Friday, June 16, 2006

Looking up to the Stars

“Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the sailor who has set out deep on the waters, you choose the stars as your guides, and in following them, you may reach your destiny, find your way home.” -Carl Schulz, USA Senator from Wisconsin

We are all on a journey. And sometimes it can be a rough one. It’s so easy to get tossed around by the waves of life that we can find ourselves completely lost. We need stars, fixed points in the sky that aren’t subject to the movement of the waters, by which we can navigate our ships and make our way home.

For Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi, the life of Christ and his Blessed Mother were their stars, their ideals. No matter how high the waves may get, no matter how crazy or difficult life may become, like the saints, we too can look up to these stars to rise above it all, to feel their constancy, to enjoy their beauty as they shine brightly against the dark sky, and to make our way home.

Noise !!!

It’s a noisy world, especially for anyone living in the city. Yelling, fighting, jack-hammering, traffic, sirens... and that's just outside. Inside our homes our electronic appliances battle to be lord of the manor. When was the last time we made it through a half hour without hearing from a computer, a blender, a phone, a washing machine, a radio, an ipod, or a television? Even our conversations with one another can sometimes feel like little more than just a bunch of meaningless noise.

If we're not careful, we can get so accustomed to noise that silence can terrify us. We may find ourselves rushing to flip some sort of electronic switch to create some type of sound whenever the slightest void is left in our noise-filled day.

Don't get me wrong, a lot of the sounds I mentioned are good sounds (like conversation, music, etc.) but even good things can hurt us when we allow them to block us from the Highest Good, when they leave us with no space inside us to hear the voice of our God.

The truth is, in silence we hear best. God's Holy Spirit is inside each of us, speaking to us, just waiting for us to finally slow down and listen. It's a voice that speaks about love and about peace and it's a voice that is more than ready to teach us the ways that we can come to experience both.

But first we have to decide to listen. We need to make the time and the space necessary to quiet our souls down, to get away from the noise of the world, at least for a little while, that we may hear the voice of Love inside.