Vacare Deo ( to be free for God) a Latin expression, is the title of the column: View from the Ark, in the Catholic Times. A monk of the Benedictine Order wants us to reflect on what is meant by this injunction form the past. We need holy leisure and we have less of it with our busy life.
The monastery at this time of the year gets
many visitors for retreats both individual and group retreats. The word
retreat in both Korean and English means to leave the busy life and
retreat to a place of quiet to spend time with God. Adults and children
both are busy with TV, smart phones, they have little time to think.
is everybody so busy? Is it not that one feels uncomfortable in doing
nothing? Fear that we will fall behind others in our money orientated
society is one of the reasons for the busyness. We are caught in the
trap of competition. What are the results? We see it in the indexes for the present and future: in the present suicides, and in the future
the birth rate. The first is our present reality, and the second a sign for the future.
is becoming difficult. We have a word for the three things to avoid: no
romance, no marriage and no children.The feeling of pain from
frustration and loss is great. We do not know where we are going but we
are running to get there.
We need to stop and look
around and begin again. We need to find the meaning for rest--a
long breath-- a breathing in and out and realizing the simplicity of
life. Our breathing will move us on to see the simplicity of our lives.
Stopping means to rest, moving from the complicated to the
simple, from the non-essential to the essential from the external to
Where is the Christian to find this rest?
It is not only the wealthy that can enjoy rest: often they are the
busiest. We do not find rest only in nature or in a monastery. Rest is
not an external place but in ourselves, where we give God the chance to
work within us. God is always working within us but we are too busy to reflect about his presence or interested.
The founder of L'Arch
Jean Vanier has these words of wisdom: "We don't realize the spring
we have in us. We know the intelligence in us and what we can
make-- emotions, craving and impulses but the warm spring that gives us
life, and the God who gives us his love we don't
Prayer is what makes this presence felt, when we
say we are too busy to pray what we mean is we don't want to pray.
Our whole existence is present in God. When we are living a
troublesome life and are fatigued God enters and gives us relief and
leads us to rest, and the result is that our whole existence is in God.