Into Great Silence

Image result for many many words

Learning from Sunday’s post, I will be silent myself for a while. I will provide you with an umbrella by pausing posting until March 15th, the Ides of March.

As a final thought, I will propose to you 6 disparate ideas for possible Lenten fare. As ever, thank you for reading here. I never take that for granted. A festive Mardi Gras and a blessed Lent to you.

1. Beginning to Pray by Anthony Bloom. This is my own personal favorite book on prayer that I have re-read too many times to count. https://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Pray-Anthony-Bloom/dp/0809115093/

2. Hallowed is a phenomenal prayer (et al) app: https://hallow.com/

3. The Lenten Spring by Fr. Tom Hopko is a wonderful Orthodox reflection on Great Lent: https://www.amazon.com/Lenten-Spring-Readings-Great-Lent/dp/0881410144/

4. The Straight Story. This is one of my top 10 fav movies, and is a movie that challenges our digital pace of life: https://youtu.be/e0zb_baTzkk

5. Here’s a podcast I did recently with Dr. Mario Sacasa, the second we have done together on anxiety: https://faithandmarriage.org/podcast/064-reflections-on-anxiety-with-dr-tom-neal/

6. The movie Into Great Silence is really something you should watch at least once in life. Give yourself 2.5 hours to watch, and at least 20 minutes after to allow it to marinade in your soul: https://youtu.be/sgNj2Sf_mgo:

Here’s a poem I wrote during a Lent when there was an enormous amount of uncertainty in my life, and during that stretch I came across this quote: “Trust His unchanging love in the change.”

My Lenten wasteland
You lead me, O Lord
so-far-away, graced
from my most familiar taste
straying me lengthily in haste
outward toward a seeming barren waste
exiting all my black and white
setting clay certainties to flight
whilst entering this blessed night
within Our now-dimming sight —
Faith’s divinely hoping Light.
“Why?” ask I,
“Why must I?”
“That I,” you say, O Adonai
“yes that lonely I
in me must die
to live, only pray Thy
will be done
and live-love my beloved Son
in whom I am ever-One.”
+Amen.

….Anticipating this coming Sunday’s Gospel, I will leave you with some lovely visuals from the Judean desert Jesus spent 40 days in. I recommend you full-screen it, turn the sound off and imagine Jesus there.

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him. — Mark 1:12-13

9 comments on “Into Great Silence

  1. amyansaturday says:

    Thank you Dr. Tom… #5 will be my first go to as a prepare for a 5th surgery this year due to complications from a hysterectomy and bladder repair a year ago January! We will be flying to Arizona for surgery Friday at 12:30. I ask for your prayers! Blessings

    • Praying now, Amy! I am imagining us at Grounds for Celebration, sharing struggles and laughs, and asking Jesus to accompany you every step in trust along the way. Fly safely and may all go well. Keep in touch, please. Dr. Tom

  2. beads2rosaries says:

    As I awoke at 4am due to anxiety, I found it no accident that the anxiety podcast was posted. My routine is to rest one hour and after that to get up and do something other than try to force the anxiety back down all night. Perhaps a bookend podcast would be “how does a person learn to trust” since that is one of the largest identified issues from the podcast. Just a thought.

    • Ah, yes! That is the real art of arts. I will speak to Dr. Mario about that, B2R, and see if we can post our own humble thoughts on the matter.
      In many ways, though, I think the best I could do would pale before the wisdom of Fr Walter Ciszek in “He Leadeth Me”, where, better than telling us how to trust, he tells his story of trust learned.
      That said, with this coincidence of post and your waking anxious, I am grateful God clearly continues to allow us to walk together in that same valley — as you have been for me one of the 4 who have lowered me down through the roof on the mat to Jesus. +
      The poem at the end of today’s post also catches some of faith’s wisdom I have internalized some, to good effect.

  3. conroybruce says:

    Good Shepherd Parish Lenten Mission Dr Mario Sacasa: Hope Leads the Way

    https://goodshepherdparish.org/events/lenten-mission

    “The Hopeful Mysteries of the Rosary”

    Sent from Bruce’s iPhone

    >

    • Yes! He’s looking forward to a homecoming with the Tally faith community. You will be greatly blessed by his insights and witness. A true jewel in the crown of the New Mysteries of Hope. Blessings to you, Diane and the family

  4. Tim R. says:

    Into Great Silence is a wonderful film….I’ve watched it three times….

  5. mdevries7830 says:

    When I saw your Lenten Silence post a few days earlier, I was afraid you might do this. Ha! Ah, but we must always be cautious that our spiritual guides do not harden into idols. I’ve been thinking I need to slow down on reading your blog, as the daily dose was much too rich for the long pondering each post deserves… God bless you.

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