When last I wrote just before Easter, noting that I was heading for the hills of North Carolina, I said I wasn’t sure I would have internet access during the event that lay before me so promised to return today, my first morning home. I found that access was not what was lacking to me there. Rather I had entered into an experience that took all my time and focus where it seemed right to “be in the moment” with 51 others, all of us seeking a deeper commitment to our spiritual path. There was much silence, frequent centering prayer, the presentations of two inspired teachers, mindful physical work and constant attention to living in the present moment. I woke up this morning with a Taizé* chant singing inside me. It’s based on a prayer of Teresa of Avila and says, “Nothing can trouble; nothing can frighten. Those who seek God shall never go wanting. Nothing can trouble; nothing can frighten. God alone fills us.” This is what I know as I return to my “regular” life. We tasted God’s presence in many ways last week and were reminded throughout that each moment is filled with this presence, no matter where we are or what we’re doing, regardless of the circumstances that surround us. All we need to do is constantly come back to the consciousness of this truth.
Our celebration of the Resurrection is not over. Our lectionary tells us that today is “Monday of the Second Week of Easter.” We are moving toward the great feast of Pentecost, the remembrance of the moment when the Spirit of God, promised by Christ as the One who would be with us always, was poured out on the apostles and the gathered crowds in all fullness. That Spirit remains among us and causes us to grow into the Divine Presence more each day asking only that we be willing to open our hearts. So this morning I take a breath and walk forth into the day, not knowing what God has in store but joyfully determined to be there today and every day to find out.
*Taizé is a small town in France known for an ecumenical community of monks – about 100 in number now – who welcome thousands of pilgrims from all over the world (many of them young people) whose worship style of silence, Scripture and chanting punctuates their daily community living and has become a model for contemplative spiritual practice for many groups worldwide.