Friday, October 17, 2014

Reflections on silence

"In the beautiful words of the poet, Blessed Robert Southwell, SJ, 'Not where I breathe do I love, but where I love." This is the essential message of Christianity.  ' long as we love one another God will live in us and his love will be complete in us' (1 John 4:12). True love brings about a unique form of communication that unfolds in silence and solitude, an aloneness with God as the Alone who destroys all loneliness and brings us into the eternal community of divine love. Such love spans all distances of space and even time. In silence and solitude we can be present in love to all our loved ones wherever they may be.

"Deep down at the core of our being there is in all of us a primordial silence.  It is the spaceless space within, where God silently whispers to us, 'Pay attention, come to me; listen, and your soul will live' (Is 55:3). Our response should be similar to Elijah's gentle listening and quiet surrender to God, 'Enough for me to keep my soul tranquil and quiet like a child in its mother's arms, as content as a child that has been weaned' (Ps 131:2). We need to discipline ourselves to calm the troubled waters of our heart. When we become centered on loving God, we return to the beginning of all time when God spoke His Word in silence and all things came forth.'

~ George Maloney, SJ
The Silence of Surrendering Love

Friday, October 3, 2014

Reflections on silence

"[The Carmelite] is hungry for silence and prayer that she may always listen to Him and penetrate more deeply into His infinite Being" wrote Elizabeth. "She identifies herself with Him whom she loves, she finds Him everywhere. She sees Him shining through everything. She belongs to Him alone, and trusts completely in His loving and faithful providence. Is that not heaven on earth?"

~ Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A letter to my angel

Dear Guardian Angel...

I feel your presence so close today..this very special day in your honor.  How blessed am I that God has chosen you from all His angels to be by my side until the end of my life.

I think back and realize how much we have been through you persisted and did not leave me when I turned away from God and led a sinful life.  You were there to nudge my conscious and make me realize what I was doing was wrong.  For so long, I didn't follow through...God had to intervene and you were there to lead me back and teach me.

You were there when a marriage fell apart to help me heal and forgive.  You were there even when I turned from God again in my woundedness and was stumbling along...but you didn't let me fall completely.  God had to intervene again...and you didn't leave my side.

You have shared my joy in becoming a mother to four children, entering Carmel, marrying a faithful, God-fearing man, and all the little joys that make up my daily life.  You have shared my sorrow in almost losing my oldest son, losing two children before they were born, my husband being unemployed, the loss of the health of our mothers, many moments of depression and sleep deprivation.

Pleases forgive me for the times that I forget your presence and friendship...downright ignoring you some days.  At the end of the day, I know you were there to help me fulfill God's will, to help me be open to His graces, to advise my conscious, to support me in my exhaustion and depression, to protect me from the influence of the Evil One.

You will be there when it is time to leave this life behind to escort me to the throne of God, eternally in your friendship.  How blessed I am...and how I love you!  How I long to meet you face to face some day!

With gratitude,

{a fave re-posted from 2012}

Friday, September 26, 2014

Reflections on silence

"Gentleness characterized Jesus' every gesture, word and deed. He lovingly handled the wood He worked with in the carpenter shop. He took delight in the fiery sunset which spangled the West with flaming colors. He found joy in sheep, in vineyards, in the bread He ate at table. All inspired thoughts of praise and thanksgiving as He silently offered the sentiments of His heart to the Father in love and adoration. Nothing could take Him from the love of His Father. Inwardly He was bathed in silent communication with Him Who was the Source of His being. Prayer was as natural to Him as breathing.

"We marvel that, after thirty years of such inner silence and external retirement from the hustle and bustle of the world and its big cities crowded with people, Jesus was not only ready to but eager to leave Nazareth to begin His journey to the heart of Jerusalem where He would enter into His deepest and final hours of silence."

~ George Maloney, SJ
"The Silence of Surrendering Love"

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Inspiration::St. John of the Cross

"My Son, I wish to give you
a bride who will love you.
Because of you she will deserve
to share our company,
and eat at our table,
the same bread I eat,
that she may know the good
I have in such a Son;
and rejoice with me
in your grace and fullness."

"I am very grateful,"
the Son answered;
"I will show my brightness
to the bride you give me,
so that by it she may see
how great my Father is,
and how I have received
my being from your being.
I will hold her in my arms
and she will burn with your love,
and with eternal delight
she will exalt your goodness".

~ The Romances of St. John of the Cross
3. On Creation

Friday, September 19, 2014

Reflections on silence

"Like the 'long river', Carmel flows ceaselessly and in silence. Perhaps nowhere on this restless earth is there a calm repose equal to that which settles on a Carmelite monastery in the evening. It is a stillness that nothing may disturb. Not only may we not speak, we may not do anything that might cause a noise. Sweet silence wraps us round with its soft mantle, and each nun withdraws into her own interior silence.

"While Carmels are called the 'sanctuaries of silence', there is far more to solitude than the negative aspect of no exterior noise. To be completely silent, something else is vitally needed.

"Silence is not an end in itself; it is a means, along with solitude, of being recollected. It is an aid to concentration and to love. To be recollected, ordinarily, means that one is silent, and one must be recollected in order to pray. Despite the unavoidable noise in a factory or an office or a home, a person could be momentarily recollected and could, in the midst of the din, be in prayer. It is the interior silence that matters most. The imagination, the emotions, the memory, and, most of all, the desires can speak also, and unless they are silenced there is no real recollection."

~ Mother Catherine Thomas
My Beloved: The Story of a Carmelite Nun

Friday, September 12, 2014

Reflections on silence

"Persevere, work at reducing your faculties to a unity, to the simplicity of silence. In the silence, it will not be long before you are visited by God. He came to Elisha on Horeb at a moment of such silence that the murmuring of the slightest breeze could be heard. When the Lord wants to raise a soul to contemplation, he obliges all its faculties to be silent, so as to commit itself to him alone. Stop bothering with yourself. When you no longer listen to nature's complaints, when you refuse to give a hearing to all anxiety, to all desire but that of love, when you become indifferent to your earthly lot, when you hardly think about yourself either for good or ill and no longer care about the approval of others; when, in a word, you have habitually lost sight of self, you will have penetrated the silent Holy of Holies, the inviolable sanctuary of your soul where God resides and whither he invites you. Of you, as of Moses, he will say:

"'He is in charge of my whole household.
I speak to him face to face, plainly and not in riddles, 
and he sees Yahweh's glory'"
~ Numbers 12:8

~ A Monk
The Hermitage Within
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