Scripture: “Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10

Catechism: “Entering into contemplative prayer is like entering into the Eucharistic liturgy: we gather up the heart, recollect our whole being under the prompting of the Holy Spirit, abide in the dwelling place of the Lord which we are, awaken our faith in order to enter into the presence of Him Who awaits us. We let our masks fall and turn our hearts back to the Lord Who loves us, so as to hand ourselves over to Him as an offering to be purified and transformed.” – CCC #2711

Brothers and sisters, I just returned from my annual retreat with my priest support group. It is the oldest, (still) active priest support group within the Archdiocese, and our very own Fr. Paul Byrnes was a founding member. I look forward to our retreat each year because it gives me the opportunity to really, “Be still and know that He is God;” no phones, emails, texts, no worries about the garden, etc. Just ‘me and He.’

As we all can attest to, our lives are busy, and most times we wonder how will we get everything done. As such, we tend to let some things that aren’t seen as needed now to slide thinking, ‘Oh, I’ll get that later this evening or tomorrow. We say that enough and pretty soon we begin to see what is really important, what we value most in our lives; those things we always tend to first.

The one thing that seems be to put off until later, is prayer; our time with the Lord. We may say that there is nothing more important than our relationship with God, but do we practice it? Are others able to see that in our actions, in our daily lives? If not, brothers and sisters, we may want to make alterations to our priorities.

Our time with the Lord is precious to Him, and beneficial to us. Because it is at that time, when we are in His presence, in prayer, that we truly see who we are – humbled by His love, His grace, and His mercy for us; accepting us just as we are. We do not have to put on a mask, or bravado, in His presence like we do in front of others. We realize that we are His, and that He is ours – if we allow Him to be.

However, we are also in the Lord’s presence in community as well; when we come together at Mass, praising and giving thanks for all that He has done for us. And even then, He gives more of His love, more of His grace and mercy – in the Eucharist! When we are in commit tees and groups discerning how best to serve Him, His Church, and our brothers and sisters in Christ – He is there. Brothers and sisters, may we always make time for God – whether alone or in community – He is there. Let us never miss an opportunity to, “Be still, and know that He is God.”

“Then the Lord said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord – but the Lord was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake – but the Lord was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire – but the Lord was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.”
– 1Kings 19:11-13