“Not to preach the Gospel would be my undoing,” wrote Pope St. Paul VI.
I’ve been staying in the dark room for the past spell, asking for God to develop me in secret.
Dark rooms were used with old-style photographs, before the delight of digital film and camerawork. Photos weren’t instantaneous. Photos had to be developed for an unglorious time in darkness and silence.
I love the dark room.
Part of that retreat is the need to rejuvenate with my family and it’s my own monastic tendency to live life offline.
Part of that retreat has been the feeling of ineffectiveness against the forces of a global virus, social unrest, and the onslaught of news you can’t trust one way or another. Even the Church is feeling fractured and not receiving the Eucharist regularly is taking its toll on me. When you feel helpless, you can’t give what you don’t have.
So I retreat to the dark room and put myself silently in the present of God.
My own heart is alway discerning the silence of cowardice and the silence of prudence. “There is a time to keep silence and a time to speak” (Eccl 3:7).
Either way, I’m ready to get back to work.
But to whom else shall we go? Christ has the words of everlasting life and he is the only calm harbor where this storm can be weathered. When I want to retreat and hide, Christ prompts me forward. Be feed as to feed others. Be silent so you know when to speak.
Lord, help me to pray, listen, and respond.
“Not to preach the Gospel would be my undoing”– Pope St. Paul VI.