God’s presence can be found unexpectedly, in places you’d never imagine, when you least expect it. God’s presence is always present. As long as you have your eyes open to Him, you will see Him everywhere.
This past weekend my mom and I found ourselves in the chapel of a Carmelite Monastery of an order of Discalced Carmelite nuns. Founded by St. Teresa of Avila, this order of nuns take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. They spend the majority of the day in silence, they are not allowed to be seen by the outside world, they survive on very little food, sleep for only a couple of hours a day, and live in prayer spending over 10 hours a day praying. Some may think this is extreme, but on the contrary, these women devote their lives to God through a beautiful and inspiring vocation.
“Turn off the news and read the good news of the Gospel. Stop listening to the voices of this world and listen to the voice of God.”
We happened to be in the area after leaving a local coffee shop and had heard that the sisters sold bread. We drove up to the monastery in hopes of trying their baked goods. As we entered, a kind woman was exiting the chapel. We asked her if the sisters still sold bread. She explained that she had volunteered at the monastery for 9 years and had never known this sisters to bake. We continued to chat with her for some time and she encouraged us to take some time to visit the chapel.
Upon entering, an overwhelming sense of peace surrounded me. As I knelt in prayer, the presence of God was beyond evident. You could feel him in every inch of the gorgeous chapel. A few minutes passed and we began to hear beautiful voices coming from behind the wall. The sisters were chanting prayers in Latin. Tears formed in my eyes at the beauty I was listening to. All I could do was thank God for blessing us with such a beautiful church, so full of rich traditions.
This unexpected visit turned into a moment of experiencing God’s presence. The timing could not have been more perfect. With everything happening in the world right now, it’s easy to allow the darkness to consume you. It’s easy to give in to the negativity. However, as Christians, we are called to be a light in the darkness. Even when it seems like all hope may be lost, God reveals himself to us as our reminder to live in constant hope because we have a God who loves us beyond comprehension.
Today I encourage you to spend time in God’s presence. Turn off the news and read the good news of the Gospel. Stop listening to the voices of this world and listen to the voice of God. Detach yourself from the comforts of the material world and find comfort in the presence of the Lord. May you find peace in the Lord.