This weekend is Saturday the 8th of August, the feast of St Dominic & Sunday the 9th of August, beginning the 19th week of Ordinary Time.
Luke Parker sings, ‘In Quietness’. As you begin to listen for the still, small voice of God, who is looking on you now, in love.
Today’s reading is from the First Book of Kings.
1 Kings 19:9,11-13At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there.Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’
Elijah was trying to make out God’s voice and all he could hear was noise. When assailed by turbulence within or without, he couldn’t hear God. He had to wait for the commotion to die down. He needed to be patient. And then, in the silence following the storm, God spoke; in the silence, in the gentle breeze, in the still small voice . . .
There are echoes here of St Ignatius’ teaching on discerning the spirits. Ignatius uses his own image to express the different feel of the bad spirit and the good angel: “With those who go from good to better, the good angel touches the soul gently, lightly, and sweetly, like a drop of water going into a sponge, while the bad spirit touches her sharply with noise and disturbance, as when a drop of water falls on a stone.” When God has spoken to you, what was it like?
What is this story of Elijah saying to you about how God speaks to us?. . .
In a moment of silence, listen out for the good angel; listen out for God’s voice
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.