No one believes they are answering a call to live a frantic, over-stimulated, always-on-the-run-and-never-can-slow-down kind of life. No one believes they are being led to stay shallow, out of touch with the deep resources of their inner being. No one hears a guiding Voice saying, “Hurry up and take action without seeking inner wisdom.” No one sees a message in the clouds offering them eternal rewards if they will just keep moving faster and never take a breath. And no one intends to teach their kids that the most important message of this generation is: “Hurry up!”
But we live like we do.
Ouch! This could be that moment when you click “delete” on your device, forget this blog, and quickly move on to something else. But the sermon is over and the delight is coming.
Have you ever longed for that “something more”?
Thomas Kelly wrote about our condition in A Testament of Devotion, “We feel honestly the pull of many obligations and try to fulfill them all. And we are unhappy, uneasy, strained, oppressed, and fearful we shall be shallow.” Ever been there? Living there now?
Then he speaks words of hope and promise for our weary and scattered lives: “We have hints that there is a way of life vastly richer and deeper than all this hurried existence, a life of unhurried serenity and peace and power. If only we could slip over into that Center!” Now he has me. Now I can hear him describe “an intolerable scramble of panting feverishness” and admit this has been my life, because I am hoping for something more.
He calls us to a way of living that can prompt an inner revolution: “We have seen and known some people who seem to have found this deep Center of living, where the fretful calls of life are integrated, where no as well as yes can be said with confidence.” To this I say, “Yes I have, and I want to be that person.”
If you have waited long enough to become such a woman or man, if this is your moment to awaken, hear an invitation to come retreat into the Center with a community of other seekers. Each year we gather such seekers for five days of centering silence in a retreat sponsored by Contemplative Outreach of New Orleans. Other chapters of Contemplative Outreach offer the same in other areas as eight and ten day retreats. The invitation to those of us who have begun the journey of a daily practice of centering is to “deepen the reservoir of inner stillness.”
I believe this is the “something more” we are longing for because in that reservoir lives our Source, our True Home, the Mystery we call God. Slowing down long enough to “deepen the reservoir of inner stillness” is a path to our deepest healing and wholeness. Such a retreat is our time to come Home and stay awhile. If daily practice helps to sustain us for one day, an extended retreat is “deepening the reservoir.”
You are invited to come reconnect with the “something more” in community through a centering prayer retreat. Join us at Rosaryville near Ponchatoula, Louisiana, in late July, or locate another retreat in a time and place that suits you. Wherever you retreat, give yourself the gift of “deepening the reservoir of inner stillness,” because no one believes they are answering a call to live a frantic life, and yet we all do.
For information on how to register for the centering prayer retreat contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more stories like this see Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic Culture.