One Minute Reflection – 8 February – Saturday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time Readings: Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6, Mark 6:30-34 and the Memorial of Saint Amand of Maastricht (c 584-c 679) Bishop
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile” … Mark 6:31
REFLECTION – “If you wish to come and find Me, seek me aside. As Mark says: “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile. People were coming and going in great numbers and they had no opportunity even to eat.” (Mk 6:31).
Alas, such are the passions of the flesh and the turmoil of thoughts coming and going in our hearts that we have no time to eat the food of everlasting sweetness, nor perceive the taste of interior contemplation. That is why our Lord says: “Come away” from the noisy crowd “to a deserted place,” to solitude of mind and heart, “and rest awhile.” For truly, as the book of Revelation says: “There will be silence in heaven for about half an hour” (Rv 8:1); and in the Psalm: “Who will give me wings like a dove that I might fly away and find rest” (Ps 54:7 LXX).
But let us listen to what the prophet Hosea says: “I will seduce her and lead her into the wilderness and I will speak to her heart” (cf. Hos 2:16 Vg). These three expressions: seduce, lead into the wilderness, speak to her heart, represent the three stages of the spiritual life – the beginning, development and perfection. The Lord seduces the beginner when He enlightens him with His grace so that he may grow and progress from virtue to virtue. Then he leads him aside from the din of the vices and disordered thoughts, into peace of spirit. Finally, once guided to perfection, God speaks to his heart. Then the soul experiences the sweetness of divine inspiration and can surrender totally to joy of spirit.
What depth of devotion, of wonderment and happiness in his heart! By devotion, he is raised above himself, through wonder, he is led above himself, through happiness, he is transported out of himself.” … St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church – Sermon for the feast of Saint John the Evangelist
PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, let our striving for Your kingdom not fall short through selfishness or fear, may the universe be alive with the Spirit and our homes be the pledge of the world redeemed. May our hearts be eternally longing for that time alone with You, our one true Love. May our worldly duties be such that they never impede our progress in devotion and may the intercession of our Holy Mother, St Amand and all the saints, be a strength and a comfort. Through Jesus, our compassionate and loving Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You forever, amen.