On the feast of Saint Anthony of the Desert, I am aware that there has been, almost from the beginning, a way of following Christ that draws the believer away from busyness, away from noise, away from the sense stimulation that many experts say we are becoming addicted. We respond reflexively not to what is most important in life but to the latest signal, beep, buzz, or ringtone to impinge upon our consciousness. Few of us have a desert at hand where we can retreat and listen to the still, small voice of God, but perhaps there is a park, an inviting space outdoors, a chapel, a parked car with the radio off that can offer a chance for contemplation, for quietly considering the things that really matter.
George Bernard Shaw would have been a fan of Saint Anthony of the Desert. Shaw says, “Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear another’s imperfections, and conceal your own. ” Pray for the courage to know when to speak and the grace to know when to remain silent.
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