Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Wait in silence for God’s salvation

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Monks-vespers-webIf you ask me how to obtain the delights of contemplation, my immediate answer is by living in the wilderness and coming up from it. You know what scripture says: 'The Lord God will make the wilderness of Sion like delights, and her desert like the garden of the Lord'. Stay in solitude and be silent; deep within your own self make a pleasant and blooming solitude; wait in silence for God's salvation, and if he keeps you waiting for a little while, do not lose patience but go on patiently waiting. In fact, the One we wait for is attentively watchful of a person who can say: 'I waited patiently for the Lord'. He says: it is patiently I have waited, meaning that I have persevered in my waiting; I have trusted him, and so my waiting will never meet with disappointment.

Yes indeed, Jeremiah bears witness that it is good to wait patiently for the Lord, and it is a work of great virtue to be wholly dependent on the return of Jesus. During this waiting, the soul is strengthened and it purifies its spirit; it thinks everything that could impede the returning footsteps of its spouse, is to be mistrusted. So waiting is good when it prepares the way for the spouse, makes him come more quickly, a waiting that girds up loins and lights up lamps and makes ready the marriage bed.

Yes, a good time of waiting, making one come up from the wilderness, or, in other words, making one penetrate the profound secrets of the depths of solitude through daily progress in virtue. What could be more secret than this solitude? The nobler it is, the sweeter and more delightful, as the song proclaims: 'Who is this', say the daughters, 'coming up from the wilderness, flowing with delights?' We shall enjoy that flowing pleasure all the more when we have worked patience and grown holier by waiting.

John of Forde

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