The final verse of this much-loved hymn, with the words ‘O still small voice of calm’ is a reference to today’s first reading at Mass from 1 Kings 19: 9- 16. Here God reveals himself to the prophet Elijah not in an earthquake, or in the wind, or in fire, but in a ‘gentle breeze.’
The prophet has had a hard time: his ministry, challenging the wretched king Ahab and his wife, is characterised for much of the time by violence and failure: he ‘opens up’ to God about his exhaustion and frustration. God’s revealing of himself in this way is full of meaning. So often we want God to be like a warrior in battle; so often we use language of warfare and domination about God, when we want him to vanquish our own enemies. But those skilled in the spiritual life throughout history have always shown that we meet God, we encounter God, in moments of quiet – even perhaps when all seems silent. Peace and tranquillity are not simply states of mind for us to aspire to – they are the place where God comes to us, where he speaks to us.
Preparations are going on for the reopening of St Edmund’s for private prayer next week. Details will be posted here and on the website about when this will start and the times when the building will be open. This is a lot of detailed work for parish priests and others, and for the Archbishop, bishops and staff of the diocese as we do our best to ensure the safety of those who will be coming into church again – so please remember them in your prayers.
God bless and take care