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Broken? Stanza X – Part II

August 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Becky Ward, Broken, Poetry

Broken? Stanza X Part II

Your call Dear Lord, is to something better,
where peace and love and grace abound.
The soul united with its Master,
this is where true joy is found.

The desire for God is a built-in part of every human being. It’s like a homing device that attracts us to Him. This desire is also pieta4subtle, and in the noisy, chaotic world we live in, it can be difficult to discern; if we ignore it, it becomes all but impossible. This is why in Mark 6:31 Jesus tells us, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” This counsel has been repeated over and over in the lives of the saints and in the teaching of the Church from its beginning. It is essential that we make time for silence and solitude in our busy lives. We must find a way to stay connected, or ‘plugged into’ the source of life if we want to know Him and love Him as He so deeply desires.

Solitude is important because as long as we are with other people, we cannot give our full attention to the Lord. St. John of the Cross refers to this when, in the introduction to stanza 36 of “The Spiritual Canticle” he says:

“Strange it is, this property of lovers, that they like to enjoy each other’s companionship alone, apart from every creature and all company. If some stranger is present they do not enjoy each other freely, even though they are together and may speak to each other just as much as when the other is absent, and even though the other does not talk to them. The reason they desire to commune with each other alone is that love is a union between two alone.”

This comes immediately after the verse that speaks so plainly of solitude, stanza 35.

She lived in solitude,
and now in solitude has built her nest;
and in solitude he guides her,
he alone, who also bears
in solitude the wound of love.

This doesn’t mean that we must become hermits in order to have a relationship with God, but it does require that we make the effort to be alone with Him, carving out periods of silence, and giving up things of the world in favor of deepening our relationship with Him.

If the teaching of the Church and the advice of the saints in regard to the need for silence is not enough, consider the glaring truth of the current ‘state of the world’ found in this prophetic writing by C.S. Lewis, in “The Screwtape Letters”. For those of you unfamiliar with this book, it is presented as a series of letters written from Screwtape, a highly placed assistant of the devil (‘Our Father Below’), to his nephew Wormwood, a demon in training.  I found it to be a deep and humorous glimpse into spiritual warfare.

“Music and silence – how I detest them both! How thankful we should be that ever since Our Father entered Hell – though no longer ago than humans, reckoning in light years, could express – no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise – Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile – Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end.”

I can’t help but think of this last sentence when I see people with, as a priest friend calls them, “spaghetti ears”……the earphones used to listen to walkmans, iPods, and the like. Don’t get me wrong; I love music, and lots of people are probably listening to good things on these devices; it’s how pervasive they are becoming that bothers me. You see them everywhere. They are disguised and built right into sweatshirts and fleece jackets, and they eliminate one’s ability to hear what is happening around them. This can be dangerous.

To begin to put God in His proper place in our lives, amidst the chaos and noise of the world we live in, requires a real shift in the way we think, and an authentic desire to change. It also requires a leap of faith, some humility, and a certain amount of trust. Trust that those who have traveled this road before us know what they are talking about and have left reliable ‘street lights’ for us along the narrow path. Finally, for lasting change we need to have a real ‘close encounter’ with the Lord, which will act as the seed of our future relationship with Him. It is in our efforts to be still, and to be alone with God that the ‘soil’ of our hearts is tilled and we become more receptive of His gifts, creating an environment where the seed can grow and bear fruit. 

God’s love for us, for each and every unique, individual soul, is remarkable, and beautiful, and completely fulfilling. When we discover this we also discover that He truly is all we need, the sum total of our heart’s desire. And with that comes the peace that the world cannot give (cf John 14:27).

Love & Prayers,


This post is part of a series.  The introduction and other articles from the series can be found here once they have been published.

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About Becky Ward

Becky is a wife, mother of four (One in heaven), grandmother of five, and a "re-formed Catholic" who, after receiving the gift of a deep conversion in 2006, and working through the Disciples of Jesus and Mary faith formation program, now considers herself to be "fully Catholic" What this means is that she now, at last, understands and appreciates the beauty of the Catholic faith in such a way that she wants to share it with everyone. "I've heard that the Blessed Mother told a visionary, 'If Catholics really lived their faith, the whole world would be Catholic.' I see the truth in this, and it is my deepest hope to be a living example that draws others to Jesus. Given the nickname Rebel-Becca by her mother, Becky strongly identifies with St. John the Baptist and his call to "make straight the path of the Lord", and with his role as "Friend of the Bridegroom". The poem, "Broken?" written through her hand, is a reflection of the journey of the soul, and Becky explains what the Holy Spirit is teaching her as she writes posts for each stanza.

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