Welcome: An Introduction

Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tuning In

Drop thy still dews of quietness
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through earthquake wind and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.

~ J.G. Whittier

When we rest in silence and seek  within our inner chambers our soul's center where the Spirit's throne abides we enter into a peace that surpasses all understanding. I came across the prayer above while reading a book by David Adam, The Eye of the Eagle. It is a book that meditates on the ancient hymn "Be Thou My Vision". I found this prayer a beautiful expression of this reality and wanted to share it with everyone. It is in his section at the end of a chapter that includes various "exercises" and meditations one can do to grow closer with God.  He suggests praying this prayer multiple times throughout the day, slowly and mindfully, dwelling on the meaning of each word and the reality of which it speaks.

I love the last two lines  "speak through earthquake wind and fire, O still, small voice of calm." It reminds me that even through the trials and busy nature of our lives, if we just center ourselves in the present moment, we can still hear the voice of God. It never leaves us, it is our focus that leaves Him and which makes us feel alone at times. For we are never truly alone, that is just an illusion that we sometimes buy all too readily into. We just need to find ways that work for us to "tune-in" to God's gentle whisper that beckons us forward to experience greater dimensions of His peace and love, which is His presence made manifest.

I am just as guilty as the next person in letting life's distractions carry me away from the peace and presence of God. When I find this happening I can't help but feel a bit of sorrow, for it doesn't have to be that way and many times it's being lost in those distractions that I find myself more apt to sin and wound those around me. And then there's the cycle of feeling guilty and sometimes in our guilt we feel unworthy to enter back into the presence of God. Well, that's also a lie! God always is there to welcome us back with open arms, that's why he sent Jesus, so that our sins and shortcomings, our transgressions could be cleansed from us and we could enter into His presence with a clean heart.

May we all take the time today to seek God's presence and be restored and refreshed, letting the Spirit's life giving waters flow through us. May we all find ways that work for us that help our hearts "tune-in" to the gentle whispers of God.

What are some ways that you find helpful in centering yourself in His presence? Prayer? Meditation? Worship? Please share in the comments section! :)


  1. I'm closest to MY God when I'm fulfilling the gifts HE bestowed when I incarnated this time.

    --When I'm writing, whether I'm writing my blog, writing short stories or working on one of my novels. I can feel HIS presence all around me, I can feel HIS warmth, His joy, HIS smile envelope my very soul.

    --When I'm out w/my camera I can also feel his presence. As I'm writing now, another thought has come to me; perhaps from HIM? These two gifts I have are BEST done in solitude. There are no distractions in solitude, that's where we do our BEST soul searching. Yet another reason I've never felt comfortable in any church setting. I need the solitude of my own making to commune with MY God.

  2. So true! I have been practicing this for sometime now and I am so much at peace. I try and center myself by becoming silent and looking inward, becoming aware of my own breathing and aware of my immediate present. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing Christopher! You know you brought up a good point, it isn't always through prayer or meditation that we can find God's presence, but through all acts. Really, any act can be a form of meditation and when we focus on one thing and all else evaporates from our senses, God certainly can be drawn forward and fill our consciouses with an awareness of His presence.

    I can relate to feeling his presence in solitude. I think it has to do with removing myself from distractions and also there's just something about being alone and with my God..it's a very private moment. I can relate to not feeling comfortable in a church setting. I feel comfortable in the aspect of listening to a sermon, etc. but I have yet to really feel open to worshipping fully in His presence in a church setting. I just can't help but feel it's such a personal thing that having people around kind of hinders that if you know what I mean.

    Thank you for your thoughts :)
    ~blessings and light

  4. Thank you Rimly for sharing some of your methods. Becoming aware of one's breath is an extremely helpful way of drawing into His presence, thank you for sharing that! I love hearing your thoughts. ~blessings

  5. Be still and know that I am God.
    Be still and know that I am.
    Be still and know.
    Be still.

    -there's centering prayer... meditations...body prayers... lectio divina...personal prayer...

    and in creative liturgies, we use a small 'gong' that would remind one of a tuning fork...

    the sound reverberates within... like a call to enter inside...

    my spiritual director tells me that 'contemplation' is presence to Someone...it is the joy of living this presence... which could be in many forms even distractions... but taking it in a positive light, we could see and feel everything as God's presence...

    i still need to reflect on this jessica... but i tell you be at peace...

