Monday, February 16, 2015

Seeing the God whose Face perceives us

                                         "The Sound of Silence"--Martha Kilpatrick

Mary lived in profound silence.
In all three episodes she is quiet.
            Only one small quote is recorded.
            And it was a plea directed to Jesus, not for the ears of people.

The message of her life:  not a legacy of words
                  rather the stark absence of talk,    a silence . . . rare and mystifying.

The only voice in her life was Jesus'.  He spoke for her, about her . . . in defense of her.
Mary had no drive to explain, no compulsion to be heard.
                 no obsession to be understood.

Lust for audiences had been abandoned.  All such had died in her.
        She had found her soul's understanding in Him.
        She had been still enough to know she was heard
                                                 and now --in quiet --
                                                 she could listen.

Our idea of prayer is to hurl words at God.
        Mary knew prayer as silence in His presence,
                       to listen . . . without the audacity to speak . . .

"The Lord is in His Holy Temple, let all the earth keep silence before Him."  Habakkuk 2:20

The world is a swirl of noise, a loud competition of voices, in piles of useless words.
                                             Mary neither entered it nor heard it.
The only words she strained to hear were the captivating Words of God in Christ,
                                                                         full of Living Eternity.
And they were --for her -- priceless,
                          the only Words worth hearing.

Silence is one thing - amazing in itself -
             but stillness is a rare internal quiet
                             a peace of mind
                             a rest of the heart,
             by having found one's long lost home . . .
                             in the Soft Presence of God.

Mary found serenity before she entered stillness.  True quiet issues from inviting God
      into the long-sealed chanbers of the soul and letting His invasion calm our native hysteria.

Self-centered talk is the expression of pride, of not having seen the
                             God whose Face perceives us.
Meekness is not natural to a humanity that thinks it is superior to its own Creator.
Humility is the quality of having had vain illusions cremated by the Burning Love of Christ.

Silence is born of humility, the awareness that you have
               out of your self-taught ideas
               nothing to speak worth hearing.
It is having encountered God by His True Size
                breathtaking and magnificent
                and seeing the contrast between you and Him.

It is the exact measure of your consciousness of God and the proof of your confidence in Him . . .
              that He really IS . . .
                              the God you want Him to be,
                              nothing less and so much more.

We do not grasp the Holy Gentleness of God.
If we insist on
           the babble of our crude humanity, charmed by the sound of our own noise, then
this God of Kindness will stand back,
           robed in His Tranquil Dignity
           and let us have the vain spotlight
                       of endless talk.
 His voice is not in storm or wind, not in earthquake nor fire.
We could not bear that voice in
                       the Fullness of such Measureless Energy.
As Elijah learned, His voice was still and small, "delicate and whispering."

Jesus said to his disciples, "What you hear whispered in your ear  . . ."

If humanness will merely be still,
      The entire Trinity will come forth
                        and speak
       by a whisper in the silence . . .
       heard by no one else.

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