Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part Three …

Continued from Part Two …

Well, good Sunday afternoon to Gentle Reader. It is nice to welcome a sunny day with a good cup of coffee and an expectation that the temperature might stay above freezing for a while.  So on with part three of this article … Where were we going now?

So, the “Great Divide”, what’s going on? The “rational” proponents of a “fact based logical reality” just end up with anger, hurt feelings or worse, and the Howlers just keep on howling because there is not and never was and never will be anything resembling common ground.

The choice we are faced with, again and again, is between being “part of this world” with all that this implies for righteous self-love or being part of GOD’s Kingdom. The choice is between loving the chimera’s of this world or loving GOD’s will. The temptations to engage in worldly strife and more, become more obvious when we try to break away from the world’s disorders.

Robert Cardinal Sarah …

Two years ago I read Cardinal Sarah’s book “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise”.  I have cited Robert Cardinal Sarah in numerous previous posts on this blog. As we are tempted to dive into the next controversy or outrage it would be well for us to remember one of his insights: “If we give ourselves to ephemeral and insignificant things, we will understand ourselves as ephemeral and insignificant. If we give ourselves to beautiful and eternal things, we will understand ourselves as beautiful and eternal.”

This image below is a hierarchical pyramid  of prevalence of certain types of discourse in the public sphere, and is typical of the blogosphere.

The pyramid is self explanatory. This situation is rooted in the fact that both sides (all sides?) have forgotten GOD’s part in all this. GOD loves all of us, He created all of us on both sides of the divide, just like he created good angels and bad angels. GOD is way above the pyramid, outside of and surrounding and maintaining our reality with His infinite love and power. He wants us all to succeed and join Him in heaven.

But in a Social Media blizzard of confused directions and questionable directions dominated by Hollywood, the MSM, local rock-stars and a plethora of self proclaimed messiahs like Guru Eckhart Tolle, we find ourselves being encouraged and pushed willy nilly towards a social place where God is no longer needed, or even, for many souls to a place where the very existence of GOD is denied … we are encouraged to see ourselves as the center of all things, a place of self worship and reverence for our own will in all things. “Our mind is not ourself”.

And this turns out to be a VERY profitable gig for all our new “spiritual” messiahs leading us into the paradise of the worship of self. The website “Charity Navigator” lists the following financials for the Eckhart Tolle Foundation (in millions of dollars): Asset Amount $618,350,000, Annual Income Amount $87,453,000, Form 990 Annual Revenue Amount $86,253,000, and the Latest Form 990 Return is December, 2017.

Worship of self can be very rewarding if you can get a lot of people to buy into it. And there are Agents for that. There was a nice 2 and a half hour supernatural horror film released in 1997 … staring Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino … Devil’s Advocate from certain perspectives this film is seriously chilling, it might have been a lot better but Hollywood while  lost its nerve, at least they didn’t have Pacino prancing around in a Red Devil suit. And and this little clip below is the final scene of the movie where the star and his wife have overcome all adversity and emerged victorious … is it just a film or is it something more? GOD brings good even out of evil … serious food for thought …

Unlike the angels we have the great good fortune to have the gift of time within which we can exercise our intellect and examine our views and make a decision to worship GOD and do GOD’s will in our lives, to live “virtuous lives”, or we can choose not to. We are blessed to be able to change our minds and our selves, change our souls. This is a gift unique to humans and it is all gift, we didn’t do anything to earn this and there is nothing to indicate that we deserve this mercy.  And this change can go either way. A reading from Ezekiel directly addresses this situation:

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Ezekiel: The Priest-Prophet of God; John Wesley’s House & The Museum of Methodism; by Frank O.; Salisbury, http://www.artuk.org/artworks/ezekiel-the-priest-prophet-of-god-133617

“19And you say: Why hath not the son borne the iniquity of his father? Verily, because the son hath wrought judgment and justice, hath kept all my commandments, and done them, living, he shall live.

20The soul that sinneth, the same shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son: the justice of the just shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

21But if the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed, and keep all my commandments, and do judgment, and justice, living he shall live, and shall not die. 22I will not remember all his iniquities that he hath done: in his justice which he hath wrought, he shall live.

