commitments, family, and business to manage.  Occasionally, OK, we do carve out the 10 minutes to gripe to our friend, or to beg for help: probably in the form of more stuff, to build more barriers between us and our best friend.  We don’t often pause in our pleading to listen to what our friend has been waiting patiently to say to you and me.  Now to our credit, we do usually show up for the meal. Hooray for us! But… most of the time when we do, we’re thinking about something else, and we complain about the waitstaff, and we sometimes slink away from the table without once looking our host in the eye or saying a heartfelt “Thank you.”

Imagine all that. It doesn’t make any sense, does it?

By now you have probably realized that I was speaking of our relationship with the Lord and how our response to Him often makes no sense – that it’s simply not in our own best interest.  So.  What to do?  How to refocus?  I don’t pretend to know all the answers, but Blessed Mother Teresa had some wisdom to share on the topic.  She said:

“I realize that praying to him is loving him.  We cannot find God in noise or agitation…. In silence He listens to us; in silence He speaks to our souls.  In silence we are granted the privilege of listening to his voice.  Silence of our eyes.  Silence of our ears.  Silence of our minds.  In the silence of the heart God will speak.”

That’s the kind of sacred silence offered in our chapel and in Eucharistic Adoration.  Let’s do what makes sense, be good to ourselves, and use these opportunities to accept our best friend’s best gifts.

Your Pickle,

Marian Bart