Today’s first Mass reading was a perfect one for the final Mass of the Ignatian Colleagues Program retreat I’ve been on the directing team for this week. Elijah is told to go and stand on the mountain and the Lord will be passing by. Then we read
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Fr. Jack Trealor reminded the retreatants as they leave here of how important it is that they find a way to incorporate some silence in their lives. It is easy to hear God at a retreat house, where for the most part the only sounds are birds and water lapping on the shore of Lake Winnebago. But making space to hear God in a world that is filled with noise – internal as well as external – takes intentionality.
It has been a wonderful week here. I am always deeply moved by seeing how much God can accomplish with the retreatants in such a short period of time. I pray as they leave here tomorrow morning that they can bring some of the silence of this place home with them.