St. James The Less
When I entered AA for the second time, about 22 years after the first time, I was told to sit down, shut up and listen. (Expletives Deleted!) Others will say that they were told to take the cotton out of their ears and stick it in their mouths. It is time to stop thinking and talking and time to listen and learn. As old timers are known to say, ‘My best thinking got me here.’
This has always been hard for me. I have always thought that I have something to say that others need to hear. Even to this day. And when, in my teens I read about silence in Thomas Merton’s books I was caught off guard, enamored, charmed and devoutly intrigued. The hook was set. I wanted to guit talking but couldn’t stop talking about not talking.
It wasn’t until I found myself in AA that shutting-up became a necessity and not a religious pipe dream. I was out of everything. At the end of myself, I had become unteachable.
I had to become teachable.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:3 (NKJV)
You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
Matthew 5:3 (The Message Bible)
I had to remain quiet, still to hear on the outside and the inside. God would speak within me in prayer and meditation and to me through others. I had to listen to what they were telling me I needed to do if I wanted to be sober. To stay sober. Faith was acceptance and acting as if. So, I worked hard at being sober and waited.
So are my beginnings into Orthodoxy. I try to remain still. To not talk, but listen. Day to day I pray and read. And I surrender to The Divine Liturgy. I listen to the priest and people sing and pray. Their hymns and prayers are becoming my hymns and prayers. Lately, I have added. Y own voice to theirs. Faith is acceptance and acting as if. And now I work hard at being holy and wait.
Be quiet before Yahweh and wait for him…
Be still, and know that I am God …
Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)