(c)Mary TV 2011
July 27, 2011
Dear Family of Mary!
"Dear children! May this time be for you a time of prayer and silence. Rest your body and spirit, may they be in God's love. Permit me, little children, to lead you, open your hearts to the Holy Spirit so that all the good that is in you may blossom and bear fruit one hundred fold. Begin and end the day with prayer with the heart. Thank you for having responded to my call." (July 25, 2011)
Our Lady speaks to us of silence and rest, rest for our bodies and our spirits, rest in God's love. Oh, how appealing this idea is. We struggle so much; we worry and scheme, trying to do God's will, trying to get somewhere. But our struggles and schemes only make us tired out and entangle us in things beyond our control. Our Lady wants us to step aside and allow God to love us.
Father Jacques Philippe writes about this need for rest (rest is much like the peace which he talks about here), this need for silence, in his little book, Let me quote him:
"The Spirit of God is a spirit of peace, and he speaks and acts in peace and gentleness, never in tumult and agitation. What's more, the motions of the Spirit are delicate touches that don't make a great noise and can penetrate our spiritual consciousness only if we have within ourselves a sort of calm zone of silence and peace. If our inner world is noisy and agitated, the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit will find it very difficult to be heard.
"If we want to recognize and follow the Spirit's motions, it is of the greatest importance to maintain a peaceful heart in all circumstances.
"It isn't easy; but by practicing hope in God, abandonment, humility, and the acceptance of our inner poverty through an unshakeable trust in God's mercy, we will reach peace little by little. This theme has already formed the subject of another book (and so does not need to be repeated at here. But it is important to underline the importance of peace of mind, because, if we don't seek actively to 'practice peace' in all the circumstances that threaten to make us lose it (and there are plenty of them!) it will be difficult to us to hear the Holy Spirit's voice when he wants to speak - the agitation we allow in our hearts will almost certainly prevent it. As explained in the book mentioned above, when we experience difficult moments, the effort that we make to remain at peace in spite of everything does a lot of good, because the very fact of maintaining peace of mind will give us the best chance of reacting to the situation not in human, agitated, hasty way (and making plenty of messes) but in a way that is attentive to what the Holy Spirit might suggest to us, which will obviously be much more profitable. So we should put into practice what St. John of the Cross said:
Take care to preserve your heart in peace; let no happening of this world upset it...Even if everything here below crumbled apart and all things were against us, there would be no use in upsetting ourselves over it, for that upset would bring us more harm than benefit.
"The greatest harm that upsetting ourselves does to us is that it makes us incapable of following the impulses of the Holy Spirit.
"Maintaining peace is linked to the practice of silence. This silence is not an empty silence: it is peace, attentiveness to God's presence and attentiveness to others, waiting in trust and hope in God. We sometimes let ourselves be overtaken by excessive noise - not so much physical noise as the ceaseless whirlwind of thoughts, imaginations, and words that we've heard or said - and all this merely feeds our worries, fears, and frustrations, and obviously leaves the Holy Spirit little chance of making himself heard. Silence is not emptiness but that general attitude of inwardness that enables us to have an 'inner cell' in our heart, to use an expression of St. Catherine of Siena's, where we are in God's presence and converse with him. Silence is the opposite of the soul in curiosity, gossip, and so forth. It is a capacity for returning almost spontaneously within ourselves, drawn by the presence of God within us." (Fr. Jacques Philippe. New York: Scepter Publishers. 2007. P. 37-39) Lot's to think about! How can we learn to rest in God, be at peace in His presence, and listen in the silence of our hearts to His love? Our Lady wants us to try it. Possible something Fr. Philippe has said will help us to begin. In Jesus and Mary!
PS. I have suggested books by Fr. Jacques Philippe before. They are wonderful. You can find them at www.scepterpublishers.org !