"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Two Pillars of the Interior Life: Silence & Solitude

Two Pillars of the Interior Life: Silence & Solitude
By: Eric Gajewski
Amos 5:13
Therefore the prudent shall keep silence at that time, 
for it is an evil time.
An Eagle is found between these two pillars:  
Emblem of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V

Nay, indeed, it is an evil time. A time in which men do not utilize the time they are given daily to move closer to the Sacred Heart of Christ.  It is time generally spent self-seeking rather than trying to meet the expectations that Holy Religion has placed before us.  When society becomes more and more perverted rather than “slow down” modern man keeps his “foot on the petal” and tries to “speed up”. Therefore, in a world with men moving rapidly “to and fro”, let us call to mind, how necessary, it is, to break from the world in order to advance interiorly.  

First off, hearts can not seek His where distractions abide. Due to human nature men are bent on being surface dwelling creatures.  Men need "to see" exteriorly in these days rather in Faith inwardly believe.  This is due to the darkness that abides in them.  An evil generation seeks signs, wonders and follows after distractions but this should not be found amongst Catholics.  We must turn inward habitually if we are to change that which men see of us exteriorly.  Yet, in great disorder we have men and women trying to change their outward appearances first (in negative sense). So the women overdo it with all the makeup and more immodest clothes.  Here I am they say without needing to speak...did you forget about me?  Nearly everything is backwards these days due to men living by the law of self. We must break with our usual daily routines and “find ourselves” once again in the Garden with Jesus for at least one hour a day.

Second, the Crosses given to us were meant to draw us inward.  Have you ever got a really bad headache and couldn’t focus on anything in the exterior? Ah! Will the inner eyes of a man now awaken? Holy suffering draws us inward; it is an attempt to bring our heart closer to His.  So be prepared to lower your bucket into the deep dark well for there is Life giving Water at the end of this journey. Often times these crosses bring us to the land of desolation and the lonely desert wherest temptation abides.  This is because God is looking for faithful servants. He is looking to see who will break from self consistently so that they may live wholly and completely in His Selfless Love.  This cannot be accomplished without our daily crosses. The beginner will look for solace in others but the advanced will quickly seek a quiet place wherest men do not abide so that he may findest the Beloved.

 Quick to get on the phone but slow to pray....

Third, you cannot hear both God and man.  The more I speak amongst men the more I do not hear directly of God and thus the more I become likened to “fallen man” rather than the Resurrected God.  What would you rather do for the next hour? Spend it in idle chat, gossip and hear say or spend it with the Eternal One himself.  We find ourselves neck deep in self these days in society because men do not take time to inwardly self examine.  It is too painful and thus pride keeps the feet of men moving on the surface. Likewise, we must ask for those graces so that we can keep sole attention uponst God in our prayer.  Have you ever been amongst a crowd and tried to answer all of the questions coming at you at once?  If the mind is full of idle thoughts during prayer it is often due to the heart being cluttered with worldly things. We can only serve man by first going to God first.  Modern man has it backwards.  They are trying to become “gods” by living and building up more of man. 

 Saint John the Eagle on the Isle of Patmos

Fourth, breaking away into solitude and silence must become habitual.  So you are able to get away for a few days…so what?  Is this the path of the Saints? Without constant prayer and dialogue with the Beloved a man is like a ship out on the Sea without any sail.  Sure, a wind will blow here or there but how far will you go? Believe it or not God does want to hear from you consistently.  There are plenty of opportunities daily for us to “break away” but we stay submerged in self, therefore, in the end, men stay swimming on the surface.  They say a habit is formed after 21 days or so.  Thus, challenge yourself today and make note of it.  For the next 21 days I will find at least one hour to get away and pray without any distractions whatsoever. Sounds easy, right?  Sadly, the majority are still unable to do this.  They, like moths in the summer, are attracted to the false light the modern world “puts out”.  So, the old and young alike, stay glued like zombies, two feet away, to their TV’s, computers and video games.

Fifth, continue to look to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saints for help. Yes it is hard! This path to the spiritual marriage wherest His Sacred Heart dwells was never meant to be easy.  Find your own “Isle of Patmos” like John the Eagle and exile yourself willingly so that you can find your God.  But who is willing? Who is daring for such a daunting task amidst this modern madness which men callest normal.  Pause to reflect today, “Ought the Living God be competing for my attention?"  “Ought God be competing against “things” in the very own heart He created?"  This is a reality.... we only have one life and thus we know the Life we ought be following yet nature makes it so hard.  Continue to pray for this sinner, Ave Maria!

More to meditate upon:

Ecclesiastes 9:17
The words of the wise are heard in silence, more than the cry of a prince among fools.

Ecclesiasticus 32:9
Hear in silence, and for thy reverence good grace shall come to thee.

1 Timothy 2:11
Let the woman learn in silence, with all subjection.

Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent.
--St. John of the Cross

What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.  
--St John of the Cross, OCD

No man is safe in speaking unless he loves to be silent. No man rules safely unless he is willing to be ruled.
--Imitation of Christ

In silence and quiet the devout soul advances in virtue and learns the hidden truths of Scripture.
--Imitation of Christ

Wisdom enters through love, silence, and mortification. It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.  
--St John of the Cross, OCD

“In some causes silence is dangerous.”
--Saint Ambrose

A judicious silence is always better than truth spoken without charity.
--St. Francis De Sales

It is better to remain silent than to speak the truth ill-humoredly, and spoil an excellent dish by covering it with bad sauce.
--St. Francis De Sales

To be silent when we are impelled to utter words injurious to God or to our neighbour, is an act of virtue; but, to be silent in confessing our sins, is the ruin of the soul.
--St. Alphonsus De Liguori