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Sunday, 11 August 2013

On The Constant, Quiet Yes, And The Constant, Silent Love

Someone was talking to me about little acts of humility. Saying yes to God when things come up. I like this idea. But, my life is a constant Yes to God. I cannot see any other way to find His Love but in the Yes. Now, the Yes is the great No as well, which is hard to parse, unless one reads and understands John of the Cross.

For example, he states one must live in silent love of God. Most people, especially Americans, would not understand a love which is not seen, not doing, not action.

But, silent loving is the goal of all Catholics in the life of perfection. This type of love is loving without seeing, love totally in faith and hope.

Solitary love is the call of the contemplatives, like the nuns at Tyburn and those few of us in the world who are called to a contemplative lifestyle. The Church in the past 40 years has done violence to those who choose this way, the way of Mary at the feet of Christ. But, we are all eventually called to contemplation as part of the Illuminative State of Perfection (see graph again).  In this state, prayer and times outside of prayer merge into one state of being; but one must either be in actual silence, or create silence in the mind and heart.

The saying yes then becomes automatic, as one can hear God above the noise of the world.

The saying no is denial of self. One can give up things and desires as well.

For years I struggled with being a failure. As those around me reminded me, I should have my doctorate and be making tons of money. I should be successful with all the gifts God had given me. But, finally, I heard God instead of people. Here is what John of the Cross writes, "...she failed all that is not God, that is, herself and all other creatures, losing all these for the love of God."

The "she" is the soul, and, sadly, the world does not judge by the things of the spirit, but by the things of the world. Some of us have to let God take all things and people away. He takes us into the desert, even if we do not want to go.

The silent love lies in the failures, which carve out the heart for God alone.

The constant yes becomes a way of life, a focus. Only God and His Will, wherever He leads, matters.

And no one notices, which is the beautiful protection one has. I walk about Dublin completely invisible to all around me. This is good, very good, because in that bubble of quiet, I can be with God everywhere, even in the horrible din which is Grafton Street. Even there, silence can be found but only in the cell of one's mind and the calm trust in one's soul.

What ruins this calm is vanity, the desire to be noticed or praised or loved. What ruins this calm is impatience with self, people, things, which is really pride. The mind must be conformed to Christ constantly, not one small idea can go unnoticed and unchecked. Sin lurks in the psyche until one allows the Holy Spirit to enter in with pain and suffering into every nook  and cranny of the soul, mind, heart.

For some people, this happens quickly, for others, it takes many, many years to come to this type of existence in purity.

One begins to move in darkness, without the use of the imagination. In fact, one may think one is wasting time in interior rest and quiet. The seemingly waste of time is the silent love.

Now, I have never had the gift of human love developing into the quiet love which people experience after years of marriage. They just sit in the same room, without speaking, but living in silent love. They have died to their own selves so many times in sacrificial love, that there is nothing left of the self. Only love remains, love for the other, and through that person, for God.

That must be a wonderful experience. Those who know this type of love will recognize what God wants to do in the soul; being in love without activity.

To be continued.....