Thursday, December 13, 2012

Go to your cell.

(Random thoughts for Sunday's Contemplative Service)

In some monasteries the hour of None marks a time of contemplation. The monks spend time in their sparse rooms (called cells) where they spend time in reflection and prayer. The cell is the place where you must be alone with yourself. It is a place of comfort and challenge. The loving light of God's love shines upon us with no distraction.

Most of us don't live in monasteries. We create our own places to be alone with God. I often spend time with God by sitting at the piano. The bench becomes my cell. I play my prayers and communicate my frustrations.  I am brutally honest with God .I pray with Harmony, with Dissonance, with Rhythm, with Melody, with Dynamics. As my fingers move across the keys they are able to express in sound what I may not be able to put into words.

I have had some incredible encounters with God......and sometimes I'm just sitting playing piano. I can be in my cell and using the very tools with which I encounter God to avoid him. I do the same in church. I can be singing a hymn, listening to a prayer, hearing a sermon without ever worshiping, praying or responding. I can fool myself that I am connected with God, when all I've done is heard (or half heard) great music and oratory.

None is an invitation and a challenge. An invitation to find your own personal cell, your own place of encounter with God, and a challenge for each of us to face the reality of our lives and make peace. However some of us are so uncomfortable with being alone that we inflict ourselves upon others every waking moment. Some of us are so uncomfortable with silence that that we constantly fill it with noise. Some of us are so uncomfortable with God that we hide in religious activity.

Where is your cell, your place of encounter with God?

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