For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
This quote from Jeremiah has been with me lately. It’s one that I keep meditating on. In a few hours I’ll graduate from St. Bonaventure University. What will I do with my new certifications and skills? Will I lead a school or school district? Will I continue to be a technology coordinator? What did the Holy Spirit have in mind when it influenced me to enroll at St. Bonaventure University a couple of years ago? The spirit will lead as it always does and I will do my best to follow it, listening with the ear of my heart.
It is quiet this morning as I sit here keying in these words that have come to me. It is raining again and whenever it rains I think of Thomas Merton. Rain is the best metaphor for the grace of God and the Holy Spirit that I can think of. I am surrounded then by God’s grace and enveloped in that loving spirit as I have been throughout my life.
I came up here from the monastery last night, sloshing through the cornfield, said Vespers, and put some oatmeal on the Coleman stove for supper. It boiled over while I was listening to the rain and toasting a piece of bread at the log fire. The night became very dark. The rain surrounded the whole cabin with its enormous virginal myth, a whole world of meaning, of secrecy, of silence, of rumor. Think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the thick mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees, filling the gullies and crannies of the wood with water, washing out the places where men have stripped the hillside! What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forest, at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges, and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows!
Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants, this rain. As long as it talks I am going to listen. — Thomas Merton, “Rain and the Rhinoceros.”
So this morning I listen to the rain as it talks to me. I am glad to be here and glad that it is raining otherwise I might miss the voice of the Ruach.