Time to wonder

Some thoughts on the Sabbath from Colm Tóibín’s book The Testament of Mary:

The Sabbath mornings … were placid mornings, hours when stillness and ease prevailed, when we looked inside ourselves and remained almost indifferent to the noise the world made or the stamp the previous days had left on us.

On those Sabbath days once the prayers were intoned and God was thanked and praised, there was always time to wonder about what was beyond us in the sky or what world lay buried in the hollows of the earth.

Mary, the narrator, also reflects on ‘the peaceful night after the day when we had renewed ourselves, when our love for each other, for God and the world, had deepened and spread’.

Those who learn stillness

And another quote from Samuel Wells and Marcia A. Owen’s Living without Enemies: Being Present in the Midst of Violence:

Those who learn … stillness find that their lives become a sabbath for those who encounter them. … Their lives become an embrace of the qualities and gifts in those around them that others have been too busy or too threatened or too self-absorbed to see and encourage. Their lives become an invitation into a place of depth, but an exhilarating invitation because it is depth without fear, depth as an adventure in which you are expecting to be met by God. Their lives become a place and a time of renewal in which others rediscover who they are and who God is.