One of the places I went to was a Carmelite Monastery . The Nuns had two young novices, I think they were around fifteen years old, I still remember their sweet little baby faces, but more than anything, I remember the face of every Nun glowing.
In this journal entry from yesterday (See drawing), I wrote about Elijah waiting for the Lord to pass by, but the Lord is not in the wind, and the Lord is not in the earthquake and the Lord is not in the fire but yet Elijah tunes his ears to listen and he hears the voice of God in the soft, gentle whisper. (IKings 19:11-13)
I was thinking how throughout my life, sometimes I want God to let the heavens loose and to speak to me with a thunderous voice, to be clear and specific...and yet, I have not put my face between my knees, waiting, like Elijah for the rain...
So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. (I kings 18:42)
Through these years in the Convent, I have learned that God does not come with a bang! God speaks to us through the Incarnation, in the day to day, sometimes in the dullness of routine, it is only a matter of being willing to listen. I keep on learning that with God it is never done MY WAY, but God's way, because as St. Edith Stein said "Love is the freer thing there is." I keep on listening. I keep on waiting...
I have alwyas enjoyed this poem of a great Carmelite of our times, Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, also known as Jessica Powers...I like it because this poem is so carmelite and so Incarnational....
Creature of God
That God stands tall, incomprehensible,
infinite and immutable and freeI know.
Yet more I marvel as His call
trickles and thunders down through space to me.
that from His far eternities He shouts
to me, one small inconsequence of day.
I kneel down in the vastness of His love,
cover myself with creaturehood and pray.
God likes me covered with my creaturehood
and with my limits spread across His face
He likes to see me lifting to his eyes
even the wretchedness that dropped his grace.
I make no guess what greatness took me in.
I only know, and relish it as good,
that I am gathered more to God's embrace
the more I greet him to through my creaturehood.
Jessica Powers/ Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit
Carmel of the Mother of God, Pewaukee Wisconsin.
Praised be the Incarnate Word!