Quote of the Day: When Herman Melville reminded us that “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and amended by Silence, and Silence is the consecration of the universe,” he may have been out at sea, chasing whales, or in the solitude of his writer’s desk next to a fireplace, chasing dreams.
Commentary: Now many of those around us—and perhaps all of you reading this as well—are dealing with a degree of enforced solitude, with more silence all around you than you may be used to, but does that ease you into that Great Consecration of the Universe? Or do all of your anxieties about your loved ones break out like a sorrowful rash every moment you are alone? Of course, it is natural and necessary to worry about your loved ones during trying times, but what if accepting the blessing—the consecration—of silence, makes you more peaceful, stronger and more able to help those in harm’s way?
Suggested Action #30: Be honest with yourself as you walk in silence today: does that silence still get disrupted by fears and distractions, or does it bring you peace? Unpack that dilemma and where you stand (and walk) between those two poles. What if your embrace of pure silence brought you a kind of tranquility that could better help you deal with the chaos that most of us are facing today? Remember how St. Francis went to the battlefront of the Crusades in Egypt—and even into the tent of the Sultan directed all the Muslim troops—to pray with them in the absence of fear. The capacity he gained doing so not only transformed St. Francis and the Sultan, it opened up a period of peace among Muslims, Christians and Jews living in the Holy Lands. Allow yourself to be blessed—and your place of solitude to be consecrated—during these times of sorrowful wailing, shrieking and shous of pain.
Those who are suffering need you with all the deepest spiritual reserves you can muster.
Gary Paul Nabhan aka Brother Coyote is a professed member of the Ecumenical Order of Franciscans, a graduate of the Living School, a conservation biologist, orchard-keeper and story-teller.