He is Risen

He is Risen
He is Risen

Friday, 6 November 2015

"Advent Is A Time of Waiting"

(will be away from blogging for a while)
"Advent Is A Time of Waiting"

by Dorothy Day 1948
Advent is a time of waiting, of expectation, of silence. Waiting for our Lord to be born. A pregnant woman is so happy, so content. She lives in such a garment of silence, and it is as though she were listening to hear the stir of life within her. One always hears that stirring compared to the rustling of a bird in the hand. But the intentness with which one awaits such stirring is like nothing so much as a blanket of silence.

Be still. Did I hear something?
Be still and see that I am God.

Zundel, in Our Lady of Wisdom, has some beautiful passages on silence:

Do we understand at last that action must be born in silence, and abide in silence, and issue in silence, and that its power must be an emanation and the radiation of silence, since its sole aim is to make men capable of hearing the Word that silently reverberates in their souls?

All speech and reasoning, all eloquence and science, all methods and all psychologies, all slogans and suggestions are not worth a minute of silence in which the soul, completely open, yields itself to the embrace of the Spirit.

In solitude Christ speaks to the heart, as a modest lover who embraces not His beloved before all the world.

In silence we hear so much that is beautiful. The other day I saw a young mother who said, "The happiest hour of the day is that early morning hour when I lie and listen to the baby practising sounds and words. She has such a gentle little voice."

St. James says, "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man." And how much more women need this gift of silence. It is something to be prayed for. Our Lady certainly had it. How little of her there is in the Gospel, and yet all generations have called her blessed. [James says,]

To love with understanding and without understanding. To love blindly, and to folly. To see only what is lovable. To think only on these things. To see the best in everyone around, their virtues rather than their faults. To see Christ in them.

Many people think an examination of conscience is a morbid affair. PĆ©guy has some verses which Donald Gallagher read to me once in the St. Louis House of Hospitality. (He and Cy Echele opened the house there.) They were about examination of conscience. There is a place for it, he said, at the beginning of the Mass. "I have sinned in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault." But after you get done with it, don't go on brooding about it; don't keep thinking of it. You wipe your feet at the door of the church as you go in, and you do not keep contemplating your dirty feet.

Here is my examination at the beginning of Advent, at the beginning of a new year. Lack of charity, criticism of superiors, of neighbours, of friends and enemies. Idle talk, impatience, lack of self-control and mortification towards self, and of love towards others. Pride and presumption. (It is good to have visitors -- one's faults stand out in the company of others.) Self-will, desire not to be corrected, to have one's own way. The desire in turn to correct others, impatience in thought and speech.

The remedy is recollection and silence. Meanness about giving time to others and wasting it myself. Constant desire for comfort. First impulse is always to make myself comfortable. If cold, to put on warmth; if hot, to become cool; if hungry, to eat; and what one likes -- always the first thought is of one's own comfort. It is hard for a woman to be indifferent about little material things. She is a homemaker, a cook; she likes to do material things. So let her do them for others, always. Woman's job is to love. Enlarge Thou my heart, Lord, that Thou mayest enter in.

Day, Dorothy. "Advent Is A Time of Waiting". 1948, pp. 166-175. The 
Catholic Worker 

Peter Maurin reminds me of Pope Francis. Here is one of his Easy Essays: 






Blowing the Dynamite

Writing about the Catholic Church,
a radical writer says:
“Rome will have to do more
than to play a waiting game;
she will have to use
some of the dynamite
inherent in her message.”
To blow the dynamite
of a message
is the only way
to make the message dynamic.
If the Catholic Church
is not today
the dominant social dynamic force,
it is because Catholic scholars
have failed to blow the dynamite
of the Church.
Catholic scholars
have taken the dynamite
of the Church,
have wrapped it up
in nice phraseology,
placed it in an hermetic container
and sat on the lid.
It is about time
to blow the lid off
so the Catholic Church
may again become
the dominant social dynamic force. (Peter Maurin.)

Pope Francis: Church is called to serve, not to be served Link here & below:


“I tell you how much joy I have,” Pope Francis said, “what moves me, when in this Mass some priests come up and greet me: ‘O Father, I have come here to find my own people, because for forty years I have been a missionary in the Amazon.’ Or a sister who says, ‘No, I have worked for thirty years in a hospital in Africa.’ Or when I find a little sister who for thirty, forty years is working in the department of the hospital with the disabled, always smiling. This is called ‘serving,’ this is the joy of the Church: going out to others, always; going out to others and giving life. This is what Paul did: serving.”
“No to climbers, attached to money, in the Church”
In the Gospel, the Pope said, the Lord shows us the image of another servant, “who instead of serving others is served by them.” He continued, “We have read what this servant did, how he acted with shrewdness, in order to remain in his position.”
“In the Church, too, there are these kinds of people, who instead of serving, of thinking of others, of laying the foundations, are served by the Church: ‘climbers,’ those who are attached to money. And how many priests and Bishops like this have we seen? It’s sad to speak of it, isn’t it? The radical character of the Gospel, of the call of Jesus Christ: to serve, to be at the service [of others], of not stopping for oneself, going out to others always, being forgetful of oneself. And the comfort of the state: I have reached a certain state and I live comfortably, without integrity, like those Pharisees Jesus spoke about, who go out into the public square to be seen by others.”
A Church that does not serves becomes a business-like Church
The Pope described “two images of Christians, two images of priests, two images of sisters.” And Jesus, he said, “makes us see this model in Paul, this Church that never stops” that “always goes forward and shows us the path.”
“Instead, when the Church is tepid, closed in on itself, businesslike, it cannot be said to be a Church that serves, that is at the service [of others], but rather [it must be said] that it is using others. May the Lord give us the grace He gave to Paul, that point of pride of always going forward, always, renouncing, time and again, its own comfort; and may He save us from temptations, from those temptations which at their base are temptations to a double life: I see myself as a minister, that is, as one who serves, but at the base I am served by others.”

Fitting in with Dorothy day's Catholic Worker ideal, Pope Francis says:

"Asked about the Church’s response to poverty, Pope Francis said, “Jesus came into the world homeless and was poor. Then the Church wants to embrace everyone, and say that everyone has a right to have a roof ‘over you’. In the popular movements they are working with three Spanish ‘t’s: trabajo (work), techo (house), and tierra (land). The Church preaches that every person has a right to these three t’s.”"

Link here