Thursday, 3 April 2008

Discrete Humble Life-Giving

I went to hear Brother Thierry speaking tonight at True. To be honest you don't really know what to expect when you are going to listen to a monk. However, I’d heard some good reports about this guy and I have to admit he is one of the few people that have lived up to expectation. His humble approach caught my attention straight away and I wanted to listen to all that he had to say. The conversation focused around ‘practicing the presence of God’, that the God of all creation dwells within us. How can we become intentionally aware of His presence in every area of our lives and also carry His presence into our living and being.
The disciplined lifestyle that Brother Thierry has chosen to live is stirring. Based on the three Benedictine principles of prayer, work and community he has sacrificed a lot. Hearing him talk of its reality you understand better the practicalities involved and also the satisfaction and fulfillment that he has been able to glimpse from this surrender. As I hunger for more of God this man’s life is a challenge to me, I’m forced to acknowledge that I know little about this level of sacrifice, dedication and discipline. Intimacy with God is costly and demanding.
One point that resonated with me tonight was in connection with my last blog. Brother Thierry mentioned that before we can love God and love other people and be filled with more compassion, we must begin to accept and love ourselves. As we accept the reality of who we are, we are more capable of loving other broken people. In my last blog I talked about loving people unconditionally with no agenda, yet having this desire to see them grow and move forward and find something of the life that was designed for them. Tonight Brother Thierry was responding to a question on how we hear God’s voice. He said ‘the voice of God is a discrete, humble, life-giving voice’. It is not forceful, arrogant or controlling. As we take on Gods heart for people, as we join with Him as He calls them to follow after Him and in doing so they find life; we don't do it a forceful or manipulative way. We do it with this discrete and humble voice; a voice that is often recognized more through our actions than our words. A voice that calls clearly to people who are listening, yet does not trample upon their freedom to choose.

We need to learn to love more and better.