Monday, May 7, 2012

Talk does not cook rice

The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace. - Mother Teresa

(Gospel Text: Jn 14:21-26)
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him."
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him,
"Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us
and not to the world?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

"I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit
whom the Father will send in my name--
he will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you."

Love is not something that can be done passively. Whether it’s love of a family member, a spouse, or a friend, love is expressed best not through words, but through our thoughts and actions. If we do not live as though we love, then the difference between loving your closest friend and saying you “love” peanut butter & jelly sandwiches is slight.

Why, then, do we so often think of our love of God in different terms?

The true irony comes when you sit to pray and wonder why you feel disconnected, distracted, or lost. Our relationship with God, like any relationship, requires more than just acknowledging it exists. It takes action. It takes diligence. It takes living your day-to-day life with the knowledge that God’s work is present in all that you do.

Allow me to illustrate. The right attitude to have towards a teacher is to be teachable, that is, docile. Pope John Paul II has taught that the Holy Spirit is "received by the humble and docile heart of the believer" (Splendor of the Truth, 108). The Pope prophesied that we would have a "new springtime of Christian life," if we "are docile to the action of the Holy Spirit" (Toward the Third Millennium, 18, emphasis added). In this same letter, Pope John Paul II has described Mary as "the woman who was docile to the voice of the Spirit" (48). She was docile because she was a woman of silence, attentiveness, and hope (48).

To be docile, we must be quiet, minimize distractions, and listen to the quiet whisper of God in the silence of our hearts. One way to find that “inner silence” in each of us is to make it a point once a week, for a few minutes, to sit in front of the tabernacle and / or the exposed Eucharist placed on the alter of a Catholic Church. You do not have to be a practicing Catholic to do that either. In Catholic circles, this is called Eucharistic Adoration and many churches throughout the world have it. Peter Kreeft, a philosophy professor at Boston College put it very eloquently: "Adoration will heal our Church and thus our nation and thus our world... Adoration touches everyone and everything... [because it touches the Creator, Who touches everything and everyone]... When we adore, we plug into infinite dynamism and power. Adoration is more powerful for construction than nuclear bombs are for destruction,"

Behind every action there must be prayer. No prayer - No action!

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