Quiet Time?

Primroses from Bro Duncan PBGV's Memorial Orchard
Primroses in Bro Duncan PBGV’s Memorial Orchard

One of the inevitable consequences of the world’s focus on COVID-19 has been the barrage of comment and advice, both good and bad, freely meted out online, via radio, TV and traditional print media. By this stage of Lent we generally want to be a little quieter, a little more intent on prayer, fasting and almsgiving, but it seems we can’t. We had been hoping for some ‘quiet time’ but instead we seem to be steeped in even more noise and activity than usual. Then we remember. Christ’s ‘quiet time’ was spent in Gethsemane and Pilate’s palace, being questioned, mocked, abandoned by his friends. Then came the long, exhausting trek out to Calvary, where the taunting continued, and finally, death on the cross. Is our longing for quiet time just a touch self-indulgent, a protest against the turmoil in which we find ourselves?

It is difficult to answer that question honestly because we all have a way of  putting a good gloss on what we want to do, but I think we can take heart from the thought that desiring quiet, desiring to be alone with the Lord, is itself a grace. Circumstances may prevent our responding as fully as we would like, but providing the desire is there, the grace is there, too. To me that is a great encouragement. This year Lent is taking us down some unexpected paths but they are not all negative, far from it. We have something new to learn, some fresh flowering to experience.

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4 thoughts on “Quiet Time?”

  1. Thank you for this, Sister. I woke this morning to sunlight (it has gone now) and thought of e e cumming’s poem ‘thank you god for most this amazing day’ which I am sure you know. There is so much to be thankful for, even though, these days, most of what comes seems to be unexpected or undesired. But we all seem to be finding God in the unexpected. A bough of cherry blossom against a blue sky during my hasty walk in the park yesterday was an unlooked for grace as was a wave through the window from the Sainsbury’s delivery man.

  2. Thanks again for thoughful and encouraging posts which many of us need during this unusual Lent. Your words, plus watching livestreamed Mass (oddly at a church within walking distance!) are helping me tremendously. While Easter will be the strangest ever, it is not all bad. I have to agree, we must respond quietly to God’s call (perhaps filtering out some of the advice from some sources) which this year may bear different and more valuable fruit than ever before.

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