Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending my niece's wedding in Thayne, Wyoming, a small town of around 400 people in the Star Valley. My brother and I drove up from Salt Lake City through the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains. We pulled into my brother's home which lies on the foothills of the surrounding mountains overlooking the valley. The moment I stepped out of the car, I was struck by the power of the surrounding silence. There was nothing to be heard except for the sound of a few nearby animals. Even my family's greetings seemed to be drowned out by the deafening silence. It enveloped us like a blanket.
In our faith we are so often confronted with the paradoxical - seeming contradictions that challenge our perceptions. Jesus calls us to "give that we might receive," to "turn the cheek" when we have been struck, and to "die so that we might live." When we are confronted with challenges that test our instincts, stop! Take a moment; listen; and consider another response. You might discover a path that tests you and opens new and wondrous possibilities.