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The way of silence

The story is told about a heavy smoker who finally ended up smoking just six sticks of cigarettes a day. Why? Because, he said, “God rested on the seventh day, so, after six sticks, it’s time for me to give my lips and my lungs some rest! Ok? Ok!”

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In today’s gospel (Mk. 6, 30-34), Jesus invited His busy disciples: “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” They were so busy ministering to people that they had no opportunity even to eat! No matter how busy we are, we must learn to slow down, take it easy, and rest a while.

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Taking time to rest, and taking it easy is not being lazy. It is a break, a respite that is not a luxury, but a necessity for all of us who get tired, grow weak, and become weary. Suggestion: Be gentle with yourself, so that you can be gentle with people around you.

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There are three R’s we need in life as we journey on: Relax, Reflect, Renew.

RELAX—Take time to rest and get away from it all. Have a quiet time, be it in a walk, in a trip, or in a favorite pastime. Shut down.

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REFLECT—Take time to be quiet and let the world and all its chatter fade away. Turn on the volume of what is inside you, and listen to God, let Him speak to you. Quiet down. Be silent. Listen. Shut up.

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RENEW—Be recharged. Be energized. Reset your mindset and your priorities. Renew your commitments, relationships, and responsibilities. Sort out what you need to let go of or what you need to bring along in your journey. Refreshed and recharged, move on. Shuttle back.

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Fr. Felix Ferrer, SVD (recuperating in our retirement house in Christ the King Seminary) writes about “sharpening the saw” by Stephen Covey, and the four areas of our life that need renewal, namely: Physical (beneficial eating, resting); Social/Emotional (making social and meaningful connections); Mental (learning, reading, writing and teaching); Spiritual (nature, meditation, music, art, prayer, service.) Renewal in those areas leads to empowerment, growth, change, and improvement.

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The way of the cross is the way of silence. It is the way which our Lord humbly took. We too will walk this road at some point or another as we journey on. Walk it. Follow the Lord as you walk your way of the cross. It is a difficult way, with crowds so cruel and uncaring, and so insensitive and condemning. Instead of focusing and pleasing the crowd, focus on the Lord who has plans “to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29, 11)

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Please don’t forget that amidst the proud and angry crowd, there are real friends. A few good friends is all we need. We don’t need followers or fans who are here today and gone tomorrow. When the Lord leads you to any way of the cross, He is making you strong, He is making you closer to Him, He is preparing, purifying, and cleansing you for something more beautiful up ahead.

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We appreciate people who may not be heard or seen, but they are silently there, accompanying us with their prayers, respecting our space, supporting us, and wishing us well in whatever we are going through.

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For those who go through any brokenness, may I recommend again BTS: BELIEVE that God loves you; TRUST that God will help you; SURRENDER to God’s loving will and plan for you.

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Think about this: “Until you’re broken, you don’t know what you’re made of. It gives you the ability to build yourself all over again, but stronger than ever.”

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A moment with the Lord: Lord, silence me, so that I can listen to You speaking to me. Amen.

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