brian j plachta
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Go to Your Room
by brian j plachta on January 14th, 2019

When the apostles asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, he told them to go to their rooms (Matt 6:6).

Not because they’d been naughty. Rather, he was directing the apostles to spend time each day alone with God so their relationship with the Creator could grow.

Jesus practiced daily solitude (Luke 11: 1-13). The apostles witnessed how Jesus gained wisdom, guidance, and affirmation from his Father through times of quiet reflection. Contemplation gave Jesus the Divine Wisdom and strength to carry out his life’s purpose.
Jesus modeled the human need to balance active lives with contemplative lives. If we don’t take time each day to sit quietly with God, we’ll often become the noisy gongs scripture warns against.

When we do follow Jesus’ example of daily solitude—and that of the Saints and other wise men and women—we notice change in our lives. Our relationship with God deepens. It becomes personal, experiential, real. We hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit. We gain the gift of discernment—teaching our souls how to listen for and follow the silent loving voice of God.

Trappist monk Thomas Merton and Father Thomas Keating believed that contemplation was the missing piece in our modern culture’s spiritual formation. The Western world threw it out with the Enlightenment, and we got stuck in our heads.

“All of humanity's problems,” according to French scientist Blaise Pascal, “stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

As the modern world’s din becomes noisier and more chaotic, our longing for silence and inner peace grows deeper. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit provides the remedy by nudging us to return to the ancient tradition of contemplation to breathe the Spirit’s love and wisdom into our lives.

It’s all about relationship.

There are no right or wrong ways to practice meditation or contemplation. It’s simply spending time alone in a quiet space so we can visit with our God. When we spend time in this way, we understand how God invites us to grow. We learn how to discover and respond to God’s nudges.

Consider adopting or deepening your own daily meditation practice. Try it for twenty minutes each day for a week. Then see what you notice.

If you need something to jumpstart your practice, check out the Pray as You Go website (https://pray-as-you-go.org/).  After some gentle music, the site offers a 10-12-minute reflection with the scripture of the day. It then invites the listener to ponder a few questions.

Going to our room isn’t a bad thing like it might have been when we were children. Instead, it might be the most life-giving gift we give ourselves each day.


—brian j plachta
brianplachta.net







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