The Silent Vigil

08 January 2024
Sr. Cheryl Rose

As I walked this morning—a few days before Christmas—I began to notice, and then was drawn into, a holy silent morning prayer that was in session—all around me.  The trees were NOT moving—not a lingering leaf, not a rogue branch—they were absolutely still !  As day opened, all around me they stood in silent vigil, silent attentiveness.  It was unmistakable!! They were in deep prayer—solemn presence. Every tree of every shape and kind was raised upward in silent offering of their total being to the Creator. It was stunning—all those branches raised like a vast congregation, with arms lifted in joyous alleluias. They were breathlessly still, as though keeping watch, as though waiting for an auspicious event, awaiting a momentous arrival. Several times I stopped in my tracks and stood still.  I felt as though I were walking into a solemn cathedral liturgy…or a monastery at prayer. I was stilled by their stillness.  I let go of every flitting distraction, every nagging concern, and was drawn into their greater wisdom.  Without words they were reminding me of the REAL truth—that all is well, and this alone matters: to open the day in silent adoration, in full self-offering, in wordless awe and gratitude.  Because all that we longed for has come, and all that we need has been given.  We are God-blessed and grace-drenched, and no dark cloud or fierce wind can move our branches—which reach in calm wise knowing toward the One in whom we live and move and have our being. When you read this, we will have witnessed once again the coming of Emmanuel, God-with-us!