It is a great joy to me to learn from your letter that you are sailing over calm waters. Calm waters can also be very deep, and under the surface the swells are moving and they carry the soul along without agitation, without the jolts, the ups and downs, the worries which bring exhaustion and no progress…..
I want to keep intact your predilection for going to Christ as the Savior. Do not enjoy Christ as if He were solely your own. He will be yours as you let Him radiate through you…Oh! how much of a savior was the Christ of the hidden life at Nazareth, and is not the Christ of the Eucharist the Christ of the hidden life now?
Let Him relive His redemptive work in you through the mysteries of the liturgy. Open wide your heart to His yearning for souls. Be the hearth from which He radiates. Let your whole spiritual life center upon the Eucharist….
I live the kind of life that I did not want. But wasn’t Christ of Nazareth in the world? He lived His hidden life and the turmoil of His work, His comings and goings, the wearying and meaningless gossip of a small village, His door always open…
Oh! how good it is that we should not choose our manner of serving the Lord, but that he should choose! —Father Albert Peyriguere
And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; and they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself; what we have heard you did at Caper’na-um, do here also in your own country.'” And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Eli’jah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and Eli’jah was sent to none of them but only to Zar’ephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Eli’sha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Na’aman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. But passing through the midst of them he went away. Luke chapter 4
And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him, “Arise, go to Zar’ephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” So he arose and went to Zar’ephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” And she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a cruse; and now, I am gathering a couple of sticks, that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” And Eli’jah said to her, “Fear not; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD the God of Israel, ‘The jar of meal shall not be spent, and the cruse of oil shall not fail, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'” And she went and did as Eli’jah said; and she, and he, and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not spent, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD which he spoke by Eli’jah. After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill; and his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. And she said to Eli’jah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to cause the death of my son!” And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her bosom, and carried him up into the upper chamber, where he lodged, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, hast thou brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?” Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this child’s soul come into him again.” And the LORD hearkened to the voice of Eli’jah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Eli’jah took the child, and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house, and delivered him to his mother; and Eli’jah said, “See, your son lives.” And the woman said to Eli’jah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.” –1 Kings chapter 17.
Na’aman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper…when Eli’sha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you rent your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Na’aman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the door of Eli’sha’s house. And Eli’sha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” But Na’aman was angry, and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and cure the leper. Are not Aba’na and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had commanded you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much rather, then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and he came and stood before him; and he said, “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, whom I serve, I will receive none.” 2 Kings chapter 5.
Returning to the land of familiarity, banality, the commonplace,
Within the demand of identity, to have one’s way,
An individual amongst individuals, being somebody, staking claim, creating one’s own way,
Having things one’s way, exterior, going out amongst the horde intent upon being recognized as being right, a multitude of rationalization and justification,
Working in the minds of others, subtly exercising compliance to free will, manipulating, plotting in order to achieve ordinariness, talking, scheming, and being the establishing of a neighborhood of man, rage smartly amongst the mob,
Nazareth rejected Christ.
Extraordinary, the spiritual life sailing upon a sea of calmness,
Darkly driven by the winds of mystery,
Still waters, still mind, behavior in kind,
The astonishing meditates hidden,
Prayer reposing upon Christ’s breast,
The Eucharist exposed a daily standard,
Chosen while mystified, a life of one’s undoing, being done onto,
I live the life I did not want,
The unique quietly acquiescing,
Healed, called into deeper being by ways I did not want,
Purity, luminescence unseen,
I did not want and came into being,
I will receive none, seeking now to give,
Now a friend in servitude,
Identity destroyed, a severe decreasing, a severe increasing,
Let me now go off to properly die.