31 August 2009

Letting Go and LETTING GOD

In today’s Second Reading from the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours are very beautiful words borrowed from The Imitation of Christ, the fifteenth century book written by Thomas à Kempis. Originally written in Latin and titled, De Imitatione Christi, the authorship was in question but evidence, including authoritative witnesses, points to Kempis as the writer.

Working from the Latin version of the Church’s daily prayer here are some interesting words from that Reading:

“Audi, fili, verba mea, verba suavissima, omnem philosophorum et sapientium huius mundi scientiam excedentia. Verba mea spiritus et vita sunt, nec humano sensu pensanda. Non sunt ad vanam complacentiam trahenda, sed in silentio audienda et cum omni humilitate atque magno affectu suscipienda.”

(My translation)
“Son, hear my words, words most gratifying, exceeding the knowledge of all the philosophers and wise men of this world. My words are spirit and life, and are not to be weighed by human understanding. They are not to be invoked in vain pleasure, but heard in silence, and received with all humility and great affection.”

There are no limits to the possibilities of the soul. For the soul is created in the Image and Likeness of God, and is eternal. If God so wills, the heavenly wisdom that one can receive in Eucharistic Adoration or adoring silence can surpass the worldly knowledge of any human being. The most difficult obstacle in Adoration is silence itself. Silence is not intended to be an obstacle, only a blessing, but we live in so much noise, that noise can become our comfort zone when silence should prevail; in other words, all the distractions that come to the mind and plague the inner ears during a Holy Hour which makes hearing the gentle whispers of our Eucharistic Lord nearly impossible.

In Sacred Scripture when Jesus confronted the man possessed, the words that came from this man were: “What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know Who You are, the Holy One of God?” But Jesus said: “Be still!” Today we might say that what Jesus meant was: “Be quiet” or “Shut up!”

When we go to Eucharistic Adoration, we often hear those voices. They are the voices of our attachments, the gods we have created in our life, the molten calves we have fashioned for ourselves -- hence, the demons that try to keep us away from Jesus. Perhaps our Blessed Lord allows those voices to creep in that we may understand what needs to be let go of before we can pursue a closer union with Him in the Blessed Sacrament. And yet, it is the distraction of those voices that make Eucharistic Adoration something that for many of us never becomes a standard practice. The trouble is that we’re in charge. It was our free will that brought about these attachments, and getting rid of them must also be exercised by our gift of free will.

If you think about, we most often hear those voices when trying to focus on our Lord, whether that be prayer, Adoration, sacred reading, or something else designed for our spiritual growth and edification. Thus, when we approach our Lord, all those inner voices in effect are saying: “What have we to do with You, Jesus?”

It is very difficult for the human person to relinquish control, a result of the fall from grace. But this is why it is most important that prayer and Eucharistic Adoration are mainstays in our life. The more Holy Hours that are made, the more one will grow in love and trust of Jesus. And when trust grows, it becomes easier to let go and let God. When we have truly surrendered ourselves to the will of God, then can Jesus step in and with Divine Authority say to those voices: “Be silent!”