Journal Notes on St Paul of the Cross #20
by Amy Knight
Above all, be faithful to God, always more and more annihilated before his Divine Majesty and obedient to all for the love of that God who became obedient even unto death. Stay apart as much as you can and preserve silence, which is the key of gold that locks up the great treasure of the other virtues which God has placed in us. Live despoiled of everything, make a continual sacrifice of yourself to the glory of God, and rejoice to be crucified with our dear Savior. Live happily on the cross of Jesus. L209
Zephaniah 1:7 Be silent in the presence of the Lord God; For the day of the Lord is at hand. For the Lord has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited His guests.
Silence is a necessary ingredient when you want to hear someone else speak. This principle is true in prayer as well as conversations with people. If you want to hear Him speak, you must spend time in silence.
One reason why silence is difficult, is because of all the “traffic” in our souls. Traffic is defined as the noise of the culture we live in: constant communication through cell phones, email, internet, social media, television, movies, music, videos, conversations, etc. The noise of the world constant. How does one pull away from this? Everywhere we turn, the noise of the world is vying for attention. Once we do pull away and try for a moment of silence, we find that in our soul is so many rushing thoughts distracting us that it seems impossible to hear anything from God.
We must begin to empty ourselves of all this noise. Some forms of input need to be banned in our lives altogether. God is inviting His friends into a holy conversation. “He has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited guests.” Do you want to attend a holy banquet? The King is waiting for you at the table. He is knocking at the door of your heart.[i] He desires your company. He wants to speak holy mysteries into your heart and bring total transformation.
Why would we want to hold on to the clamor of the world, when we could partake of holy conversation? He searches to and fro throughout the whole earth, that He might strongly support those whose hearts are given over to Him.[ii] His gaze is upon those who are given over to Him and His gaze has transformational power that goes into the soul and infuses His seven fold Holy Spirit that is filled with supernatural virtues and gifts: the spirit of wisdom, revelation, council and might, the knowledge of God, and the fear of the Lord.[iii] As He gazes at His beloved ones, may they look back and gaze at Him, for then they receive of this seven-fold Holy Spirit of God.
This holy exchange is so powerful that it caused King David to say, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that I will seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.”[iv]
King David caught of glimpse of the Beauty of the Lord and he was forever ruined for lesser things. We need to get a higher vision too: a greater revelation of the God-man Christ Jesus. If we only knew what beholding Him would do in our hearts!
This beholding Him requires us to be violent against our flesh in denial of self. How will we receive from Him if we are cluttered with so much traffic in our souls? “…from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.”[v] It takes an “act of violence” to put away this traffic. Fasting media is a denial of self that is violent to our flesh. Fasting food, idle conversations, television, movies, video games are all a type of violence to our flesh. Denying what our flesh wants is violence in the spirit and it produces space in our inner man such that we can hear His voice and receive His call to us. He is beckoning us to come to the table. Today, may we not harden our hearts and hear His call.[vi]
Prayer: Dear Jesus, you are beckoning me to come! May I turn away from every lesser thing and run after You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. May I empty myself of all the traffic in my soul, that I may hear Your voice. Amen[IS2] .
[i] Rev 3:20
[ii] 2 Chron 16:9, Zech 4:10, Rev 5:6
[iii] Isaiah 11:1
[iv] Psalm 27:4
[v] Matthew 11:12
[vi] Hebrews 3:7