23Is it my will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways, and live?

24But if the just man turn himself away from his justice, and do iniquity according to all the abominations which the wicked man useth to work, shall he live? All his justices which he hath done, shall not be remembered: in the prevarication, by which he hath prevaricated, and in his sin, which he hath committed, in them he shall die.

25And you have said: The way of the Lord is not right. Hear ye, therefore, O house of Israel: Is it my way that is not right, and are not rather your ways perverse? 26For when the just turneth himself away from his justice, and committeth iniquity, he shall die therein: in the injustice that he hath wrought he shall die.

27And when the wicked turneth himself away from his wickedness, which he hath wrought, and doeth judgment, and justice: he shall save his soul alive. 28Because he considereth and turneth away himself from all his iniquities which he hath wrought, he shall surely live, and not die.

29And the children of Israel say: The way of the Lord is not right. Are not my ways right, O house of Israel, and are not rather your ways perverse? 30Therefore will I judge every man according to his ways, O house of Israel, saith the Lord God. Be converted, and do penance for all your iniquities: and iniquity shall not be your ruin.

31Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which you have transgressed, and make to yourselves a new heart, and a new spirit: and why will you die, O house of Israel? 32For I desire not the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God, return ye and live.”   (Ezekiel 18:17-32 Douay-Rheims Bible)

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And one of GOD’s laws is “Love your neighbour as yourself”. I interpret this to mean “give your neighbour the same considerations and breaks and charity which you would give yourself”. I am not saying we should love everybody in a group hug kind of way. And I am sure my understanding of this precept isn’t nearly as far-reaching as GOD intended. I have new insights of how far off the rails I am every day.

So, we have to be more tolerant of world views which differ from our own but also be discriminating about what we will accept. World views that harm the innocent must be resisted. Those world views which put the innocent in danger must be opposed, and that is complicated because sometimes even the bad actors are “innocent” in their vast ignorance … they sincerely believe they are doing the right thing even if it is provably harming others or even their loved ones.

So what defines a world view failure in my humble opinion? Well, one of the big symptoms is a lot of loud wailing and gnashing about those “others” who are responsible for all their pain. That’s a gold plated telltale, the wailing tantrum at not getting one’s way and blaming “others”.

The first and essential step in recovery, conversion and repentance is to recognize and accept the beam in our own eye, accept it and start working towards removing it before we even start to attempt to remove the splinter in our brother’s eye. This is all about taking responsibility for our problems and not blaming others.

So … where to now … This post is uncharacteristically short so I’ll stick in one more little bit about truth and facts.

Well, there is one group of loud wailers and gnashers, a loud group of Hollywood Narcissists who hope to overwhelm Truth and Facts  with their Loud Social Media and MSM message. Hi Ben, and Sean, and Alex, and the rest of you less well knows coal shovelers.

How are y’all doing this Sunday morning?  How’s your coffee? I mentioned them a couple of posts ago in connection with the currently fashionable “Boycott Georgia” Social Media meme … which meme will last until the next time some Hollywood star shouts “Squirrel!” and the Social Media pack changes direction 90 degrees and races off howling after whatever new crisis suddenly has their attention.

In the meantime there is and are sources of truth and facts which are consistent and honest and don’t suddenly change their minds about what is really important. Some of these truths have been around since at least the 60’s, (for us) and actually date back thousands of years.

These truths commonly affect thousands of women and men in our modern society, and are completely unreported because they flow against the narrative of narcissism prevalent in today’s culture at all levels. These truths shine a light on the reality behind the currently fashionable narrative of self gratification and license and self love.

One of the stars of this reality is a lady I recently started listening to, namely Vicki Thorn the founder of the International Project Rachel. Here is a short 15 minute interview she gave for Shalom  World. It’s worth every minute if one is looking for the truth, the reality, behind the Social Media curtain:

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You“.

