The Personalist Project

The following is taken from the Magnificat meditation for Christmas Eve.  It was written by Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, now Brother Simeon, a Cistercian monk in Spencer, MA.  It fits in with Dr. Healy's post below.

The eternal Gob becomes what he most loves on earth—a child.  But this is no mere sweet sentimentality on God's part: If he loves the childlike it is because they are empty enough to receive what he wants to give, a mystery Guerric of Igny expounds:

"If in the depths of your soul you were to keep a quiet silence, the all-powerful Word would flow from the Father's throne secretly into you.  Happy then is the person who has so fled the world's tumult, who has so withdrawn into the solitude and secrecy of interior peace, that he can hear not only the Voice of the Word, but the Word himself: not John but Jesus."

The first effect of the advent of God's Word is thus to take away our own thoughts and words and fill us with the vision of God's own heart.

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Comments (3)

Michael Healy

#1, Dec 26, 2011 10:56am

Another great reflection on silence, and on each of us as 'alone before God' (JPII), is the following by Cardinal Newman, illustrating:

The Christian has a deep, silent, hidden peace, which the world sees not--like some well in a shady and retired place, difficult of access. ...When he is in solitude, that is his real state.  What he is when left to himself and to his God, that is his true life.  He can bear himself; he can (as it were) joy in himself, for it is the grace of God within him, it is the presence of the Eternal Comforter, in which he Joys...--'never less alone than when alone.'  He can lay his head on his pillow at night, and own in God's sight with overflowing heart, that he wants nothing--that he is 'full and abounds'--that God has been all things to him, and that nothing is not his which God could give him.  More thankfulness, more holiness, more of heaven he needs indeed, but the thought that he can have more is not a thought of trouble but of joy.  It does not interfere with his peace to know that he may grow nearer to God.

Katie van Schaijik

#2, Dec 26, 2011 11:05am

Interesting to note here that this "solitude" of Newman's has nothing to do with the isolation of individualism.  Rather it is an intimate communion with God: the Absolute Other.

Carol Cirrotti

#3, Jan 6, 2012 8:10pm

Note the following quote cited by Pope Benedict at his General audience: "O if only esteem for silence, a wonderful and indispensible spiritual atmosphere, could be reborn within us! Whereas we are deafened by the din, the noise and discordant voices in the frenetic, turbulent life of our time.  O silence of Nazareth! Teach us to be steadfast in good thoughts, attentive to our inner life, ready to hear God's hidden inspiration clearly and the exhortations of true teachers"( Paul VI Discourse in Nazareth, 5 January 1964.)

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