Embracing Stillness

Photo: Sister Nancy A. Sell, OSF

It was a chance viewing of a television program featuring two families affected by heroin addition. Their young adult sons suffered from heroin addiction demonstrating typical drug addition behavior:  lying, stealing, homelessness, etc.    One son related  that he went through trash cans to find receipts, then went into stores and stole merchandise returning the items with the receipts from the trash–all to get money to buy drugs.  They just wanted the pain within to stop.  As I watched the program I thought about other situations where pain in life seems unbearable.

I know a number of people who have committed suicide.  Sad and tragic.  They just wanted the pain of life to stop.  Their families live with the sadness.  And there are more situations where the pain in life seems unbearable.

We know the statistics for prescription drug use,  not for physical pain but to stop the pain within.  Sometimes life becomes painfully unbearable.  And the topic often least talked about is alcohol addiction where it is socially acceptable to deaden the pain of life.  What are the pains of life?  They are many and varied.

Life is changing in many facets of our lives.  Our lives are forever changed as the result of the death of a loved one.  Where once there seemed to be certitude, rootedness, and predictability, now there is little.  If we don’t deaden the pain, we might find ourselves clinging and grasping wanting someone or something to give certitude, rootedness, predictability.  They cannot.  And there are more changes in life.  Our lives are forever changed with the lost of a job.  A situation which has affected so many in our country in the last years.  Certitude, rootedness, predictability, feeling useful all vanish as life takes on a different form from day-to-day.   And there are break ups in marriages or relationships.  In the midst of the brokenness of life, where do we find certitude, rootedness and predictability?

It is certainly true that we find certitude, rootedness, predictability in God, the divine source of our life.  Our true living water.  Yet, our story does not end here.  When we are in pain, we may just want to run.   Thinking about God as a Divine Source who is our certitude, rootedness and predictability does not always help when we are in pain.  We need to feel our Divine Source.   Even though the last thing we want to do when we are in pain is to be still and quiet, stillness is our healing balm for inner pain when our world is spinning around us.

We find peace and contentment in the midst of brokenness in the deep, clear, crisp waters of our inner beings where the Spirit of God embraces us tenderly bringing healing and inviting us to be open to change.    Nothing else really gives lasting peace.

In the words of a song from Taize we hear the call to stillness:  Come and fill our hearts with you peace.  You alone, O God are holy.  Come and fill our heart with your peace.  You alone O God are holy.

We embrace our holy God in the still, deepest recesses of our beings in the midst of brokenness.

Our invitation is to embrace stillness.

Blessings and peace

About SisterNancy

I am a Catholic Sister, a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I enjoy swimming and nature: hiking in the mountains and along rolling hills, sitting by water and walking through the various seasons of life. I am a spiritual director, spirituality consultant, chaplain and retreat director. You can contact me at sisternancyosf@gmail.com
This entry was posted in dependency on God, divine presence, heroin addiction, Holy One, Nun, Spirituality, stillness and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Embracing Stillness

  1. Leo Wirtz says:

    Just as stimulating as usual, so much to think about. Thanks Ursula

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