By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB
I have looked away, and kept silence, I have said nothing, holding myself in … (Isaiah 42:14)
We prayed this verse at Lauds recently, and it’s been on my mind ever since.
It’s funny at how you can say a phrase in prayer over and over for 7 years without thinking twice about it … until one day it stands out.
Definitely a God moment.
I’ve been praying and talking with God about it since.
The first thing that occurs to me is about all the fighting and suffering around the world that we know nothing about. That’s why when we Benedictines raise our voices as one day in and day out, we raise them for ALL of God’s creation … those we read about in the paper and those we never hear about at all. We must not keep silence … in our hearts or in our prayer.
The other thing that occurs to me is closer to home. What do we keep silent about in our own lives? What injustice or harm do we ignore because it’s not our business? What joke or gossip do we tolerate because we want to be popular? (Hey, it doesn’t matter whether we’re 8 or 80, we still want to be liked!)
So, I’ve been questioning myself and my own habits. I, too, have been guilty. I’ve not always spoken up when I should have. I’ve not always chosen the path of kindness and mercy. I have sometimes opted, instead, to look the other way in order to keep someone from being mad at me.
This isn’t what we’re called to do. We are called to stand up for others, for our beliefs, for our values … all the time. I’m working on it. Hope you are, too.