A Time of Stillness

A Time of Stillness

Mk. 1:21-28

     It is 4:30 a.m. as I write this; it is a time of stillness, soothing darkness. A sense of peace is present.

    It is chilly outside, people are sleeping in doorways, the donut shop is open with people lined up as I arrive home, and yet there is still a sense of peace present. There is a stillness there, a peace where the thoughts of your mind recede into a newer deeper dimension of one’s life.

    In our Gospel, there is a man with an “unclean spirit,” and Jesus said, “Hold thy peace, come out of him.”

    And that is my prayer this morning that Jesus cast the “unclean spirits” from my soul. I have many unclean spirits:

    Anxiety over being liked;

    Fear of rejection, and clinging to friends who have used me, using a form of cheap grace to justify those friendships;

    The fear of being alone, when the worst kind of loneliness is being surrounded by people who truly do not give a damn;

    And the fear of dying alone, without being remembered.

    And so in the cleanliness of the silence I hear the words of Henri Nouwen, and begin a new in simply being present, being myself, and being community to people who are around, and not letting cheap grace destroy my inner peace.

The “Ifs” That Enslave Me

As long as I keep running about asking “Do you love me? Do you really love me?” I give all power to the voices of the world and put myself in bondage because the world is filled with “ifs.” The world says: “Yes, I love you if you are good-looking, intelligent, and wealthy. I love you if you have a good education, a good job, and good connections. I love you if you produce much, sell much, and buy much.” There are endless “ifs” hidden in the world’s love. These “ifs” enslave me, since it is impossible to respond adequately to all of them. The world’s love is and always will be conditional. As long as I keep looking for my true self in the world of conditional love, I will remain “hooked” to the world—trying, failing, and trying again. It is a world that fosters addictions because what it offers cannot satisfy the deepest craving of my heart.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



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