On the Holy Mountain

From our monastery we look out towards the Black Mountains and the Brecons. They are a constant reminder that in scripture mountains are a privileged meeting-place between God and humankind. Today Isaiah 11 speaks of the holy mountain on which no hurt or harm will be done. It is a messianic vision, we say, pausing only to pull out our concordances and commentaries to extract every little nuance of meaning we can from the text. It is a prophecy of the end times, not really meant for here and now.

How wrong can we be! The holy mountain on which no hurt or harm is done should be the ground we tread every day of our lives. God wants to be known and loved now, not just hereafter. If we feel there is some block to this knowing, something that hinders us, we need to look at it and be prepared to change. We can be people of integrity, as Isaiah says. We can be ‘filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters swell the sea’ — if we wish. That is the crux of the matter. What do we really want? During this Year of Consecrated Life many people will be challenged to answer that question in a way they never thought possible, but it isn’t a question just for religious or clergy but every one of us. We are all called to know the promise of the gospel (Luke 10.21-24), all called to know the Lord.

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4 thoughts on “On the Holy Mountain”

  1. It seems an obvious question ‘what can we do to know the Lord better”? But for those of us who aspire to do so, we wonder what more we can do, if we’re already doing as much as seems appropriate.

    A thought came to me that being open to the Lord is easier said than done. We allow the worldly concerns and daily trails to be pre-dominant in our minds and hearts, leaving little space for the Lord. How do we overcome this.

    My personal answer is to question myself all of the time. Why are you thinking, doing or acting in this way, where is God in all of this? It seems to work quite well, it puts God first and foremost, it allows him a point of entry to all that I’m doing, or thinking or writing.

    It’s challenging, but some sort of discipline like this is necessary to give us a clear mind and heart, ready to receive Jesus into our lives – all of the time.

  2. What a great comment on the reading! So many people focus on the “hereafter” rather than the “here and now”. How can we be with God now AND forever. The admonishion to “be still and know” has always plagued mankind. Like the story of Martha and Mary. I struggle with “how to be Mary in a Martha world” (there is a book of this title). How to pay more attention or at least as much attention to just being with God as I do to serving His people. I really appreciate the question UKViewer poses as when approaching actions. “…where is God in all of this?”

    • Hi Cathy, I can’t claim ownership of the Q&A about where God is in all of this.

      When I first came back to faith after a prolonged absence, the Priest who was supporting me asked me that very question. His was in the context of my return to faith, but it really resonated in my mind, and became a habitual discipline thereafter.

      At times it still fails me, but that’s normally when I let the world overwhelm me – I am human after all. But somehow he still finds that chink in the armour, that crack in the facade and is suddenly there again. That’s been the blessing of a return to faith. Knowing him intimately in ways that I’d never imagined God to be. 🙂

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