Winter time – cloudy – cool
days – rain – snow in the air.
Although predicted, no sun comes out. Something draws me to
walk outside – I miss sunshine
but feel drawn to walk. Cool damp
air wraps around me. Keep on walking –
quiet of neighborhood touches
me – I feel something – deep –
Modern life – big cities –
full of noise – we have busy lives.
Today in the neighborhood –
silence reigns – mysterious – deep.
One can say – silence
is empty – nothing there.
But walking slowly – listening –
feeling something is there –
I have to stop once in a while –
look – listen –not to look – hear
sport’s racing cars. Walking in the
quiet, I am in another wave
length. Slowing down – listening –
I feel myself – my heart beating –
see winter trees – standing bare – at attention.
Silence prompts me to write this poem –
trying to put into words –
what seems to be nothing – silence –
If I listen closely – stand still –
I feel a meeting – silence has a
presence – presence of the divine.
My life slows down – someone
else comes in.
Let me to be open to this meeting –
someone tells me – the Lord loves me –
watches over me – fills silence
with my gratitude.
BOREDOM IN PRAYER
Winter can be a difficult. In the Northeast of the United States this year, we have had a tough time with much snow and cold. Life becomes very heavy and we get depressed with the endless snow and bad weather. In our contemplative prayer and our fidelity to the discipline of praying twice for twenty minutes daily, the same kind of boredom and restlessness can enter in. Despite the best of our intentions, we get discouraged with the feeling that we are not making progress in our contemplative path. We sit down to pray and we have endless distractions. Our mind wanders all over the place. Spiritual things that used to give us much consolation now dry up. They do not have the same attraction for us. We are not satisfied with our prayer experience. We sense that we are not making progress and do not know what to do about it.
This sense of dryness and lack of progress can be worse because we are living in the modern world with its possibility to always present to us new things and distractions. In fact, we are bombarded with so many things each day through the many channels of communication that we can be overwhelmed with stuff coming at us. Our cellular phones and other social applications can constantly bring us news, advertisements, conversations with people, etc. that there is no time for boredom. All these things are at our finger tips and easy to get. This is so different from our journey in prayer where there are times of boredom and dryness. We get used to have so many things at our finger tips and now in contemplative prayer, we sit in silence waiting to be touched by God’s presence. We have the sense that we are doing nothing so what is the use of all our effort. We are accustomed to do many things so that we can grow in life and be rewarded by our activities. Now we sit doing ‘nothing’ which is so different.
We will carry these negative feelings during our life and have to see how we can overcome them with a vision of what is happening in our contemplative prayer. We go beyond them by realizing whom we are encountering in silence. We are approaching God who is source of all in life. It is not like meeting ordinary people in our social life. With our perseverance in prayer, we enter more deeply into the divine and grow in wonder about whom we are meeting. Our attempts to enter into this presence over the years become the paramount experience in our life. This sense of importance then helps us overcome our disappointments with the dryness and the feeling of a dead end street. Despite the darkness and restless within us, this encounter with the divine is the experience which is central to us and gives our time on earth its direction and meaning. We are called to a relationship of love with the Lord. He is knocking at our door and wants to come into our life as our beloved. This love then is central to our life and overcomes the sense of wandering in our human journey. The Lord extends his hand and leads us on our challenging journey during the years. This invitation from the divine which we get in prayer is the way we overcome our dryness and boredom. We gently ignore these negative things and fix our intention on who is calling us. We will grow in wonder in what is happening in this deep relationship with God and try our best to answer with our fidelity to our discipline of silence despite the dryness and boredom through which we have to wander. We will overcome these negative experiences and walk faithfully and grow through the years in our love relationship with the Lord.