Be Holy, Be Happy!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

IC Novena Day FIVE: Silence and Time

“Mary comes to meet us as the watchful “sentinel” who opens for us the door of her Son’s home and, with love, invites us to seat at the Eucharistic Meal. She introduces us to the banquet of love and communion, which is, to be sure, the loftiest experience of the Christian community, and the most beautiful and intense experience in the life of the Institute.”
(Giuliana Spigone)

The Eucharistic Life[1]

Two are the central elements of a Eucharistic life: silence and time.

Silence is the ordinary background for a dialogue between God and his people. It is the best auditory channel that conveys his voice, which we can only hear by reducing to the minimum useless words and sounds…: unloving words, offensive voices. To yearn for silence in this time of grace is already a grace: a silence that is both expected and sought after as a gift, in the awareness that it is through it that the Lord comes, in silence.

Time is both a great treasure and a great temptation. We have been created and placed within time; we live in time, and it is in time that we experience our encounter with the Giver of all that is good. We often feel as the owners of time, but now, as yesterday and always, we wish to place the Lord at the core of our time, the Eucharistic Jesus.

The Eucharist is the vital and central core around which we gather to be nourished in faith and in communion, in order to savor the Son’s loving obedience, the delicate mercy of the Father, and the life-giving energy of the Spirit.

During ADVENT - in this atmosphere of silence and time, we can re-discover the clear structure of our days – a structure not made of norms, but of gestures of love, lived with fidelity within the logic and the coherence of faith: Lauds, meditation, encounter with the Eucharistic Jesus in adoration, etc. Our days are packed with work, but not with turmoil, for our encounter with God does pacify our hearts, dispels every anxiety, creates communion, and revives the heroism of a dedication that is humble, quiet, and non-compulsive.

At times, in our lack of humility and in our self-centeredness, we may get the impression that we walk the way of perfection with our own strength. Perhaps, this [ADVENT] will give us a new perception of God, and will make practical our desire to respond better to his project: to become a living hymn of praise, to be holy and apostles of holiness, to help others fall in love with the Eucharist.

By contemplating Christ in the Eucharist, and by welcoming his will, we can become saints and daring missionaries, for to live with Him and in Him means to become new creatures, meek and creative, as we draw from Him, as from the only wellspring, “meaning for human history, and the joy desired by every heart.” It is not enough to “speak” of Him. To be missionaries we must also “show” Him through the witness of our life. “We would like to see Jesus” (Jn 12:21) is the quest that many people address to us.

[1] All points are taken from the letter of Giuliana Spigone, the late General Moderator of the Apostolic Oblates December 8, 2004

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