There’s much heart-ache in life. We dream of getting away from the pressures and resting in the hammock of delight. But we can’t let go the daily agenda so as to eat and enjoy what we’ve cooked. There’s little permission in our culture for rest and silent listening.
“Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened and I will give you rest.” An attractive invitation to those who are seduced by their desires. There’s an artificial urgency that tends to dissolve Jesus’ call to those who would follow him. A little discipline might help us to lighten life’s burdens by learning to choose between what we want now and what we want most.
“Shoulder my yoke and learn from me…and you will find rest for your souls.” When John Henry Newman came into the Church in 1843 he said, “It was like coming into port after a rough sea” (Apologia). A similar experience was voiced by a well-known American Presbyterian pastor who became Catholic in 1986 – when he guilelessly called the goal of his long journey of faith, “Rome Sweet Home.”
Like Scott Hahn, many who travelled the same road have found in the Eucharist the key to resting in God. “New Catholics are touched not by argument but subliminally through a sense of the sacred and in the celebration of the Eucharist at its best” – Melanie McDonough (The Tablet, March 2000).
“For me, the Eucharist is a personal meeting with Christ in which he calls me to come to him and find a peace that the world cannot give….Even in the drabbest church when I see the tabernacle light burning in the sanctuary, it tells me Jesus Christ is present and inviting me to come and rest in Him” – John Menadue, a former Australian Methodist who became Catholic in 2003.
“My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” As believers, we have been called by Christ to follow him in this community of contradictions, to discover him amidst these paradoxical people, sinners all of them. For all the institutional idiocy within the Church, there is a long tradition of reasonableness and steadiness
To avail of Jesus’ invitation to rest and peace and lightsomeness, we need, like all organisms, some dormancy in our lives. Have you ever noticed that ‘listen’ and ‘silent’ are made up of the same letters? Maybe a hint is as good as a sermon.
Fr. QQ. 07/08/17