Saturday, December 23, 2023

Distractions & Longings are the Real Noise

DAILY MEDITATION with Magnificat



What Zechariah Learned in Silence

The direction of oneself toward God and toward solitude in him prepares the soul for the acquisition of that peace that helps us in the most distracting, most active external work…. Man’s silence makes room for God’s word. When man is silent, God is heard. And once we listen intently to God we maintain our silence even in the midst of our speech.

“Everything around man makes far less noise than man himself. The echo that magnifies external things in our soul—this is the real uproar.” This is a penetrating truth. We often do an injustice to the external world in blaming it for forcing us into distraction and noise. The longings of our soul, the disorder of our ideas and our thoughts, the diversity of our aims: it is these things that make the tumult inside us. Only our inner spiritual attitude can seal the entrance through which all these stray scraps tumble into our soul. If it is possible to open this door, it is also possible to close it. A voice crying in the wilderness has to announce to the soul, make straight the way of the Lord. In order to practice quiet within oneself, it is necessary to call on the aid of the virtues: patience, which calms the torment of sadness in us; perseverance and constancy, which overcome disquiet and fickleness, the shifting of intentions, plans, and goals from one object to another. Longanimity (or long-suffering) plays its part by controlling the feverish disturbance of work; humility and disinterestedness conquer the desire we feel for attention. Through the latter, our work takes on the subtle quality of a deed maturing in secret, like a flower in the bud until the time comes for it to bloom.

The longing for renown, the proclamation of our own deeds and sometimes even only of our plans, rob us of peace and of real thoroughness in our work, for there is too much for display in them, too much that is done for applause and renown, and too much seeking for immediate payment. The spirit of quiet demands humility and disinterestedness; the spirit of calm, as the fruit of love and justice, brings with it order and concord, and drives out disputes, discord, quarrelsomeness, and division. All of these are the fruit of quiet, poured into the soul.

Blessed Stefan Wyszyński

Blessed Stefan Wyszyński († 1981) was a Polish archbishop and cardinal who was a courageous and outspoken opponent of both Nazism and Communism. / From Sanctify Your Daily Life: How to Transform Work into a Source of Strength, Holiness, and Joy. © 2018, EWTN Publishing, Inc., Sophia Institute Press, Manchester, NH. Used with permission.

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