Jesus came to a small estate called Gethsemene; and he said to his disciples, ‘Stay here while I go over there to pray’… And sadness came over him, and great distress: ‘My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here and keep awake for me.’ Matthew 26:36-38
Silence is a good friend – and one that guides us to find God to be with us. Our Lord left the supper table and walked into the night to find silence – to be alone – and in that silence to be with his Father. It was not a peaceful silence, for he was in agony, blood and sweat on his brow, as he struggled to accept the suffering that he must undergo, and the failure of those closest to him, who failed him when he needed them most. He had gone to find silence and solitude to be with his Father.
He told his disciples, Peter, James and John, to watch and pray – to be with him, close by, and to be at prayer with him. They found it hard. They dropped off to sleep while he struggled within, praying first to be freed from his agony, then to accept to drink the chalice of pain. They slept, and later, under pressure, they left him altogether.
In prayer we may share with him our agonies and our struggles too, and not least the struggle to accept God’s will when that seems hard to do. We may speak to him about the pains and sufferings of those whom we know and love, our relatives and friends, not forgetting strangers too.
Above all, he asks us to join him just for a bit tonight, alone, and in silence.
Father, help me to find you in the silence of my heart.
We pray for all those who struggle – that their contact with the Centre will help them have a brighter future.
Reflection by Cardinal Basil Hume OSB – originally in ‘A Turning to God’, edited by Patricia Hardcastle Kelly (DLT 2007), used with permission