The words of this prayer given to the young visionaries of Fatima may seem simple. But the words outline our responsibilities as Christians—to believe, to adore, to hope, and to love God. As well, to ask pardon for those who do not act in this way. And further, to beg pardon for them, we should make reparation for their sins too.

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

The Murky Mirror of Self-Love …

Looking at the mirror of the world today … what we see daily unfolding within the church of Rome and, coincidentally, outside the church, in the citadels of power throughout western society leads to a thought. I just read an interesting article here.

It would seem that such a thing  as “due diligence” is found to be seriously absent in both Roman and international ecclesial administrative and theological policy and procedure.

It seems even more absent than experience suggests is the case outside the church, especially if that diligence would mitigate against moving in the direction which the current bureaucratic leadership desires. The school of “I didn’t know” is in session.

One of the hallmarks of the great cultural revolution in China was the compromise of the entire population by involving them all as active agents in the purges. That model seems to be paralleled in the conduct seen since 1967 in our polite Canadian society and our Roman church, worldwide.

I know The Book of Wisdom does not have a place in the Canon outside of the Catholic Church, and most definitely does not appear in the required reading library of Progressive Managers everywhere.

So it seems relevant that, in the name of ecumenical confraternity, some of the alleged theological and ecclesial conduct in the church of Rome, parallels conduct which is described in the Book of Wisdom, as Progressives in the Roman hierarchy have risen to the top of the pool:

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“Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us, and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for our sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training.

He professes himself to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. He became to us a reproof of our thoughts: the very sight of him is a burden to us and his ways are strange, and he avoids our ways as something unclean.

He calls the last end of the righteous happy and boasts that God is his father.. Let us see if his words are true and let us test what will happen at the end of his life, for if the righteous man is God’s son, he will help him and will deliver him from the hands of his adversaries.

Let us test him with insult and torture that we may find out how gentle he is and make trial of his forbearance.” (Wis. 2: 12-19).

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The "Dubia" Cardinals

The “Dubia” Cardinals

We are looking at the results of serious attempts to “change the rules” to suite and promote the desired direction of travel.

Objectors are marginalized and removed, silenced until death takes them. Ironically, the removal of the objectors seems to have removed many of the most credible episcopate in the Roman church.

Those who remain are mostly silent, although, fortunately there are still outspoken members of the Catholic Episcopate surviving and speaking truth in spite of the risk. I am in mind here of men like Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Bishop Robert Baron, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano,  and Archbishop Georg Gänswein, to name a few. There appears to be light on the horizon far off under the edge of the current gale force winds, thunder and lightning and heavy overcast.

I liken our current ecclesial storm to a storm disaster from the the 20th century, “Fastnet, Force 10, only now it is “Vatican, Force 10”. Trust me, a Force 10 is nothing you want to experience, and I speak from experience.

Robert Cardinal Sarah

Robert Cardinal Sarah

The “Rainbow” no longer appears in the heavens as a sign of God’s promise, rather it has a much more malignant connotation in our “enlightened” times.

I am becoming a sort of Robert Cardinal Sarah “fanboy” in my appreciation of his writings on reverence and silence, for example, found in “The Power of Silence”, through Ignatius Press and also found on Amazon.com for the Kindle reader.

Another impressive book is “The Benedict Option”, by Rod Dreher, also available on Kindle from Amazon.com.

The Benedict Option is a manifesto, and a rallying cry for all Christians who, if they are not to be conquered, must learn how to fight on culture war battlefields like none the West has seen for fifteen hundred years.

It’s for all mere Chris­tians—Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox—who can read the signs of the times.

Neither false optimism nor fatalistic despair will do. Only faith, hope, and love, embodied in a renewed church, can sustain believers in the dark age that has overtaken us.

These are the days for building strong arks for the long journey across a sea of night.

Is it becoming reasonable, even charitable, to pray for another cleansing flood?

Cheers

Joe

This is a bad storm, and only the Master of the vessel can be trusted.

