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TWELVE STEPS OF SILENCE – SILENCE OF SELF LOVE

Previous: Silence of the heart

THE TWELVE DEGREES OF SILENCE

Step 7: Silence of self love

Silence in the sight of one’s own corruption, of one’s own incapacity, silence of the soul which takes pleasure in its own lowliness. Silence to praises, to esteem. Silence in the face of contempt, preferences and complaints: it is the silence of sweetness and of humility. Silence of human nature in the face of joys and pleasures.

The flower blossoms in silence and its perfume praises the Creator in silence

The flower blossoms in silence and its perfume praises the Creator in silence: the interior soul must do the same. Silence of human nature in sufferings and contradictions. Silence in fasting, in watching, in labours, in cold and in heat. Silence in health, in sickness, in privation of everything: it is the eloquent silence of true poverty and of penance: it is the most loving silence of death to all that which is created and human

It is the silence of the human ego which passes to the Divine Will. The shudders of human nature are not able to disturb this silence because it is above human nature.

Next chapter: Silence of the mind

– From: The Twelve Degrees of Silence, Supplemento am.n. 2/2008 di “De Vita Contemplativa”

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TWELVE STEPS OF SILENCE – SILENCE OF THE HEART

Previous: Silence with creatures

THE TWELVE DEGREES OF SILENCE

Step 6: Silence of the heart

If the tongue is mute, the senses are calm, if the imagination, the memory and creatures are silent and they establish solitude, if not around, at least in the most intimate part of this soul who is the spouse of Christ, the heart will also make little noise.

Silence of affections, of antipathies, silence of desires which are too ardent; silence of a zeal which is indiscrete, silence of exaggerated fervour; silence even of sighs! … Silence of love in what she has that is exalted, not of that holy exultation of which God is the Author, but of that in which human nature is mingled!

Silence of love and love in silence.

It is silence before God, beauty, goodness, perfection.

Silence that has nothing awkward about it, nothing forced: such silence does not harm the silence of humility, as the beat of the Angel’s wings, of which the prophet speaks, does not harm the silence of their obedience, as the fiat does not harm the silence of Gethsemane, as the eternal Sanctus does not harm the silence of the Seraphim! … A heart in silence is a virgin heart, it is a melody for the Heart of God! The lamp is consumed without noise before the Tabernacle and incense rises in silence to the Throne of the Saviour, such is the silence of love!

Such is the silence of love!

In the preceding degrees, silence is still the lament of the earth; in this one the soul, due to its purity, begins to learn the first note of that sacred canticle which is the canticle of Heaven.

Next: Silence of Self Love

– From: The Twelve Degrees of Silence, Supplemento am.n.2/2008 di “De Vita Contemplativa”

 

 

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TWELVE STEPS OF SILENCE – SILENCE OF THE IMAGINATION

Step 1: Speak seldom with creatures and often with God

Step 2: Silence in work, in movements

THE TWELVE DEGREES OF SILENCE

Step 3: Silence of the imagination

This faculty is the first which knocks at the Spouse’s garden; inexplicable disturbances accompany it, vague impressions, sadness. But in this secluded place, the soul will give to the Beloved proofs of her love. She will present the beauty of Heaven, the charms of her Lord, the scenes of Calvary and the perfections of her God to this faculty that cannot be annihilated. Then she will also rest in silence, she will be the silent handmaid of Divine Love.

Step 4: Silence of the memory

Silence of the past… forgetfulness. It is necessary to saturate this faculty with the remembrance of the mercies of God… It is gratitude in silence. It is the silence of thanksgiving.

Next chapter

– From: The Twelve Degrees of Silence, Supplemento am.n.2/2008 di “De Vita Contemplativa”

 

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SPEAK SELDOM WITH PEOPLE AND OFTEN WITH GOD

THE TWELVE DEGREES OF SILENCE

Step 1. Speak seldom with creatures and often with God

The interior life could consist in one word alone: silence! Silence prepares the Saints, it is their beginning, their continuation, and by means of it they are brought to perfection. God, Who is eternal, says but one word: the Word. In the same way it would be desirable that all our words should express Jesus directly or indirectly. How beautiful is this word: silence!

This is the first, but indispensable step, in the solitary ways of silence. The elements that prepare for Divine union are taught at this school. Here the soul studies and deepens this virtue in the spirit of the Gospel and in the spirit of the Rule which it has embraced, respecting consecrated places, persons, and above all the tongue, where so often the Word of the Father, the Word made Flesh, rests!

