So I’ve been heartened to reflect today on one visitor’s response to one of our 3 Eucharistic celebrations this morning. “Could it really be as simple as you’ve suggested?”, she asked. “Could it really be that what I’ve been needing and missing for years and years is quite simply quietness and stillness enough to begin to encounter real prayer?”
“Well, yes”, I replied. “I really think it could be that simple. The stillness and the quietness that, week by week, I encourage in others has been the bedrock of my life. I would be a poor man and a (yet more!) hopeless priest without it”.
“Then my suspicions have been confirmed”, replied my new friend. “I think you’ve just handed me the keys to the kingdom. Now I just need to find which one turns the lock.”
Could it really be that simple? Well, I’m just about to try it again! It’s always better to try prayer, better to try quietness and stillness – even for just a couple of minutes – than to talk about it. And the prayer itself need not involve a single word at all. Just the silence will do, and will often, indeed, be best. And the birdsong that the stillness and quietness will almost certainly bring to my attention afresh this evening will lead me – can lead all of us – deeply and gently into the paths of peace. Here, “new every morning” we rediscover the right key for the right lock.