“Restless is our heart, until it finds rest in You, oh Lord.” Aurelius Augustine
Who does not find himself reflected somehow in this quote from the monk Aurelius Augustine?
For one of the retreats that I was hosting, I liked to visit a local Jesuit priest in the town of Osijek. This visit was for me a highlight, where I went a bit deeper. What am I searching for? What do I want to share?
And how do I do that? What do I know about silence? How well do I know God? Who am I to do this?
Shortly after the doorbell rang, the door opened. and a tall man invited me inside. I was given a place in a simply furnished room, and we easily became acquainted. I sat opposite a priest whose daily work is to support people in conversations. We looked at similarities and what we have in common; the belief in the Triune God; the Lord’s Prayer; the confession of the Apostolicum; the desire of life for God’s will, and the search for more of Him in simplicity.
Some of the questions he asked were, How do you experience God? When are you aware of His Presence? And that gave depth. But that was also confronting. How small do I make God? It must fit within my framework. Yet, He is the Whole Other. I walked home filled with many thoughts. It was really cold, outside. “Be open to see Him,” he told me. “God is visible in the unexpected. But do not seek compulsively.” (That reminded me of Lucy in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as she is looking fervently for Aslan and Aslan replies with, “You will see him when you do not expect him.” Let Him be discovered. Those who seek Him will certainly find Him – but perhaps differently from what they think.
I walked on to our house, and at the next corner, I saw a woman stumbling on the street.
Providentially, somehow, we did not have to struggle to keep pace with each other. I held out my arm, and she looked up, smiled, and took it. And we made our way. Our short conversation made me aware of God. He was there in the dark of that night. He gave me the opportunity to see Him through her. She supported me also. I saw Christ in her and his Church on the street. The text for that day was: Philippians 4:4–7 Rejoice in the Lord at all times. Again: rejoice! Your kindness must be known to all people. The Lord is near. Be carefree. Let all your wishes be known to God in prayer and supplication, and never without thanksgiving. And the peace of God, that is beyond all understanding, will save your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”
“Restless is our heart, till it finds rest in You, o God.” I came home, peacefully.
I hope that these dark days also give us a bit of that peace that comes from the Lord alone.