Time each day with God is a wise choice
by Sister Francis Bangert
A few weeks ago I was blessed to make a silent preached retreat for Women and Women Religious. The theme was “Time for Peace in the Quiet”. Conference topics included Living in the Present Moment, Lectio Divina, Our Compulsion to Worry, Unforgiveness—A Blockage to Peace, Necessary Losses and Grieving, Acceptance and Surrender, Gratitude and Celebration. Following each conference we were invited to have a conversation with Jesus, remembering that a conversation is two-sided -- speaking but even more importantly listening ... to the will of the Indwelling God.
I was reminded of my retreat experience when I read today’s Scriptures. In the first reading we hear Solomon responding to God’s invitation to ask a favor of God. Solomon asks not for riches or power as he assumes the position of king of Israel, but for an understanding heart, to judge right from wrong, for wisdom.
In the Gospel, Matthew describes what the kingdom of Heaven is like. He uses images of a search to find a buried treasure, to find fine pearls. When found, all other possessions can be released to embrace "the pearl of great price” that is, a deeper relationship with Jesus and the kingdom of God. For me the retreat was a graced reminder that I need daily contemplative prayer to bring me to that inner peace as I go about everyday living amid the noise, confusion, worry and fear that are a part of life.
At the close of the retreat, retreatants shared some of what they heard in their listening. These were a few of their responses:
- Be still and know that I am God
- Trust me
- Hold steady
- We are all “cracked pots” (through which God works)
- Jesus is our peace
- I need you to carry Me to others
- I love you
To transform these responses into action is to make visible the kingdom of God.
To give your spiritual life more depth, spend 10 or 15 minutes each day in "listening" prayer to the God-life within for an understanding heart, for wisdom.