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Second Thoughts … (part four) implications of the New Paradigm …

Prophecy” Adrian von Ziegler, from the album “Feather and Skull”, (2013)

(continued from my last post) the underlying thought giving rise to this post and the previous posts on the “New Paradigm” is my continuing ability to be offended by the words and actions of others with whom I have no connection whatsoever, and who, if someone asked them, would reply “Joe Who????”. Why am I annoyed with these antics?

The Dead Marshes

The Dead Marshes – from Peter Jackson’s movie “The Two Towers” based on “The Lord Of The Rings”

As I wade through my personal mental virtual reality of Frodo’s “Dead Marshes”  where the public actions of our modern Roman Curia color my faith life, I have to continually remind myself that “telling it like it is” is really only “telling it like what I think it might be”.

It’s not really “like it is” because there is no way I can know what it is. What I “think it is” is colored by my pride, my opinion, and my desires regarding what I think it “should” be.  I am completely missing the “deep” game. Only God reads the heart. In a post yesterday, related to unexpected disappointments,  Mark Mallett says:

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“… And then it happens. She (the cow) lifts her tail and lets it go. Fresh manure hits the straw and sprays in every direction. And there it is—melting like a chunk of butter in a pot of rice—poop in my pail.

Sacred Cows

Our Sacred Cows of Dogma, Belief, and Opinion are alive and kicking

My perfect morning was shattered. Instantly grumpy. I led her back to the corral, washed my bucket, and plumped myself down in my office to pout for a minute. But what I read next changed my mood in a hurry—a word allegedly from Momma earlier today:

… Pray for the strength of faith; trust in the love of the Heavenly Father. I am with you. I am manifesting myself to you. I am encouraging you. With immeasurable motherly love I am caressing your souls. Thank you. —Our Lady of Medjugorje to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo, March 18th, 2018 (annual apparition)

… Our Lady reveals something crucial here. You see, every day, there is going to be poop in the pail. Another big bill. A pile of dirty dishes. An annoying co-worker. A new car repair. Another illness. Another disappointment… Faith is what says, “God has given these to me as a gift to see, first, what kind of a person I am (patient or not, charitable or not, humble or not…. etc.); and second, to test whether I really trust in Him.” Because it is not a perfect day that increases our communion with the Holy Trinity, but a death to our self-love, self-will, and desire to be God—to control everything around us…”.

*****

A priest friend of mine has remarked from time to time on his own conduct in traffic, to the effect that: “… a sure sign of one’s measure of fraternal charity is how one thinks and speaks about other drivers in traffic …”. Truer words were never spoken … how one thinks and speaks about other drivers in traffic. I am thinking that “drivers” and “traffic” are all the drivers in the traffic of life.

All of us impacting one another in a multitude of ways and the odds are astronomical that the irritation is not attributable to any malice or maleficence but simply to normal daily human self love and lack of awareness. We are simply not aware, for the most part, of our impact on others, all the other drivers on the freeway of life. We give offense without a moments thought and that offense is taken personally and grows and is passed on to yet more drivers.

Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa of Avila says that concern for their honor is the reason why many people who have devoted themselves to the spiritual life, and are very deserving on account of many good works, are still “down on earth” and never succeed in reaching the “summit of perfection”. That’s really what it is, right? I am attached to my “honor”.

What I “think it is” is colored by my pride and desires, by my concern for my honor, my opinion, and my version of reality is just that … my version … and my trust in God’s plan, much thought about, is actually missing in action. Why do I get so offended by “the poop in the pail”?

Pride, pride, pride, it is always about pride. So, back to Father Spadaro, and Anthony Annett, and the new Paradigm, and why are they pissed off with EWTN? And most importantly (for me) why does their being pissed off piss me off?

When did the Assistant to the Director of the IMF’s Communications Department get the right to make the calls on who gets censured and who gets excommunicated in the Roman Catholic Church? And why is a senior Catholic cleric agreeing with him? Well, from my last post I repeat: just who is Anthony (Tony) Annett:

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Tony Annett

Tony Annett

As mentioned, Tony handles outreach on the sustainable development agenda. (that’s right, Tony works for the United Nations).

And the “New Paradigm” of Pietro Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State for the Holy See, and our Pope Francis, (aka – the Peronist  Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio)  is tied to Sustainable Development.

