Being a Vibrant Parish – 20131225

vibrantparishA person once poured water into a bowl. He stirred the water and said to his friends, “Look at the water.” It was disturbed and they saw nothing but murky waves. After the water was calm, he said to them again, “Look how still the water is now.” As they looked into the water, they saw their own faces in it as in a     mirror. Then he said to them, “It is the same for those who live among men. Disturbances prevent them from seeing their faults. But when a person is still in the presence of God, then he sees his failing.”
Along the same line, Diadochus of Photice says that we have to keep the surface calm so that we can see deep into the soul. He writes: When the sea is calm the eyes of the fisherman can penetrate to the point where he can distinguish different movements in the dept of the water, so that hardly any of the creatures who move through the pathways of the sea escape him, but when the sea is agitated by the wind, she hides in her dark  restlessness what she shows in the smile of a clear day.”
“If a man cannot be alone, he doesn’t know who he is,” said Thomas Merton. “Be still and know that I am God,” says the Lord. Be still! Stop your rushing about, all tensed-up, acting as if everything depends on you; acting as if you are God. Stop! “Be still and know that I am God. “In stillness as we practice the Presence, we discover who God is and who we are.
One author said, “Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone – and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone with God.
Here is how one Christian turns loneliness into solitude. Each morning let the first words you say be, “Jesus is with me. I claim His Presence.” In the middle of the morning, stop wherever you are and whatever you are doing, close your eyes for a moment and say, “Jesus is with me. I claim His presence.” At noon repeat it and sometime during the afternoon when your energies are depleted, repeat it again. Finally, the last thing you do before falling asleep, look up at the darkness and say, “Jesus is with me. I claim His presence.”
Learning to practice the Presence of God is extremely important if we are to spiritually grow as children of God. Why not give it a try and see what happens?

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