One of the essentials of discerning any vocation is cultivating the ability to create a sacred space in which we can listen to the voice within, the voice of God. We are born with this inner voice, the echo of Creation and the Creator, but as we grow up, grow busier, grow noisier we can turn down the volume of this voice... but it is ALWAYS there, to guide, to support, to encourage, to forgive, to LOVE.
Taize, has been a great support to me through my discernment and journey. Taize chant, is repetitive, meditative and calming, allowing the Lord the space to turn up the volume a little bit. Thousands of young people visit Taize in the South of France every year, where they experience prayer, meditation, fellowship, support, community, love.... The Lord! There are many Taize groups in Ireland and, as Capuchin Friars, we have had the great honour of being involved with them in Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny and Donegal.
A favourite piece of scripture for me illustrates the gentleness of the God within. It comes from 1 Kings and is the story of Elijah meeting the Lord on the mountain:
Elijah was told, 'Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.' For at that moment the Lord was going by.
A mighty hurricane split the mountains and shattered the rocks .
But the Lord was not in the hurricane.
And after the hurricane, an earthquake.
But the Lord was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, fire.
But the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire, a gentle breeze, the sound of silence.
And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with his cloak. (1Kings 19: 11 -13)
Today and always, may the Lord grant us the Grace to search for Him in the Silence of ourselves, to have the courage to create a sacred space for Him in our Day and to allow him to turn up His volume in our Hearts and lives. Amen