And Sustainable Development” is tied to the U.N. agenda of controlling the population of Africa through encouraging birth control and freely available abortion.

Why do I get so offended by “the poop in the pail”?

But … there is another view of what the U.N. is doing in Africa, and this view is not covered by Western media in any noticeable way since it flies in the face of currently fashionable Western sexual mores. One articulate presenter of that view is Obianuju Ekeocha, a native African and author. The blurb for her new book on Amazon says this:

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“Since the end of colonization Africa has struggled with socioeconomic and political problems. This has attracted wealthy donors from western nations, organizations and private foundations who have assumed the role of helper and deliverer.

While some donors have good intentions, there are other western “progressive” donors whose gifts to Africa are often attached to their ideology of sexual liberation.

These are the ideological neo-colonial masters of the 21st century who aggressively push into Africa their views on contraception, population control, sexualisation of children, feminism, homosexuality and abortion.

Obianuju Ekeocha, a native African and author

Obianuju Ekeocha, a native African and author

The author, a native of Africa, shows how these donors are masterful at exploiting some of the heaviest burdens and afflictions of Africa such as maternal mortality, unplanned pregnancies, HIV/AIDS pandemic, child marriage and persistent poverty.

This exploitation has put many African nations in the vulnerable position of receiving funding tied firmly to ideological solutions that are opposed to the cultural views and values of the people.

Thus many African nations are put back into the protectorate positions of dependency as new cultural standards conceived in the west are made into core policies in African capitals and the new redefined terms of the west become applied within various African ministries.

This book reveals a problematic facet of neo-colonialism that is rarely seen or talked about. Drawing from a broad array of well-sourced materials and documents, it tells the story of foreign aid gifts with strings attached, the story of Africa targeted and recolonized by wealthy powerful donors.”

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So Anthony (Tony) Annett is on the “other” team, the team that Uju Ekeocha is writing about in her book “Target Africa”.

Tony plays a leadership role in the Ethics in Action initiative bringing together religious leaders, academics, business and labor leaders, development practitioners, and activists to develop and promote “ethically-grounded practical solutions to sustainable development challenges“. That would include religious leaders like the senior Vatican  bureaucrats in the Pope’s “A” team.

Fr. Michael Pacwa, SJ

Fr. Michael Pacwa, SJ

Tony is one of the major leaders of the very group that Obianuju Ekeocha is writing about in her book “Target Africa: Ideological Neo-colonialism of the Twenty-first Century Paperback – February 15, 2018″

Why are major players in the Vatican cuddling up to major players in the U.N. Family Planning agenda?  Why are they supporting each other and targeting such entities as EWTN? 

Do you suppose there is a connection between EWTN programming about Target Africa: Ideological Neo-colonialism of the Twenty-first Century and  the big leaders in the U.N.’s African Family Planning movement getting upset with EWTN, you know, along the lines of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend“? 

Start at minute 6:53 of the YouTube video in the above link of Father Mitch talking with Obianuju Ekeocha, a native African and author of Target Africa.

Why do I get so offended by “the poop in the pail”?

Xi JinpingAnd, last but not least, I first mentioned at the very end of a previous post that there seems to be something going on in China between our “Pope for Life” the Bishop of Rome, and Xi Jinping the new President For Life” of China.

“The Guardian” is announcing that the Vatican has reached an agreement with the Peoples Republic of China.

Jorge MariCardinalBergoglio is 81 years old. Xi Jinping is 64 years old. So who do you suppose is going to control the “New Agreement” between Xi Jinping, the newPresident For Life“,  and the Pope for Life” the Bishop of Rome,  Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio  (aka Pope Francis)?

Odds are pretty good that the President For Life will outlast the “Pope for Life”  by a couple of decades at least. So who is going to manage this new relationship?

What’s not to love about this new development, the oldest organized theistic religion on the planet in bed with the oldest atheistic government on the planet with respect to the appointment of “acceptable” bishops?

