God of Miracles,
by Michael H. Brown, focusing on
how God works in our lives, the miracles that are possible, the way we
prepare ourselves to receive them, the route to holiness, with stunning
examples of the miraculous and a deep sense of encouragement. Does God
really heal? Does He really watch over your life? Does He really cause all
those fateful happenings and triumphant moments and coincidences that
mystify us? A book that will inspire you and bring you up from the "downs"
of life and give you hope no matter how hopeless life can seem! This is one
of our most popular ever.
HEAD FOR THE QUIET OF YOUR INNER 'SANCTUARY' AND IN SILENCE YOU WILL 'HEAR' THE PATH OF LIFE
Love all people with true humility and Heaven will be yours -- in fact, you'll experience much of it here on earth.
Spend your greatest efforts on closeness to God. What has to be will come to be.
Let God handle it. Form a cocoon. Be silent. Don't listen to the noise all around.
In that silence, purge what needs to be purged. Then let God wrap Himself around you (and re-form you).
Life on earth is constant conversion. The Pope said something similar earlier this week as he stated that silence "gives rise to even more active communication, requiring sensitivity and a capacity to listen that often makes manifest the true measure and nature of the relationships involved."
"Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel," said Job (29:21).
When we are silent and isolated -- alone with Him -- the Lord is anything but.
"Then they were glad because they were quiet, so He guided them to their desired haven" (Psalm 107:30).
Here we cleanse the soul.
A cocoon? A cocoon is something that protects, that's impervious to many enemies, that shuts out the sounds of the raucous world, that shields from all weather, that can withstand the whip of the wind, that prevents the sun from scorching and the cold from frosting and the rain from penetrating.
A cocoon has to do with transformation.
To get close to God, first you have to be alone and silent with Him. It takes prayer. It takes deep introspection (and dissection). It takes honesty. It takes Scripture. It takes purging from way within. Especially, it takes listening to God when He comes in the still, small Voice (1 Kings 19:13).
The cocoon is the pupa stage (see too "pupil") and is formed from a secretion. The caterpillar secretes substances that form the enclosure. In a way, it is purging all that is inside of it. It is emptying itself. It's letting go of its past. It is allowing God to totally reshape it -- completely leaving Him in charge.
The caterpillar is a creature that starts out bound to the earth, crawling around with trepidation, on the constant alert for predators, and reaching safety only when it forms that remarkably durable enclosure or "chrysalis." When it finally breaks out, however -- after a period of emptying, after a time of isolation, after quiescence, under a leaf, having shed -- it's a butterfly that is free to wing anywhere around (and upward).
How do we create a cocoon? How do we find a leaf? How do we isolate in a way that is conducive to spiritual formation?
It doesn't mean that we cut everyone off. It doesn't mean we all need to be in a hermitage (though some time in one may be useful!). It does mean that we set aside "alone time" and seek the purity of simplicity and forsake what is negative. In a word, stop the tongue.
There was the great humble servant named St. Gemma and according to a book about her, "As Gemma's simplicity of mind and heart were so great, and as from the abundance of the mind and heart the mouth speaketh, great indeed was the simplicity of her speech. She never thought ill of others and so knew not how to speak disparagingly of anyone. 'You would need a wrench,' said a witness, 'to draw a word from her regarding others, even when the information was necessary or useful, if that word had to be one unfavorable to them.'"
Do we do the same? Or are we engaged in the chatter of the world?
"The words of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools" (Ecclesiastes 9:17).
To isolate and purify and transform mean that we spend adequate time in quiet with no TV, no computer screen scrolling, no ring tones from a cell, preferably with a Bible. Remember that Jesus spent forty days in isolation before revealing Himself as the Savior -- Who He really was.
Find yourself in the quiet of humility. Go into the secret chambers of your soul. Pray in this silent chamber. Identify "pockets of pride." Expel what is dark. Use the mud from within to create a cocoon and then shed that cocoon entirely. When you close the doors in your sanctuary, God opens His. ("And the sanctuary of God in Heaven opened. Then came flashes of lightning and peals of thunder," Revelation 11:19).
What a joy! The church within. The temple of the Holy Spirit.
Here is your mission in life. Here are the lessons. Here is the truth of who you are.
Go there and you will have all the protection you need and in silence you will hear everything.
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