Icon of Elijah
The story we heard from the book of Kings at Mass this morning is a beautiful one. Elijah, the great prophet, is told that the Lord will pass him by - an Old Testament way of saying that he will encounter God. And then lots of noisy spectacular things happen, a fierce wind, an earthquake, a fire... Yet God is not in any of them. Finally the Lord comes to Elijah, as the reading puts it "in the sound of sheer silence".
Elijah meets God in silence. We too can meet God in silence.
Time for silence is an important need in every Christian life. Silence gives us time to listen to God, to allow him to transform us and our desires. Silence is also a way of acknowledging that God escapes all our words and our concepts.
It can be difficult to find quiet time in this very busy world, with all the pressures of work and family life. However, we need to do so, however small the amount of time is that we find each week.
Sometimes it can be helpful to talk over our prayer life with another Christian, a 'soul friend', to share experiences, and get help about planning prayer time. The clergy at our churches are always happy to do this.