Peace occurs when time and space are suspended. I do not mean an escape from reality. Rather, peace comes when what looks and feels like reality—the unrelenting rush of time transporting me, helpless to obey—is revealed for what it is: an illusion. The thunder in the wind that rushes past as I wonder at the loss of time is trickery. I believe in a God that stands outside time, yet chooses to penetrate it with Presence. Emmanuel. And, it is the glance, just that moment of recognition that, indeed, makes the universe surrender.
Today’s meditation in the Celtic Daily Prayer begins with:
“Deserts, silence, solitude.
For a soul that realizes the tremendous need of all three, opportunities present themselves in the midst of the congested trappings of all the world’s immense cities. But how, really, can one achieve such solitude?
By standing still.”
It was Brother Lawrence who knew this reality when he practiced the presence of God within the dailiness, the demands on his time. And it is just that: a practice. It does not come easily—the rush of time is quite persistent. To step outside time and space welcomes the presence of God within it, and then—there is peace.
This second week of Advent with its theme of peace is a beautiful time to engage such a practice. The end of today’s meditation, a lovely way to begin:
“Stand still, and lifting your hearts and hands to God pray that the mighty wind of the holy Spirit may clear all the cobwebs of fears, selfishness, greed, narrow-heartedness away from the soul: that God’s tongues of flame may descend to give courage to begin again.”