Wednesday, November 10, 2010

At the Shrine of Our Lady, Knock

I have been asked to supply here at Our Lady's Shrine, Knock in the West of Ireland. The work is light and there is plenty time to sit and look. Looking and lingering in love is very much part of the spirit of this place. After all, there were no words spoken during the Apparition and the splendour of Knock is its silence. Sitting silently in the Shrine at the gable end of the church, one is led to be still during the prayer of the Rosary. I like to stop for a considerable time between the decades and just look at the Lamb on the altar and at the other figures to the side.

My old friend, Pere Bernard of Toulouse comes to my aid. Remembering what he wrote some hundred years ago, I cease looking at the pictures and statues in the King's throne room and prefer to gaze at the King himself. In practice this means putting aside all complicated meditation and letting the vocal prayers resound like silver bells in the background. I learn to rest in the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. I may even stop fingering th beads-- only to take them up again as the Spirit moves me.

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