I wonder what that will mean for the Catholic Church in China? Maybe Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio figures he is going to infiltrate and revolutionize Chinese society – seems a long shot from here but I suppose it is conceivable … maybe … after all, the Church has infiltrated, penetrated and converted some pretty formidable pagan empires in the past. Ever hear of the Roman Empire?

Roman Empire

Roman Empire

China, The United Nations, the Roman Catholic Church, I never thought I would see the day when one could reasonably mention all three as connected in a story that actually reflected what is going on in the world today.

Oh, I guess there is still more stuff to sink into in this “Dead Marsh” but I guess it can wait … Why do I get so offended by “the poop in the pail”?

I am giving much thinking to silence … this multiplication of feelings and complaints and dissatisfaction with the turn of events that distresses me because I place such high value on my own way of thinking, on my own point of view, my own opinion.

Yes indeed, I have a very high opinion of myself – not much immolation of self going on here … probably I should just shut up … instead of saying “NO!” just choose to say nothing at all … choose silence.

Portrait of Henri Nouwen in the 1990s by Frank Hamilton

Portrait of Henri Nouwen in the 1990s by Frank Hamilton

In The Way of the Heart”, Henri Nouwen says: “Thus, silence is the discipline by which the inner fire of God is tended and kept alive. . . . What needs to be guarded is the life of the Spirit within us. Especially we who want to witness to the presence of God’s Spirit in the world need to tend the fire within with utmost care.

It is not so strange that many ministers have become burnt-out cases, people (who) say many words and share many experiences, but in whom the fire of God’s Spirit has died and from whom not much more comes forth than their own boring, petty ideas and feelings.

Sometimes it seems that our many words are more an expression of our doubt than of our faith. It is as if we are not sure that God’s Spirit can touch the hearts of people: we have to help him out and, with many words, convince others of his power. But it is precisely this wordy unbelief that quenches the fire. . . .

Taken from: “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise” by Robert Cardinal Sarah,  Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition. (para 135, locations 1233-1239)

So, maybe I should just shut up … too much talking … too much pointing … too much “Hey What’s Going On?

Cheers

Joe

Its a New Paradigm, Grasshopper … but Master, it looks like a duck …

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The Inner Struggle

The Power of Silence … Silence is difficult …

67. In “Un autre regard sur l’homme” [Another look at man], Maurice Zundel seems to develop Plotinus’ thought in greater depth when he writes: ******

Maurice Zundel

Maurice Zundel

Our whole life is comprised in this alternative: either I am in myself or I am in God. There is no middle way. When I stop encountering myself, that is when God is really present. When I lose sight of myself, that is when I look at Him. When I no longer hear myself, that is when I listen to Him, and God, at all levels, consists precisely in losing myself in Him.

The program is simple, but implementing it is difficult, because we cannot decree an encounter or set the hour in which love will spring forth. There is no path that infallibly ends with an exchange of intimacies. Nothing is freer, more unforeseen, or more gratuitous. All you can do is to remove the obstacles that make such an exchange impossible, and they are all summed up in the noise that one makes with oneself and around oneself.

The only chance we have of leaving ourselves is to neutralize our attention, peacefully to withdraw our attention from this whole confused mix of appetites and claims, and to shut off the psychological current that feeds this turmoil; in this recollection, the emptiness that makes us available grows ever wider and deeper. When total silence is established, it is already an announcement of the Presence who fills up the space resulting from the retreat of myself.” *****

Robert Cardinal Sarah

Robert Cardinal Sarah

68. Silence is difficult, but it enables man to let himself be led by God. From silence is born silence. Through God the silent, we can attain silence. And man is unceasingly surprised by the light that pours forth then. Silence is more important than any other human work. Because it expresses God. The true revolution comes from silence; it leads us toward God and others so as to place us humbly and generously at their service.

Robert Cardinal Sarah,  “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise” (Kindle Locations 821-837, para 67 & 68). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

 

Cheers

Joe

When I stop encountering myself, that is when God is really present. When I lose sight of myself, that is when I look at Him. When I no longer hear myself, that is when I listen to Him. Maurice Zundel

 

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