Last Saturday morning I woke up, grabbed my Bible, my journal, and a pen, threw them all into my backpack and opened my front door. Stepping outside I threw my arms up and, quoting good old Bilbo Baggins, announced to the world, "I'm going on an adventure!" The said adventure was to walk from my house to the nearest tabernacle 1.4km away. Not exactly a hike to Mount Doom but I was excited to get out and explore the streets of Brisbane. Arriving sweaty but happy nearly 20 minutes later I was pleasantly surprised to find myself completely alone with Jesus. I plopped down right in front of the tabernacle; made myself comfortable and let out a looooooong sigh...I was home.
"...Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest awhile." - Mark 6:31
In the chaoticness of life it can be so easy to get distracted and just jump from one event to another. Living in a city filled with amazing catholics and just about any event you can dream up doesn't help. My time is always occupied with work, events, planning, studying, or just hanging out with friends. Even when alone, I occupy my time scrolling through my phone catching up on the lives of others, posting on instagram or exploring other social media sights. Prayer can be an escape from that crazy hectic life but even during that precious time I spend most of it in my head talking, reading or reciting prayers. Finding that place to be alone and quiet, to rest myself and my thoughts, can be very challenging.
.Most of us have our go-to escape. Maybe it's hiking in nature, reading a book, listening to music, or jamming out on an instrument. How often though, do we take the time to just be still? Sitting alone in silence can be difficult but without it how can we distinguish God's voice amidst our own thoughts? As we hear in psalms; "Be still and know that I am God." (46:10) How can we do that when our life is filled with all these other distractions?
I've found one of the best things about being Catholic is no matter what church you go to anywhere in the world, Jesus is there in the tabernacle, waiting just for you. I love going into an empty church. Usually in the middle of the day or late at night and just sitting in front of Jesus, just the two of us, no other eyes watching how we interact. That quiet moment I have with Him always fills me with so much peace and I leave feeling refreshed. No words need to be exchanged because God knows everything: my innermost thoughts, my daily struggles, and my joys.
So, this lent, why not take time away from the hecticness of daily life to sit with Jesus and come to "know" Him personally?
This reflection was written by Kristi Niklason, who loves making memes and sticking them up all over the house. She's also obsessed with water.
"Remember when you approach the tabernacle He has been waiting 20 centuries for you. - St. Josemaria Escriva