I tend to agree very much with Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson, who writes of “Seeking revelation, not making resolutions for the new year. Resolutions, for me, area always an invitation to feel badly about myself.
But revelation? I can get into that. Especially when Anderson is writing about something that really does involve the one “resolution” I did sort of make for 2018 was to obey the first word of the Holy Rule of St. Benedict: “Listen”.
Listen carefully, my child, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.
That’s what I want to do this year, like Anderson, I want to listen, and with fuller attention so that — as she puts it — “I can be God’s apprentice during this time. But I must open my heart to his direction, rather than my own instinctive bounce.”
Part of listening includes permitting silence into one’s world. Silence assists listening. Revelation comes through silence. Resolution? Ah, well, resolution, I think is what Philip Neri says, a thing we have to stay on top of: “Make a frequent renewal of good resolutions, again and again,” he said.
Toward that end, here are a few quotes I’m putting in my journal today, in order to make a mindful start. Perhaps they will speak to you, as well:
1) “[Saint Athanasius said of St. Anthony that] he always looked upon himself as a beginner, as if every day were the first in which he was serving God, and as if in the past he had done nothing good and was but just setting foot in the way of the Lord, taking the first steps on the road to Heaven.” – Source2) “Consider all the past as nothing, and say, like David: Now I begin to love my God. — St. Francis deSales 3) “Since time immemorial, silence has been considered the rampart of innocence, the shield against temptations, and the fertile source of recollection.” – Cardinal Robert Sarah. 4) If all you can do is crawl, start crawling. – Rumi 5) “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. . .It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.” – C.S. Lewis
Happy New Year. May it be a new beginning informed by silence.
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