Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Quietude, Part 2

...continued from "Invitation to Enter into Quietude," by Brother Gerald Mathison.

...Although you could no doubt take advantage of this life*time to think out and resolve many matters for yourself, you stand a much better chance of having them resolved in much more meaningful ways, as well as countless other benefits for yourself, if you leave all this work up to God. He won't let you down. He asks that you be quiet and receptive so He might have the opportunity to "get a word in edgewise."

As the days of your life* go by, you may at times feel guilty for your inactivity. This is to be expected. However, please do not let such feelings deter you from relaxing and cooperating with God by trying to remain receptively open to Him. We are not encouraging you to do absolutely nothing during your life, but we are suggesting that it is very important that you greatly reduce your activity so you may enter more fully into the relaxed receptivity and peace that a life of faith offers. Perhaps you will find it helpful now and then to refer to one of the gospels (the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark Luke and John) as a means of support in your availability to God. . . . to assist you in your primary objective of receptive quietude, the passive form, the contemplative form, that will allow God to work in you. Rather than you "plugging in" to God, it is God who will be "plugging in" to you. Your ongoing desire to allow Him to come to you and be operative within you is the basic thrust of a successful life.

In what ways can you reduce your activity, letting God "plug into" you?

*I've substituted "your life", "life of faith" or "life" for the word "retreat."

Monday, April 12, 2010


I am basking in some simple truths about quiet and receptivity, found on a leaflet, received by my friend Clemie and forwarded to me. It is a personal reflection of Brother Gerald Mathison of Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe. As guestmaster, Brother Gerald shares this wisdom with all retreat guests. I am using portions of it, and do so with permission.

Invitation to Enter into Quietude

Living in our modern day society demands a great deal from each of us. The mounting anxiety from these demands seldom permits time for us to "go apart" and be separated in order that we might take stock of our lives. A spiritual life*, however, does allow us the opportunity to "go apart."

...Our society has ingrained in us that we find success only when we put forth effort. A life of faith*, however, is a little different from that. When we "go apart" for a spiritual life, we are seeking to make ourselves available so God can work in us and speak to us. He is not able to do so if we keep ourselves continually occupied and busy with doing things that WE think will make for a successful life. We need to be quiet. We need to convince ourselves that it is perfectly all right to be quiet during our life, that quietude is not a copout but a state of receptivity. If we allow our mind and body to be quiet, they are free to be open to God. If we, however, keep our mind and body occupied with over-activity, they are not nearly as able to quietly open to God who is the actual director of our life.

Through quietude, are you making yourself available to God?

*I have substituted the word "life of faith" or "life" for the word "retreat" all throughout.