“Be still and know that I am God.” Scripture assures us that if we are still we will come to know God, but arriving at stillness is easier said than done. As Blaise Pascal once stated: “All the miseries of the human person come from the fact that no one can sit still for one hour.” Achieving stillness seems beyond us and this leaves us with a certain dilemma: we need stillness to find God, but we need God’s help to find stillness. With this in mind, I offer a prayer for stillness.

God of stillness and of quiet …

• Still the restlessness of my youth. Still that hunger that would have me be everywhere, that hunger to be connected to everyone, that wants to see and taste all that is, that robs me of peace on a Friday night. Quiet those grandiose dreams that want me to stand out, to be special. Give me the grace to live more contentedly inside my own skin.

• Still the fever I inhale from all the energy that surrounds me, that makes my life feel small. Let me know that my own life is enough, that I need not make an assertion of myself, even as the whole world beckons this of me from a million electronic screens. Give me the grace to sit at peace inside my own life.

• Still my sexuality, order my promiscuous desires, my lusts, my polymorphous aching, my relentless need for more intimacy. Quiet and order my earthy desires without taking them away. Give me the grace to see others without a selfish sexual colour.

• Still my anxiety, my heartaches, my worries, and stop me from always being outside the present moment. Let each day’s worries be sufficient unto themselves. Give me the grace to know that you have pronounced my name in love, that my name is written in heaven, that I am free to live without anxiety.

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