The Personalist Project

A friend linked a beautiful John Paul II quotation:

‎For a stalk to grow or a flower to open there must be time that cannot be forced; nine months must go by for the birth of a human child; to write a book or compose music often years must be dedicated to patient research ...To find the mystery there must be patience, interior purification, silence, waiting....

It reminds me of one of the pearls of wisdom Alice von Hildebrand gave me about courtship.  "If you break open a bud in your impatience to see the flower, you ruin it." Love takes time to grow between persons.  Don't force it.

It's striking how simple and true this is, and yet, how difficult to realize in our lives!  Our culture isn't good at instilling patience and receptivity, is it?  It doesn't know how to recognize and foster the spiritual value in learning to wait.  It understands excitement.  It treats having to wait as an irritation, or, at best an anticipatory thrill.  

But there's so much more to it than that, when it comes spiritual things—goods that need to grow and unfold before they can be had and held in a deep and enduring way.  It's true on the objective side (the baby needs nine months to develop fully) and it's true on the subjective side.  The woman and man need to prepare (inwardly even more than outwardly) to become father and mother.

Advent is mainly about interior renewal and preparation.  I wish our culture practiced it.  We all suffer from the lack.

Comments (1)

Katie van Schaijik

#1, Dec 5, 2012 2:10pm

Magnificat's Meditation of the Day today (12/5), by Fr. Alfred Delp, SJ, magnifies the theme:

The theme of this Advent is that, somehow, man will be confronted with the Last Things, will be placed in the final order, will face the definitive questions, and definitive answers will be expected of him.  Whenever the Church dons solemn purple vestments, it always means that serious questions are being set forth and we are facing the great connections, the principles of universal validity.  Indeed, after all, the ultimate and deepest meaning of this coming feast, the Christmas and Coming-of-the-Lord for which we are preparing ourselves, is that the created being, man, actually finds himself in the presence of the Absolute Ultimate.  Moreover, the basic readying of our souls for this feast of the coming Lord is that we now consider the ulitmate reality.  This means that we think about man, about ourselves, from the perspective of the ultimate reality and, in so doing, become ready—really ready—to encounter and respond to him, the Ultimate, in an appropriate way, as befits a creature encountering the Ultimate.

Fr. Delp was put to death by the Nazis in 1945.

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