Sunday, August 23, 2009
"Only with deepest humility can we recognize how far we are from our goal. Only those souls who have attained a lofty level of holiness can truly acknowledge how far they still are from their total fulfillment. For example, the Curé of Ars considered himself more wretched than the notorious sinners to whom he ministered. He realized that many of these fallen souls, had they received the same graces that he had received, would perhaps surpass him in holiness. Only with humility can we recognize the torpor of our love.
Prayer is our primary duty. Prayer is the reason why God has placed us on earth. We learn truly to prayer, when we are in the presence and company of Christ. Therefore, we must contemplate Christ for long periods of a time and seek him out persistently. Consider those closest to Christ. Saint John the Apostle grasped what was indispensable for a clear understanding of his master. John never tired of probing and querying Christ. We can see how John thus gained richer insights and fuller explanations, precisely because he went to the bother of approaching and asking Christ to clarify each day's lesson. I picture John, walking close behind Christ, as he made his way about the Holy Land. Thus, John came to gain a wealth of intimate knowledge, which the other apostles did not acquire. Herein lies the explanation for the special character of the fourth Gospel. While the other apostles traveled across the then known world on their missionary journeys, John's unique apostolate was to remain close to the Virgin Mary, whom Christ had entrusted to him. Thus were these two great souls conjoined in love and prayer!
In silent solitude, let us seek to realize that we truly can be in contact with God. It is God whom we should aim to encounter in prayer. It is God who is both the breath and the fulfillment of our life." -- Ven Jacques of Jesus, ocd
-- Listen to the Silence: A Retreat with Père Jacques translated and edited by Francis J Murphy