Friday, 7 March 2014

A day of listening

Today the first day of lent has been a day of listening, to God.
I made the journey across to the next county to see my Spiritual Director, and in the journey there and back drove in silence, talking and trying to listen to God. While with here, I both spoke and listened to her wisdom and I reviewed the past few months and looked ahead to the next year and all it will bring in change and journeying.
One thing that really struck me was when I described the pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I've shared snippets with other and have taught a school lesson on my experience, but this was probably the first time I'd really shared in all its depth what the pilgrimage had meant to me. this is probably in part because I'm actually still processing it so as I share new insights and thoughts appear. I realised afresh just what it had meant to me to sit in those Holy places- especially Capernaum of which I have already blogged.
After I returned I made a funeral visit, more listening, this time to the family and to God as I tried to draw together the threads of a 90 years olds life.
Then in the evening I led compline in one of our villages. the opportunity for words music and silence was a fitting end to the day and drive back beneath the stars very special.

Ash wednesday

I tried to blog this the other day but then lost everything so I'm a couple of days behind.
Ash Wednesday is with us and so begins lent.
It was my privilege this evening to preside at our Ash Wednesday Communion.
Suddenly the words I had heard so many times before took on a new significance, a new weight of meaning as I slowly pronounced them to the gathered congregation.
 Not just the Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return, Turn from you sins and be faithful. But each penitential sentence through the service, and I was truly penitent for my own sins.
the communion too was beautiful, the realisation of the sacrifice of Jesus, the forgiveness of God and the shared meal which draws us all together. I went home in the darkness and silence blessed in a new way.
I have set as my Lenten discipline to sit in silence for at least 15 minutes each day just listening to God in contemplative prayer. This is something I don't find easy but over the last few weeks have felt very strongly it was something I need to do.
I trust God will speak to me in the silence if I but listen.