Silent Sunday: Here I am
Introduction to the mornign retreat
Introduction and opening prayer

Opening Music: Here I am

Listen to the following opening song, by John Michael Talbot:

Here I AmJohn Michael Talbot
00:00 / 05:26

Lyrics:

Here I am standing right beside you
Here I am, do not be afraid
Here I am, I'm waiting like a lover
I am here, Here I am

Do not fear when the tempter beckons
Do not fear even though you might fall
Do not fear for I have conquered evil
Do not fear, never be afraid

Here I am standing right beside you...

I am here in the face of every child
I am here in every warm embrace
I am here with tenderness and mercy
Her I am, I am here

Here I am standing right beside you...

I am here in the midst of every trial
I am here in the face of your despair
I am here in pardon and forgiveness
Here I am, I am here

Here I am standing right beside you...

Guided prayer

The following is a guided prayer where we hear God saying to us "Here I am":

Here I amGuided prayer
00:00 / 10:08

Music: Be still my love

Be still my loveDavid Kaufmann
00:00 / 05:05

Lyrics:

Be still my love, know that I am God
Be still my love, know that I am God

The mountains shake, the waters roar
The valleys tremble with fear
And yet our strength, our refuge sure
Whispers in our ear

Be still my love, know that I am God
Be still my love, know that I am God

Though nations fight, though kingdoms fall
Though spiteful hearts will harm
Your mercy holds us, we hear You call
We linger in Your resting arms as You say

Be still my love, know that I am God
Be still my love, know that I am God

Behold the works our Lord has done
To change our hearts of stone
God breaks our arrows, God breaks our bows
God calls us chosen, calls us God's own

Be still my love, know that I am God

Be still my love, know that I am God

Quiet prayer

The following is a guided prayer leading into a time of silence, where we respond to God with our prayer "Here I am":

Here I am responseQuiet prayer
00:00 / 10:29

Reading:

Read the following passage slowly, twice or three times. Listen for a word or phrase that "shimmers" for you, and listen quietly to whatever blooms from this seed.

Psalm 3

(based on the paraphrase by Nan Merrill, from Psalms for Praying)

O Beloved, how numerous are my fears.

They rise up within me, whispering:

"Where is your God now?"

 

Yet You, O Beloved, are a quiet radiant Presence, ever-near;

The One who sustains us, restoring our dignity.

 

I cry aloud to You in my distress, 

and You answer from within the quiet places of my heart.

 

When I lie down and sleep, I wake again to a new dawn, 

 for You hold me with strength and tenderness.

I find a resilience in the presence of my fears

As they arise within me.

 

Rise up, O Lord, like a rose that softly but surely blooms within me.

Set me free from all that constricts Your unfolding;

For with You in my heart

My fears will be transformed into love;

My doubts will give way to hope.

Walking meditation

Take a slow walk for around 10 minutes, and when you put each foot down, feel your connection to the ground, and quietly say: "Here I am." You can say this as a prayer, offering yourself afresh to God with every step. You could also hear God saying to you "Here I am, I've got you", as you allow the solidity of the ground to hold you, as God holds you.  

For deeper reflection:

 

I encourage you to spend some time in further reflection on this theme. You could choose one of the following passages to work with more deeply, or you could work with all of them over a number of days.

 

Meister Eckhart:

"I have a soul that is absolutely receptive to God and I am sure, as a fact of my very life, that nothing is so close to me as God is close to me. God is closer to me than I am even to my own self.”

John of the Cross:

"O you soul, then, most beautiful of creatures, who so long to know the place where your Beloved is, that you may seek Him, and be united to Him, you know now that you are yourself that very tabernacle where He dwells, the secret chamber of His retreat where He is hidden. Rejoice, therefore, and exult, because all your good and all your hope is so near you as to be within you; or, to speak more accurately, that you can not be without it, "for lo, the kingdom of God is within you."

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭45:3:

“I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”

Thomas Merton:

"When I consent to the will and mercy of God as it comes to me in the events of life, appealing to my inner self and awakening my faith, I break through the superficial exterior appearances that form my routine vision of the world and of my own self, and I find myself in the Presence of Hidden Majesty."

James Finley, from Merton's Path to the Palace of Nowhere:

"The core of our being is drawn like a stone to the quiet depths of each moment where God waits for us with eternal longing. But to those depths the false self will not let us travel. Like stones skipped across the surface of the water we are kept skimming along the peripheral, one-dimensional fringes of life. To sink is to vanish. To sink into the unknown depths of God's call to union with himself is to lose all that the false self knows and cherishes.

Edith Stein: 

"You are the space that embraces my being and buries it in yourself.

Ending song: You were there

Listen to the following song as an ending prayer:

You Were ThereLibera
00:00 / 04:15

Lyrics:

You were there
In everything I knew
From the moment I began
Always there
In every way I go
Saved me falling
Held my hand

You are shelter from the storm
The shadows fade away
All cares pass away

Hosanna, day by day
Your love lightens up the sky
As it shines across the night
Ave, regina caelorum decora
Virgo gloriosa, ave!


And when the end of day is come
Stay with me through the dark
And bring me home

You are there
Whichever way I go
Keep me safely night and day
Always there
Whenever I'm alone
Hear me calling
Show the way

You are shelter from the storm
The shadows fade away
All cares pass away

Hosanna, day by day
Your love lightens up the sky
As it shines across the night
Ave, regina caelorum decora
Virgo gloriosa, ave!


And when the end of day is come
Stay with me through the dark
And bring me home

Stay with me through the dark
And bring me home

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