In the quiet of a room they sigh.
In candle’s glow they live under
An icon’s shadow and an unheard cry
And the Truth-bearing words that thunder–
Those Sacred Silences who
tenderly await the soul.
They speak of His coming, not delayed, but near
for etched in unknown depths, they say,
the same Image of the One whose patient tear
slays the heart and gives all away–
In those Sacred Silences who
tenderly await the soul.
Let saving truth’s grammar unbound
Those lips thirsting for syllables of love
To drink deep the wisdom in whose font resound
Those words below of the Word above:
As enveloped in great silences
The soul awaits His coming.
— Anthony Lilles
Originally posted on Beginning to Pray
Advent of that Mysterious Joy
Broods the cosmos in painful rending
Beyond infinity’s gentle bending
Over misery’s edge in galaxy far
A lost people on some forgotten star
Glory there with delicate care abides
Superintelligences cannot fathom
The hidden secret’s tender anthem
For they from above all time and space charge hastening
To the garden, to guard, to wield swords in chastening
Where envy’s deceit resides
Until heaven, song and peace bestowing
On lowly shepherds and sheep lowing,
Beheld revolving all hearts, and stars, and years, and land
Around what humble Godhead offers man,
And that mysterious joy besides.
I just finished reading a beautiful book on prayer, Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden, by Dr. Anthony Lilles. I liked his take on the difference between bravery and courage:
True humility attracts God. Humility regulates how we esteem ourselves. The word humility itself derives from the Latin humus which means rich fertile soil. This suggests the great primordial truth of our origins.
Man was fashioned from the dust of the earth, and at the end of his days, he returns to it. God breathed his life into mud and made it capable of doing something divine. Life is a very fragile gift lavished upon us when we have done nothing to deserve it. We have only a very brief time to make of it something beautiful for God. God is attracted to souls that ground their lives in this truth. Such humility permits Him to accomplish great things.
A particular kind of courage needs to go with such humility: the courage to accept ourselves, including our weaknesses. Romano Guardini distinguishes this sort of courage from bravery. Bravery confronts things that threaten us from without. Courage, from this perspective, helps us confront what is within us. This is not the same as excusing our own sinfulness. It is a matter of humbly accepting the truth about ourselves, courageously acknowledging we need God’s help.
(Anthony Lilles, Hidden Mountain, Secret Garden)