It is Friday November 16, 2012 at 4am. I am sitting in silence in the chapel at The House of Prayer Retreat center in Clearwater, Florida. Dawn has notbroken yeton what will be day 5 of my silence. In this silence my gaze is on the tabernacle containing the Eucharist, and on the cross above it. Here I sit in the darkness only broken by the flickering of two candles. My ability to get away for eight days of silence with the creator of the universe has been a blessing and a gift that I will forever deeply cherish. Iknow Godcalled me here to speak to myheart.
On each day of my retreat I have prayed to God for each of you who receive and read this 4thdayletter. I prayed that He would somehow give me the words to convey to you the essence of this experience of silence. I prayed for the ability to covey to you not just the love and joy of being a Christian, but the importance of the calling we have been given which is to share the good news of salvation with others.
Sitting here in the candlelight the words of the song, Above All, by Michael Smith came to my mind.
I can hardly grasp the reality that I was sitting in silence with Jesus Christ who is:
Above all powers, above all kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
He was here, before the world began
This same Christ who is:
Above all kingdoms, above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There’s no way to measure what he is worth
How can I convey the joy of this moment to you? How can I share this experience with you? There are perhaps no words better to explain this except to tell you that Jesus was:
Crucified, laid behind a stone
He lived to die, rejected and alone
Like a rose, trampled on the ground
He took the fall and thought of me and thought of you
BEFORE READING FURTHER: please take just over 4 minutes and click this link and listen to Michael Smith sing these words and watch the scenes from the passion of Christ and see the depth of His love and the pain He endured to win eternal life for you and me. Click here.PLEASE DON’T SKIP THIS
My friends I am in awe of our God. He calls us to be co-heirs of his kingdom. He calls us, He frees us, He forgives us, and He loves so much that like a rose, He was trampled on the ground and He took the fall and He thought of you and me above all!
I did not write this to boast of my time with the Lord. Nor did I write this because I believe everyone is called to make an eight day silent retreat. I wrote this because I believe that since the time of our conception and even before that, God had a unique plan for our lives. He calls us to a specific role as one of His followers. He has blessed each of us with our own unique abilities, and yes, we have our own unique weaknesses and fears too. My point is that the noise and distractions of our modern world blot out His voice at times.
We all need to find a place to be alone in silence with Him. No praying, no books, no Bible, no Rosary. We just need to sit in silence and listen for His voice. There can be time in slience for prayer and study; but there must be time to just LISTEN! Who is He calling you to be? What role is He calling you to be in His Kingdom? Be still and listen. The power of the risen Lord will speak to your heart.
Let’s go forth and share this good news with everyone whom God brings into our life this day.
Dear God, thank you for speaking in the silence. Thank you for life. Thank you for caring about each of us enough to take the fall for our sins. You are the Christ; you are the one foretold throughout the ages. You are my God and savior. Lord, please guide me to someone to share this good news with TODAY. Amen.
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