Who wants to be a prophet? Raise your hand. Double dare someone to be a prophet and be ready to be laughed at or shunned. But really. Where are the prophets today? Voices shout out rubbled noises without substance.
No one grows up and chooses to be a prophet as a career, but if interested, go to the wilderness, school of place, and mind.
From our nature writers – Thoreau, John Muir, Edward Abbey, and Annie Dillard come a spiritual reading of creation, and in those weeds, those streams, those deserts, new reflections create new energy. Our awareness gives us a voice – a defense against the destruction of our earthly home, against the noise of false prophets.
John the Baptist’s desert life gave him a voice. Channeling the prophet, Elijah, John became the Elijah who was to come, then he knew what had to be done. In solitude, we learn what to speak.
There’s no need to order a camel’s hair tunic and leather girdle, but there is a need to learn something about hardship. How can those in a detached state of being know of the pains of the homeless, the poor in spirit? To know one is to become one. Saint John of the Cross deprived him of luxuries that distracted him from his calling. John of the Cross found his poetic voice in the solitude of a monastic life.
Peter Julian found his voice in the quiet of a retreat to live in the interior life of adoration.
Neither John the Baptist, John of the Cross, nor Peter Julian Eymard stayed in their wordless isolation but gave voice to a newfound freedom.
Let’s go to our desert, woods, and church and emerge as new voices crying out in the wilderness.
Holy Spirit, let me speak plain. Let me speak truth. Always.