by Jenny Beatrice
In Empowered by Love, Pallottine priest Fr. Pat Jackson says that St. Vincent found inner silence in his busy apostolate at nighttime, walking to and from engagements and in time spent waiting for people. These were the “desert” places of inner silence that he created—a desert absent of all distraction.
Upon reading this, I had vision of a peaceful St. Vincent hurrying to a meeting and waiting in line at the supermarket—a vision that put his practice into perspective in my life. Where do I find my daily desert?
I know people who have mastered the practice of praying unceasingly throughout the day. I am not one of them. In the spaces in between, my mind races with the next task to do, the next place to be. In pushing forward I’m losing time, forgetting to be present in the moment where God is waiting for me to notice.
In searching for a little calm in my life, I turned to where many folks go for answers these days—my IPhone. I downloaded some apps of guided meditations and nature sounds, a mini-retreat at my ﬁngertips.
One dim and drizzly evening, I took my dog Abigail for a walk to the park and brought along my phone to provide the zen. I scrolled through the nature sounds and selected the rain soundtrack, a ﬁtting choice for the atmosphere.
By the time I reached the park, the rain picked up. And there I was, feeling the raindrops on my face while listening to them on my headphones. Even the dog sensed the irony of the scenario, and she dutifully barked me into the present moment. She also reminded me that the relief I am searching for is already around me if I am willing to find it.
Turns out, I found my desert by getting a little wet.
Where do you find your daily desert?