Still Waters

“And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. (Gen 1:2)”

It’s hard to listen to the whispers of God, his “hovering” over the waters of our souls. You can’t hear it if that water is churning, and how often our souls are whirlpools of care. Early one morning I went down to the lake at our summer stay in New Hampshire to see the sunrise. During the day, the lake is a vacation hot spot, crowded with boats, tubers, fishers, long-boarders, etc. But that dawn I stood before a still, glassy expanse of water. The distant islands of pine trees were reflected inversely off the sheen surface of the water like a mirror. Loons called in the distance. I hopped into a kayak, pushed away from shore and began to carve through the undisturbed water. As I stopped to hear the birds’ morning chatter in that tranquil setting, the thought struck me: this is what my soul should be like, calm and undisturbed as the lake. Only then can I hear the “hovering” of the Spirit over the water.

Mary was an expert at listening to the “hovering” of the Spirit. She had the desire to hear his whispers and the “environment” of soul in which those whispers could be heard. Her soul was like that glassy lake, undisturbed. Peace. Calm. That is how we should live. Often I go through my day with so much blowing through my mind, even when I kneel before Almighty God in the Eucharist. The winds of worries, plans and distractions fill my ears, and I can’t hear that Spirit hovering over the waters of my soul. He wants to speak to me, to whisper into my ear how much he loves me, to lead me to total fulfillment, but I am not ready to hear. I need to more like Mary.

I continued to kayak a couple miles out that morning to witness one of the most beautiful sunrises of my life. The pine forest and hills surrounded me while a purple horizon stretched out on the West as the East brightened in anticipation of the morning Sun. The crest of the eastern mountain brightened and the thin tufts of clouds skirting the summit shown golden. Warm rays of light from a still unrevealed source began to spread across the crevices of the hills roundabout as suddenly, almost as a flash, the first glimpse of the Sun burst over the mountain. Slowly and majestically the Sun rose, reminding me of the elevated host in Mass, infinitely more majestic with a splendor hidden from our sight.

After sunrise, I turned home, but the wind had picked up, and I was far from shore. Rowing into the wind twice as long and hard as when I was in the tranquil protection of the shore, I appreciated those calm waters all the more. It isn’t easy battling the wind. Peaceful waters are better than choppy, wind hounded waves. Yet how often we do circles in the winds of our worries without actually deciding to turn back to the shore, to peaceful surrender, to letting go of our comforts. We need to push on towards shore and find peace in abandoning ourselves to God’s protecting haven where we can hear and follow his lead that takes us to green pastures even though it doesn’t always seem that way. Peace. Calm. He wants to lead you, to whisper words of love into your ear. Listen. That is where you will find true fulfillment.



About Br Dain Scherber LC

Br Dain Scherber LC is a religious seminarian of the Legionaries of Christ. Born and raised on a dairy farm in central Minnesota, he attended the Legion’s high-school seminary in New Hampshire at the age of 13. He did his first two years of seminary in Dublin, Ireland before being transferred to Connecticut, where he continued his studies in the classical humanities for two years and worked as an assistant on the formation team for four years. He is currently studying philosophy at the Legion’s Center for Higher Studies in Rome.
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One Response to Still Waters

  1. Ed Richetelli says:

    Thanks for sharing your spiritual insights. They certainly make a whole lot of sense in today’s sometimes crazy and maddening world.
    Peace and God Bless,
    Ed, Laura and family.

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