wise words in unexpected places 📕

So I’m just finishing up the first book in the Lord of the Rings series and loving it! If you enjoyed the movies, you HAVE to read the books. I would argue that the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien far outshine the Hollywood movies.

Anyway- last night I came across this passage that struck me;

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all the lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater“ ( p. 454, Fellowship of the Ring)

The quote is from a secondary, less important character, so I won’t focus on who said it, but rather what was said. Doesn’t this sound like our times? Peril, dark places, grief…. I have to think of recent elections, disunity, extreme weather emergencies, hateful speech, pandemics, radical movements, angry protests, evil laws being passed…

Yet even in the darkest of times, there are things that are fair and love that is greater. Though these words come from an elf in a storybook, they are profoundly true today. We can fix our eyes on the dark, chaotic and oppressive events, or we can seek out the beautiful, lovely, life giving and authentic events that continue to take place.

Perhaps a good question to ask ourselves is: What do I choose to see in the world each day ? Am I contributing to the darkness, or do I shine like the stars that give light in the night ?

silent speech

One perk of a long commute to work is the possibility to read! For years I have been feeling guilty in regards to my reading habits..or lack of. BUT (sounds the trumpets please!) the literary desert is blossoming once more. I am turning into my grade 4 book-worm self again. Yipeee! How refreshing it is to be captivated by a novel again. Burrowing into the pages and getting lost in the lives and events of the characters and setting is so freeing.

I recently started reading The Power of Silence Against the Dictatorship of Noise by Cardinal Robert Sarah. This book presents a timely and necessary critique of our noise addicted culture. Cardinal Sarah is not afraid to say it like it is. He makes clear that the sounds and constant input of society (technology, activism, artificial speech, constant lights & stimulation) has become so loud that we cannot recognize the voice of God. We are a people so caught up with ourselves, so captivated by the world, that we are unable to find silence anymore. Any silence that is attained is often merely exterior. Our mouths and enviornment may be quiet, but our interior lives are raging within.

The Power of Silence (P. 35)

I find that this quotec clearly articulates the message of Cardinal Sarah. That authentic silence; where we encounter ourselves and where we are capable of encountering God, is a necessary prerequisite for love. Without making time for this interior stillness, we are incapable of genuine acts of charity, self giving and generosity.

After only a few pages of this book, I see how much I also long for this silence. Far too often I have background music on, or I watch something on youtube, or I listen to a talk when I’m cooking. I’m always finding ways to keep my mind occupied, without realizing that my heart and spirit are seeking silence. The world is caught up in everthing but God. It has forgotten how to be still before the Creator. It has forgotten how to hear his voice among the voices. What a great encouragement from Cardinal Sarah to find more moments of interior silence. To make conscious efforts to create a space of stillness in our day. Whether that be quiet morning prayer, walks without music, cooking in a quiet kitchen… I think we will be surprised how the Lord speaks when we give him the time.