During Lent (and often not during Lent), I think of the quiet. People tend to scurry away from the quiet and fill the space with doing, with making lists or mindless drivvle. That’s not a bad thing. Not at all. It's part of what we do to survive a busy hectic world. Rilke though, invites us to listen. Listen to the quiet. It can deepen our being. I dare you to listen to the quiet.
The quiet of the soul - that’s where God meets me in the most powerful ways. It can be quite terrifying because in that sort of quiet, I am open and willing and sometimes the things I’m shown feel devastating in their pain. But it’s a healing sort of thing. For my Lenten practice, I intend to invite the quiet. To breathe through the uncomfortable-ness of it, to simply let it be. Wanna enter the quiet with me?
Here’s what Rilke has to say.
Listeners at Last
Oh when, when, when will we ever have enough
of whining and defining? Haven’t champions
in the weaving of words been here already?
Why keep on trying?
Are not people perpetually, over and over and over again,
assaulted by books as by buzzing alarms?
When, between two books, the quieting sky appears,
or merely a path of earth at evening -
rejoice . . .
Louder than all the storms, louder than all the oceans,
people have been crying out:
What abundance of quietude
the Universe muse yield, if we screaming humans
can hear the crickets, and if the stars
in the screamed-at-ether
can appease our hearts!
Let the farthese, oldest, most ancient
ancestors speak to us!
And let us be listeners at last,
finally able to hear.