At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave, where he took shelter.
But the word of the LORD came to him,
Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD —
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake —
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire —
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.
A voice said to him,
Elijah, why are you here?
— 1 Kings 19:9A, 11-16
The peace of the Lord be with you. This poetic passage from Kings describes what it is like to be in the actual physical presence of God. The commentary about this passage reminded me that only about a a handful of people have had this wonderful and overwhelming experience: Moses, Elijah, and Jesus with three of his disciples at the transfiguration. They all take place here at Mount Horeb. The symbols of wind, earthquake, and fire are meant to depict the power that accompanies God; and the whisper (theses scholars tell us) is God’s “mysterious and ungraspable” presence.
As Saint Anselm pondered this mystery of God, he said for everything we think about God, He is more. God is not a being, but being itself; all that exists flows from Him. Let us praise and glorify God, whose love gives us our life and being. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.