In certain circumstances, the absence of words can be more meaningful than speaking. However, I often second-guess the wisdom of remaining quiet. Alone, in prayer, I have missed the mark, leading myself toward quick fixes and platitudes. If I feel stuck, I’ll tell myself, “Count your blessings.” Later, if I believe I’m slipping backwards, I’ll snap to attention with another “Count your blessings!” It’s safe territory for self-correction because many of us have at least a few blessings with which to work. Saying “Count your blessings!” distracts me from solving the root problem by actually admonishing me for having a problem.
It is right and good to count my blessings. I know this in times of plenty and want. It’s just that I need to get there on my own. I have also come to realize that many people would value a friend who can simply sit quietly at their side, listening and waiting in equal measure.
This message is adapted from “Beyond platitudes” written by Karris Golden that first appeared in the September 2018 issue of Gather magazine. Today we remember Miguel Agustín Pro, martyr, who died in 1927; and Clement, Bishop of Rome, who died around 100.
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