As I was reflecting on the readings for today, these words from our Psalm 132 leapt off the page. The Lord says about Zion: “This shall be my resting place for ever: here will I dwell, for I delight in her.” I love the image of God having a resting place. We often think of God as very active, the creator, the one who leaps down from on high, who saves, who redeems. These words, ‘this shall be my resting place for ever’ remind us of the profound stillness at the heart of God. The God who is before the God who does. The God whose essential identify is expressed in those enigmatic words, I AM.
And if we desire to come to know the God who chooses a resting place for ever, we also need to find our resting place, to identify that profound stillness at the very heart of our being. “So be still and know that I am God” says the Psalmist.(Ps 46:10) But that is very difficult in our world where rest and stillness are hard to find and little valued – in our world where activity and doing are prized and rewarded. When I speak to friends, sometimes friends in England on the phone, they usually ask – so how are you – what have you been doing? There’s not always very much to say. It doesn’t sound very interesting – go to church – go to church again, pray….
In an active world, it is hard sometimes to explain to others just what a monastery is about. That, however imperfectly, we do try to offer a place where we brothers and you, our guests, and all who come here, may find a resting place, a place to be still, a place to keep silence and in that silence to hear the heartbeat of God – the heartbeat of the one who created us in his very image – and to listen to that great heart speaking to our heart: cor ad cor loquitur.
“This shall be my resting place for ever: here will I dwell, for I delight in her.” May God bless this sacred place, and each one of us, that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us.
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