I am leaving this wonderful cabin in the North Carolina Smokey Mountains just north of Maggie Valley with a better sense of how silence and being away should fill my life as an oblate — I should do more of it!
Silence has been a part of this vacation and I have been reading “Saint John Cassian on Prayer,” translated by A.M. Casiday ISBN 9780728301665. Although the book is not about silence, Cassian’s advice about prayer has helped confirm in my mind that as an oblate in today’s world, I need to devote more time to free my soul from the “cares and anxieties of the world” (p. 13) and “withdraw from all the disturbance and chaos of the crowds so that, while still living in this body, [I] may fit [myself] in some degree to a likeness of that bliss which is promised hereafter to the saints and for us, “God may be all in all.” I Cor. 15:28.” (p. 41)
When I am in God’s silence and I bring to it a silent heart, I can understand what Saint Cassian is writing about.
This evening about 6:30 pm, as I sat on the cabin’s wrap-around porch and watched the clouds/fog move slowly through the trees which are at eye level around the cabin, I understood that the slow pace of the moving clouds, the wind, a light rain, a little white bug flying from one leaf to another, is God’s model of the pace at which my own heart and mind should be moving.
God builds this pace into the silence when we are out in his creation.