    remember st. benedict's 'ora et labora'? :)will come back on this post :)

  6. Beautiful poem Jessica ~ I like to meditate on the word, find some peace either early morning or late evening, just some 'me' time to be with Him. But also, I try and incorporate Him into my everyday life if I can, just on little things, as this helps me if I'm getting stressed in the day. Thanks for your posts, I enjoy coming here..be blessed. x

  7. Jessica ... when i need to find answers the thing i will always do is center myself in the present moment,relax, and go within myself. i say nothing, just stay at peace, with nothing distracting my focus. My inner voice will always provide me the answers I seek. If that inner voice is that of God, i don't know, but it is wonderful to think maybe yes.

  8. I am not a very spiritual person..but time and again do turn to seek for solace..I get it by holding on to my 22 years old rosary..and saying my Hail Marys...when in deep contemplation,I usually want to be alone..and first try to be in peace with myself..I find myself being connected with God,when I am doing my little with the under privileged.Retreat to Your “Inner Room.” When he taught his disciples how to pray, Jesus told them: “Go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you” (Matthew 6:6). This “inner room” is not a physical place. It is an interior place in our hearts, the deepest part of who we are. It’s a place of quiet, where we can meet the Lord personally.

  9. The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. (1 Kings 19:11-13)

  10. Each new day I sit with my candle in listening mode… waiting for his still, small voice of calm. This practice sets the mood for the day, and sustains me in those times when the storms of life hit. My room is my sanctuary, a place of solitude and rest. Then, when I’m moving through the day, I make every effort to practice his presence, Brother Lawrence style… and often, there’s a hymn or song of praise on my lips.
    I should memorize the poem by Whittier… how beautiful!

  11. Melissa...thank you so much...you bless this blog everytime you come here :) Wow...it must be a blessing to have a spiritual director, what words of wisdom you receive! I love the idea of the gong...I sometimes use a singing bowl in very much the same way. I love how you broke up the verse , "Be still and know that I am God"...beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing...I always look forward to hearing from you :)

  12. Louise, thank you for sharing. I love the quiet hours of morning too...a great time for reflection and prayer and entering into His presence, as is the late hours, something about solitude. But you're right, the everyday moments are important to...to see God in all of life, through and among the distractions, in our everyday chores, is the beauty of contemplation and revelation. ~blessings :)

  13. Larry..thank you so much for sharing! Yes, I would say that "inner voice" you are hearing is God..but I'm a bit biased perhaps ;) Thanks for your thoughts...centering oneself always brings about revelation and peace..may you have many of that as you bless others in your life. ~blessings

  14. Mike..thank you! I love those verses and they are so applicable to this post I can't believe I left them out of it! Many blessings brother :)

  15. Thank you Debra...I always love hearing from you, I relate to so much that you say :) I love implementing the use of incense and candles with my prayer and it's so true, sessions of contemplation bring about contemplative awareness throughout one's day.

    I like what you said about singing hymns, it's something that I hadn't done until recently...I find singing and praising God centers me into an awareness of His presence and glory and for sure that has a beautiful way of helping me through life's trials and storms. Sometimes when things all around me seem to be filled with turmoil and strife, when I am centered in God's presence, I feel as if I'm in an eye of a storm in a way. All around me life is rising up in protest and chaos, but I remain in a calm oasis of God's love, reassurance, healing and hope. Isn't our God glorious? Thank you, I always enjoy your thoughts :)

  16. Jessica - Your deep searching makes me also long to refresh my own search for hearing God's voice speak deep within me. The beauty of it is that He manifests Himself to each of us differently - to Christopher through 'work', to Rimly through focusing on breath, to Mellisa through centering prayer, to Alpana via the Rosary and helping the needy and to Debra in her morning time of prayer and through song and finally to Larry and me in that deep inner voice. Isn't it wonderful that we hear Him over the hundreds of other voices that demand our attention? And isn't wonderful that we're all connected? God is surely at work - and how! :)

  17. Amen Corinne! Thank you so much...what beautiful observation...we are all interconnected, experiencing God's whisper on different levels through different acts and through different forms of His Creation. What a great God we have :)

  18. (Psa 46:10) Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

    Devotional time spent in prayer and Bible reading, uninterrupted in the morning when my mind is clearest sets the tone for the entire day. If I start the day close to Him, it's easier to remain that way throughout it.