Today is the Feast of Pentecost, the Feast of the Holy Spirit of God who comes to us silently and brings us the desire to think of God, to immerse ourselves in Him and to love Him in the moment.
Cardinal Robert Sarah quotes in The Power of Silence a story told to him by a Carthusian monk regarding a visit from his family, including his sister, who was pregnant. During a rather serious conversation in the course of the visit, his sister suddenly smiled a very beautiful smile. The monk asked, “Irene, why are you smiling?’ His sister answered simply ‘He is moving!’
Cardinal Sarah writes that there was no need to ask who ‘he’ was. This young woman’s thoughts were on her unborn child, and when she felt the ‘flutter of life’ (as they call this) within her, it deepened her union with the child, and brought her a beautiful joy. The Cardinal likens this incident to one who is intent on finding God. He writes, “We seek silence because we seek God” (p. 193). And in silence we find Him.
How often in the course of the day we feel that flutter of the life of God within us, often with no other provocation than that of love. We step into the elevator and as the door closes, we close our eyes and for a moment God is very present in the silence. That’s the flutter of divine Life within us. We are on our way to get a cup of coffee, and we suddenly think, ‘Oh! How Good God is.’ That’s the flutter of divine Life in us. Or we are riding in the car and we see a tall pole with a cross beam waiting for a transformer to be placed there; we gaze on it for a brief moment, and we are overwhelmed by the thought of the precious cross of Jesus: that’s the flutter of life within us that fills us with love. None of this might have happened in the midst of worldly chatter or mindless distraction. It comes to us from God who recognizes in us the burning longing for Him born of interior silence, and He fills the moment with Himself.
The power of silence is a quiet power, one that stirs deeply in our souls if we allow it. In the First Book of Kings 19: 11-13 we read that for Elijah, God is not in the fire or the storm or the earthquake, but in the sound of sheer silence. If we can dare ourselves to step away from the noise of our busy life even for a moment, turning to the still point of our soul, we may find ourselves immersed in interior silence: one of those ‘flutter moments’ when God makes Himself known to us. May the Holy Spirit whose coming we celebrate today (Acts 2: 1-14) bring to us in those moments of silence, however brief, the flutter of divine Life that reminds us that God dwells within us, only because He loves us, only that we may love Him in return.
We wish you a blessed Feast of Pentecost, and a pleasant celebration of Memorial Day.