Silence with regard to the world, silence with regard to news, silence with souls, also those who are more just (…). (to be continued – Step 2)

– From: The Twelve Degrees of Silence, Supplements al.n.2/2008 di “De Vita Contemplativa”

Next chapter

 

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DOES GOD GIVE FAVOURS TO THRILL-SEEKERS WHO BELIEVE THEMSELVES DUST DESTINED TO DUST?

“For whom does God reserve His favours, His pledges of predestination to glory? Always and only for the humble, for those who think themselves only worthy of contempt, who abide tranquilly in the shade of modesty. Is it not of humility that it is written: ‘God considers closely the humble, but regards the proud from afar.’ What a thunderbolt for insensate pleasure-seekers, who believe themselves dust destined to dust! What a comforting ray for those delicate consciences which know only their faults, their weakness, their inner miseries!

ABIDING TRANQUILLY IN THE SHADE OF MODESTY

Is not God, Who beholds with an auspicious eye the prostration of the humble, more than the sun directing its rays of heat on the hidden seed of a flower? Is not God, who regards from afar the pretensions of the worldly and self-satisfied, the lightning bursting through the clouds to wither the haughty cedars? HUMILIA RESPICIT: God regards the humble. How admirably this expresses His thought for the humble, His care for them, His watchfulness on their behalf!

OUR GOOD GOD IS WATCHFUL ON OUR BEHALF

Is it not natural, besides; to be attentive to the one who neglects self, to think of one who forgets self, and to neglect one who is so full of himself, that there is no room in his heart for admiration of others? Pride is always selfish, and selfishness turns aside sympathy. If you are self-reliant, your indifference to others will be returned in kind. Others are attentive to us only when we forget self. Affection is only offered to him who believes himself in need of it, and who, consequently, is not self-reliant, but relies on God. The cry of need is heard a thousand times better than that of self-reliance.

If the myosotis did not hide timidly in the grass, it would lose its right to the title of ‘forget-me-not,’ and the moss which shelters it would be replaced by the scythe of the harvester.

LETTING THE SILENCE OF HUMILITY SPEAK

O sad hearts, dissatisfied with yourselves, because you know your wretchedness, that is, the gaping void of your life, almost equal to that of the tomb! Let the silence of your humility speak – and behold! you are surrounded with esteem, with veneration, with sympathetic interest of all. It is God who comes, with His following of noble spirits and true hearts, to salute you, to applaud you, to uplift you by His loving attention:h HUMILIA RESPICIT!”
– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 

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SPIRITUAL EXERCISES FOR THIS WEEK

THESE EXERCISES ARE NOT MANDATORY BUT VOLUNTARY; THEY ARE GROUPED TOGETHER FOR YOU TO SELECT THOSE WHICH BEST SUIT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES.

ACTS OF VIRTUE

1. Observe a strict silence when there is no need or just reason to speak and remain in God’s presence, in order to imitate, according to your. capacity, the Sacred Heart. Say seven Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory Bes in honour of St Joseph, asking him to obtain for you the interior peace and order that is so necessary for receiving the aid of the Sacred Heart.
2. Fast from food, mortify your stomach, and stay in uncomfortable positions or postures. Say five Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory bes in honour of St Margaret Mary Alacoque, that she may obtain for you the spirit of Christian mortification.

3. Carry with greater patience your everyday cross, whether it be illness, poverty or certain temptations, and carry it not just with lamentation, but giving thanks to the Lord, who gave it to you for your good to make you into the image of His Son. Look at Christ crucified for a quarter of an hour, with faith, thinking at every moment of His divine patience; learn how to exercise your patience alongside Him to gain eternal life.
– Mons. Nicola Tafuri

 

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TRADITION’S SACRED USE HAS TAUGHT (HYMN)

Tradition’s sacred use has taught
That we observe this holy fast,
With steadfast will and contrite heart,
Till forty days and nights have passed.

Henceforth more sparing let us be
Of food and drink, of words and sleep;
Henceforth beneath a stricter guard
Our mirth and wand’ring senses keep.

Hear us, O Trinity most blest!
O Unity, to you we cry:
May we through abstinence on earth
Enjoy immortal fruit on high. Amen.

 

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