|Artwork: Night by Edward Burne-Jones|
One foot in eternity
O, be still my mind
Be still my soul
For in the deepest silence
of the human soul
lies the peace which
surpasses all understanding
and in the quiet chambers
of a peaceful heart
time stands still
and eternity begins
Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. St. Augustine
Cultivating inner silence is an important part of prayer. In the midst of the clamor of the world, which is louder than ever in our day, I would go so far as to say this silent time is imperative for most of us because it is in the silent sanctuary of our souls that we find the rest we so desperately need, it is there we find the "peace that surpasses all understanding". When we search for this peace on the surface of our lives it's hard to find but if we look at the calm beneath the storms of life, if we turn our gaze to the inner recesses of the soul, there we find God's steady presence.
Rather, I have stilled my soul, hushed it like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother's lap, so is my soul within me. Psalm 131:2
And behold, the veil in the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. Mt.27:51
Thanks to Jesus we may enter the "inner sanctuary" - that place in our innermost being where God and the soul are in intimate communication. It can be compared to the Holy of Holies in the temple. That place "beyond the veil" which we cannot see with our physical senses but become aware of with our spiritual senses.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 1 Cor. 6: 19
The ark of the commandments you shall bring inside, behind this veil, which divides this holy place from the holy of holies. Ex.26:33
You yourself are His dwelling and His secret chamber and hiding place. St John of the Cross
Time seems to stand still in the inner recesses of our souls. I never quite understood how this could be exactly but a good guess is that our souls don't experience time in the same way our physical bodies do. Our souls, I guess you could say, stand outside of time in some strange way, even as our physical bodies stand very firmly IN time. Because we are body, soul, and spirit we exist both in time and outside of time. This is the reason a person can experience heaven as a spiritual state of being while still in time. Our souls rest in God who is beyond time.
What more can you desire, what more can you seek without, seeing that within you have your riches, your delight, your fullness and your kingdom; that is your Beloved, Whom you desire and seek? Rejoice, then, and be glad in Him with interior recollection, seeing that you have Him so near. Then love Him, then desire Him, then adore Him, and go not to seek Him out of yourself, for that will be but distraction and weariness, and you shall not find Him; because there is no fruition of Him more certain, more ready, or more intimate than that which is within.
St. John of the Cross (A Spiritual Canticle of the Soul)
Here are a few beautiful scripture passages (along with the verses and quotes I mention above) that I have been meditating on recently that deeply resonate within my soul whenever I think of the indwelling of The Holy Trinity:
I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. John 17:23
"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts become troubled or afraid." John 14:27