Feeding our souls with God

It is amazing how full our lives appear to be these days. With all of the labor-reducing, time-saving, energy-efficient, cost-effective devices at our disposal, you would think that we would have plenty of time to relax, read a book, and watch a sunrise or sunset, to think, to ponder or to pray. But do we?

Jesus was a popular figure in his day and he was always busy and in great demand. Traveling (walking) from town to town preaching, often to large crowds numbering in the thousands, healing the sick, casting out demons, forgiving sins, he was a busy man. And yet he always found time to be alone, to offer praise and prayer to his heavenly father.

At the beginning of his public ministry, after his baptism by John, he went off to the desert for forty days to fast and pray.  “Filled with the holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil” [Lk 4:1-2].

Throughout his public life he would seek out opportunities to be alone with God. “Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed” [Mk 1:35]. “And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray” [Mk 6:46]. “At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place” [Lk 4-42]. “The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray” [Lk 5:15]. “In those days he departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God” [Lk 6:12].

At the end, on the evening before his death, he went off alone to pray. “Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ He took with him Peter, James, and John and began to be troubled and distressed… He advanced a little and feel to the ground and prayed…” [Mk 14:32-33, 35].

Jesus knew the absolute necessity for solitude and silence. They are essential elements for living. Without solitude, without silence, without time spent in conversation with God our lives cannot be fully fed.  René Descartes proposed “Cogito ergo sum”, “I think, therefore I am.” To think, to perceive requires that there be some moment of silent reflection upon which to allow the mind to become engaged and for the heart to hear one’s thoughts, to hear God’s voice within one’s soul, for it is God Himself who tells us to “Be still, and know that I Am God” [Ps 46:10].

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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