I spent a lot of this past Lent searching for quiet. I was inspired by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s new life of quiet contemplation. Prayer, reading, and more prayer with some occasional piano playing has seriously sounded to me like some kind of heaven. Even if I can’t really play the piano.
But my quiet, I quickly realized could never be literal. My kids are just far too boisterous in real life. Not to mention, despite my extreme introvertedness and shyness, well, I like to hear people.
Would you believe that my quiet was found in Pope Francis? No, I’m serious. My quiet is finding peace among the chaos. And for me, Pope Francis totally did that. His appearances focus me on his message and Christ. I know, it sounds strange, but I’ve found myself listening constantly to Vatican Radio because of Pope-related news and as a result, I am getting so many wonderful reflections and devotions.
I’ve taken to taking notes. I also take notes on all Francis’ homilies. And if you read my Palm Sunday post, you know that I got up extra early to watch the Palm Sunday mass in Rome which is something I’ve never done in all my life before. But I wanted to ensure I heard the Pope’s message going into Holy Week and his message to prepare ourselves and our communities, although he was talking about World Youth Day, really resonated in me in preparation for Holy Week. Additionally, his focus on not becoming discouraged was equally applicable. He spoke of a life of joy and that is where I found myself starting Holy Week. Joy at seeing a wonderful new Holy Father. Joy at seeing the meeting of two Popes and their fraternal bonds of love. Joy at how at peace Benedict seems and what a good thing that is now as he looks so frail. Joy at seeing a good friend I hadn’t seen in many years. Joy at seeing how the Holy Spirit had worked in her life. Joy at seeing how the Holy Spirit was working in mine. Joy for so many, many things and reasons.
I believe I am finding quiet in a literal sense more often but my spirit is more settled now and that is part of the reason I am able to blog and write more. The spirit needs times of unrest, but now is my time of quiet. My time of gentle quiet and joy.