Wondering Wednesdays – quiet, dark places of refuge

Thomas Merton writes in New Seeds of Contemplation
Let there always be quiet, dark places in which people can take refuge. Places where they can kneel in silence. Houses of God, filled with God’s silent presence. There, even when we do not know how to pray, at least we can be still and breathe easily… Let there be a place somewhere in which you can breathe naturally, quietly… a place where your mind can be idle, and forget its concerns, descend into silence, and worship God in secret.

This is one of my quiet, dark place of refuge, I wish it was nearer but anytime we are passing I will go and sit and be (Buckfast Abbey in Devon). Sometimes when I walk past the chapel in Birmingham Children’s Hospital I put my head round the door and see someone doing just this. I am immensely grateful for all those who make it possible for people to find these places of refuge. Those who lock and unlock church doors and those who take the risk that they can leave their church open for people to take refuge in.

I like too the observation about being still and breathing easily, I appreciate a seat at home where I can do that and I start most days there, even if for a very few minutes I can gather and root myself in God.


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