Thursday, December 16, 2010

From DGO's daily email of the Gospel Reading:

Venerable Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916), hermit and missionary in the Sahara desert
Letter of the 19 May 1898 to Père Jerome
"What did you go out to the desert to see?"

One has to pass through the desert, spending time there, if one is to receive the grace of God. It is there that we empty ourselves, getting rid of everything that is not God, and completely emptying this little house of our souls to leave all the room to God alone. The Hebrews travelled through the desert, Moses lived there before he received his mission, Saint Paul and Saint John Chrysostom were also made ready in the desert... It is a time of grace, a period during which all souls who want to bear fruit necessarily have to pass. They need this silence, recollection and forgetfulness of all created things in the midst of which God establishes his reign and forms a spirit of interiority within them: life in intimacy with God, conversation of the soul with God in faith, hope and love. Later on the soul will produce fruit in precisely the measure to which this interior man has been formed within it (Eph 3,16)...

We can only give what we have and it is in solitude, in that life alone with God alone, that profound recollection of the soul who forgets all else to live alone in union with God, that God gives himself wholly to the one who is thus given wholly to him. Give yourselves wholly to him alone... and he will give himself wholly to you... Look at Saint Paul, Saint Benedict, Saint Patrick, Saint Gregory the Great and so many others – what long periods of recollection and silence they spent! Go higher: look at Saint John the Baptist, look at our Lord. Our Lord had no need of it but he wanted to set us an example.

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