#AdventBookClub week 1 – day 3 – ‘In Church’

Today again it is the silence that has captivated me. I love the way R.S. Thomas captures the sense of a lingering silence which has been there long before we arrive and will be there long after we leave – “the air recomposing itself for vigil”. It reminds me of the silence of the convent chapel at Wantage, where I usually go on retreat. The rhythm of worship there always seems to emerge out of the silence and sink back into it.

There is something in this sort of silence for me about the silence of God – the idea that God is present as a silence which underpins all the noise of our lives. The silent presence of God is the background out of which all our foreground noise emerges, and into which it receeds. And if we pause, like Thomas in this poem, we may hear the underlying silence, as if glimpsing the background though a window left ajar. I wonder where we will find those moments of awareness of the background silence of God this Advent?

This year for #AdventBookClub we are reading “Frequencies of God: walking through Advent with R.S. Thomas” by Carys Walsh. Join the conversation on Twitter using #AdventBookClub or on Facebook by searching for the group ‘Advent Book Club’.

1 thought on “#AdventBookClub week 1 – day 3 – ‘In Church’

  1. Hi Ruth, as an OFMer you can probably help me here. It’s the concept of “vigil” here that seems significant, as I take an inference that the silence in the ‘air recomposing itself’ is perhaps God’s vigil over us? When we keep vigil (say at Benediction or Maundy Thursday) we are deemed to be keeping watch, and perhaps listening to what God is saying to us. But perhaps we’re missing something… are we actually the ones who are laying ourselves open, available, to God watching, listening (‘gracing’) to us when we wait in vigil?

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