Slowly we begin to discover the treasures in silence. We hear the word of God in the milieu of silence. Out of that milieu, God spoke one word through which the world was created and redeemed. We are quietly receptive to this word and through it we gradually learn to be attentive to truth. What whets the appetite for spiritual nourishment? It is silence. When we become aware of this, a time for silence in our daily lives becomes essential. . . Meister Eckhart (14th century Christian mystic) wrote: “There is nothing more like God than silence.” We become content with the silence of God outside or inside of prayer. Through and in silence, we stand still before God and we find the beauty of his reality. The silence of God’s love is too great for any expression. The book of Wisdom tells us, When night was at its deepest point and all was stilled and silent, your word oh Lord, came down. To this word we listen, respond to love, and live and listen again.
– Carolyn Humphreys
When we follow Jesus, we are called to reject certain aspects of the world. We accept loss of wealth and status and comfort. We embrace downward mobility and climb back down the world’s ladder of success. This process can begin when we discover our mutual brokenness. We acknowledge our poverty and then we understand what it means that Jesus came to serve the poor. We recognize our infirmity and then we discover God doesn’t work primarily through those who think they are well, but through those who know they are sick. All this happens in the context of community—a place of pain and trial, but also reconciliation and celebration. Community is where the ego goes to die, and in its place we find resurrection, communion, and even salvation.
– Jean Vanier
The Feast Day of St. Teresa of Avila
Let your desire be to see God; your fear, that you may lose him; your sorrow, that you are not having fruition of him; your joy, that he can bring you to himself. Thus you will live in great peace.
– St. Teresa of Avila
“Today’s Reflection” is also in book form:
It is a great advantage to have a room or a corner of a room . . . reserved for the discipline of solitude . . .There we dwell in the presence of the Lord. Although the discipline of solitude asks us to set aside time and space, what finally matters is that our hearts become like quiet cells where God can dwell, wherever we go and whatever we do. The more we train ourselves to spend time with God and him alone, the more we will discover that God is with us at all times and in all places. Then we will be able to recognize him even in the midst of a busy and active life. Once the solitude of time and space has become a solitude of the heart, we will never have to leave that solitude. We will be able to live the spiritual life in any place and any time. Thus the discipline of solitude enables us to live active lives in the world, while remaining always in the presence of the living God.
– Henri Nouwen
Feast of St. Edward the Confessor
Edward grew up in innocence, delighting chiefly in assisting at Mass and in association with the clergy. In 1041, when Edward was forty years old, he was raised to the throne of England. The virtues of his earlier years – simplicity, gentleness, humility and charity, but above all his angelic purity, shone with new brightness. He loved to stand at his palace gate, speaking kindly to the poor beggars and lepers who crowded about him, many of whom were healed by his touch. Being devoid of personal ambition, King Edward’s one aim was the welfare of his people. His reign of twenty-four years was one of almost unbroken peace. One man who knew St. Edward said of him, “He was devoted to God and directed by God. He lived the life of an angel in the administration of his kingdom.” Edward died on January 5, 1066. Many miracles occurred at his tomb. In 1102 his body was exhumed and found to be incorrupt. He was canonized in 1161. St. Edward the Confessor is the patron saint of difficult marriages, separated spouses, and kings.
Consider God’s generosity toward you rather than your own unworthiness in his sight, and live in his strength, rather than in the thoughts of your own weakness.
– St. Vincent de Paul
One of the most important things you can do to improve your spiritual life and your mental health is to fill your mind with uplifting thoughts. If you hold on to hurtful memories, they will only make you sick. You have a choice. You can reject them. Decide firmly that you will not let the past drag you down. Turn to the Lord and ask for help. Pray for the grace to come into the present moment. You don’t have to work endlessly through the toxic effects of the past. Once you decide to change, the process can begin. St. Teresa of Avila used to repeat to herself over and over, “Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing cause you fear. God is unchanging. God will suffice.” With the Lord at your side, you can do all things. Remember the words of Jesus, I have told you all these things that your joy may be full (John 15:11).
– Father John Catoir
How are we to be reborn and become whole? By finding our true center which is God, finding God in all things, and the desire for God in all desires, and so beginning to live the life of worship instead of the life of self-worship. But this in its turn implies a precedent turning away from the false self, an acknowledgment of our essential insufficiency; and because of our state of sin, an acknowledgment of our need of a Savior without whom we cannot, in our bondage, turn away from ourselves . . . We find God by realizing, in the first place, our need of God, as a child realizes its need of a father.
– Father Gerald Vann, O.P.
Jesus, friend of a lonely heart, you are my haven, you are my peace. You are my salvation. You are my serenity in moments of struggle and amidst an ocean of doubts. You are the bright ray that lights up the path of my life. You are everything to a lonely soul. You understand the soul even though it remains silent. You know our weaknesses, and like a good physician, you comfort and heal, sparing us sufferings. Amen
– St. Faustina Kowalska
To do things for God, to serve him – that will follow naturally from our love. It is possible to serve God by reminding ourselves that he is our Creator and we ought to do his will unquestioningly. Or we can serve him by reminding ourselves that he is our King and that any homage which we offer to him is only his right. But the best way of all is to serve him because he is our Friend, because we want to profess our love for him by our actions. That is what God made us for, his human creatures, to be his friends, his personal friends.
– Monsignor Ronald Knox