During the past month we have been blessed with warmer days and I hope the summer will have more in store.

When the weather is like this, I tend to go out in the morning and have my time of meditation outside. I sit on a bench and try to be still. I appreciate the silence around Minsteracres. Entering into the stillness makes me aware of things I don’t always hear otherwise; the singing of the birds, the buzzing of insects and the whistling of leaves in the wind. I find it nourishing and wholesome.

The experience reminds me of a scripture passage. In the first book of Kings we find the story about the prophet Elijah who stands at the entrance of a cave. There is a hurricane, followed by an earthquake and fire. Finally there is a gentle breeze. We are told that in this breeze the presence of God is revealed to Elijah. In a contemporary English translation we read ‘the sound of sheer silence’.

Nowadays it is not easy to find silence in a world which is full of sounds and noise. At the same time scientific research highlights the importance of moments of silence for leading a balanced and healthy life. I hope you will find moments to listen to the sound of sheer silence, treasure them and, with a bit of luck, hear the voice of God in them.

Fr Jeroen Hoogland CP, Rector