Friday, December 5, 2008

Dear Urban Abbey Members and Friends:

Below is today's meditation from Fr. Don Talafous of St. John's Abbey. Being a "type-A" person his message really resonates with me today. For us as Abbey members, his admonitions to "watch and wait" and "be present for those who need us" have great application especially in today's troubled times.

Shalom, George

While praying in the garden the night before His suffering and death Jesus said to the disciples: "Wait here and watch with me" (Matt 26:38). He didn't send them off to importune the local bureaucrats for another hearing, to get reinforcements or to organize a protest. Many a contemporary of ours would consider His words too passive; why not tell them to do something rather than just wait and watch? It is difficult for people raised in our culture just to sit and watch. We feel we're being judged by our peers on how proactive we are, how able to do something. Part of Jesus' point is that in some circumstances the best thing to do is to wait, watch, be present. The friends of Job who harangued him in his suffering finally did the right thing when they shut up and sat with him in his misery. Beyond this the words of Jesus admonish us to question the value of our frenzied activity. We are so busy getting somewhere that we often have no time to be anywhere. In our pursuit of education or of advancement, of business opportunities, we need to learn just to be, to be present to those who need us. Our silent presence cannot have a price put on it; yet it's often worth more than our fumbling actions. "Wait and watch." — Don Talafous OSB 12/05/08

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