by Brenda Brisch
Our group was meditating in San Damiano, where the cross first spoke to Saint Francis centuries ago. Here he heard the words “Francis, rebuild my church”. He was at a dire crossroads in his life; he desperately needed direction on what its course should take. He was wide open and listening with full attention to the wisdom of his heart.
We were asked to feel the emptiness and peace within, and simply to listen, without expectation. If we had a particular question or concern, we could put it on the inner alter and then let it dissolve in the quietude.
Addressing my inner Self, my question was a simple one: “What is it You want me to know once and for all? What is the most important message You want me to hear for my entire life’s course? Please make it simple… and especially clear!”
As I settled down deep inside, I heard these words: “Know that I am always with you. I am here fully available, fully awake, in this moment. You need nothing else.”.
And for the cherry on the cake, it seems that I was given yet another moment the following day to underscore the precious teaching I heard.
Our group was walking up to Mount Eremo to meditate in the caves that Francis and his brothers frequented, to dive deeply into the stillness and the beauty of the pristine nature there.
As we were walking on the trail that the saints took, I saw a piece of paper with some writing on it. Without even thinking, I said to myself, “I will take these words as a personal message to me from you, God.” It was written in Italian, so when I got home I immediately translated it.
The words I read brought tears of joy and laughter to my eyes:
teneramente, carezzato, compreso, incoraggiato e diffuso dal tuo Dio!
Quanto ti amo!
Se tu potessi capirlo, “impazziresti” di gioia.
How you are loved!
Tenderly, caressed, understood, encouraged and protected by your God!
How I love you!
Let me repeat it again and again.
For when you understand it, you will go mad with joy.
During our retreats in the sacred environment of Assisi, it is my experience that we witness miracles, shifts of perspective and deep transformation as we open and listen to what our true heart really wants to tell us.