By Rev. Carrie Irwin
In the early days of Advent, I was blessed to spend a few days at St. John’s Convent, where worship and prayer takes centre stage, and where silence is intentional.
It is quite something to shed the noise and busyness of everyday life and to step into a time of retreat and reflection.
In these early days of 2017, as I reflect back on that time, I am reminded of how challenging it can be to find silence in our everyday lives. During that retreat, our theme was taken from Psalm 119 verse 114 “You’re my place of quiet retreat. I wait for your word to renew me.” (The Message) My intention upon leaving the convent was to find time each day to sit however briefly, in a time of silence, where I could wait on the word of God to renew me. Well, it was a busy month, and some days proved easier than others to honour those intentions.
However, the New Year is a time of fresh starts and best intentions, and as I renew my own prayer life I invite you to join all of our prayer warriors across the Diocese to a renewed life of prayer, to make space and time for silence and renewal. In prayer and silence, we trust and hope in God alone. Mother Teresa says that, “in the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you… Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”
Prayer changes the one praying because in prayer, we are in the presence of God as we lay before God your selves in confession and dependence. There is nothing to hide when in quiet prayer we reach into the deepest part of ourselves and admit our needs and failures. In doing so, our hearts are quieted and we bask in the presence of God. James 4.8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”(NRSV).
Rev. Carrie Irwin is a member of the AFP (Huron) Executive.