In my last posting, I wrote about the action of “running to Jesus”. . . running to Him in the “now” and in that action, leaving yourself behind.
It would mean running weight-free of any baggage of worry, anxiety, fear, sorrow, doubts, struggles, everything that you might be carrying!
Dropping it all, literally as if you were dropping a heavy suitcase and walking free of “all that.“ And in that “dropping” we will truly receive the Peace of Jesus.
No baggage claim!
Think of that! Can you imagine!
How do we really do that? Is it possible?
Yes, it is. . .
St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
and my dear friend Judy will help us.
St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s Prayer of Silence
The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.
St. Mother Teresa was a “lover” of silence and a “lover” of Eucharistic Adoration. She and her sisters began their days before the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus before they would go out into the streets of Calcutta ministering to all the sick and needy. Author Kerry Weber writes, “silence and prayer become the wombs in which we’re reborn. They enlarge the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of Himself.”
The Grand Silence
Mother Teresa once said, “Silence can never be corrected. Very often, I have the answer but I don’t give it, I wait, and I am grateful to God for giving me the opportunity because silence can never be corrected.”
She asks us to make a resolution to control our tongues. She tells us to “take care that my tongue does not get dirty because Jesus will rest there as he rested in the womb of His Mother Mary.”
A Full Heart
Mother Teresa tells us further, “[If] your heart is full of worldly things, you cannot hear the voice of God. But when you have listened to His voice in the silence of your heart then your heart is filled. Then, from the fullness of the heart the mouth will speak.
You may be writing, then the fullness of your heart may come to your hand also. Your heart may speak through writing.
Your heart may speak through your eyes also. When you look at people, they must be able to see God in your eyes.
The fullness of the heart is expressed in our eyes, in our touch, in what we write, in what we say, the way we walk, the way we receive, the way we need. That is the fullness of the heart expressing itself in many different ways.”
Quieting the Spirit
Mother Teresa also tells us, “There is so much hurt instead of love, so much bitterness instead of sweetness, so much noise instead of silence.”
She asks us to examine our prayer life. . .
Is it faithful?
Is it true?
Is it constant?
Is it full?
“Is it so real that in the silence of our hearts, we can hear Him speak?”
She closes this part of instruction with:
“If we only knew the art,
the fruitfulness of silence,
our homes would become the sunshine of God’s love,
the burning flame of God’s love in action.”
The Fruitfulness of Silence
The image above is the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York. It is a sacred place where retreats, days of prayer and conferences are held. It is a place to “walk the path” to silence of the heart, to contemplate the heart of Jesus and a place to drop your baggage at this gate and leave yourself behind. It is a place where Jesus called two souls together into heartfelt friendship.
Judy Enters Into My Life
It is here that I met a dear soul named Judy on a silent retreat. Yes! You read that sentence correctly!
We met in the Autumn of 2018 on a silent retreat together with the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist within the walls of the Seminary. The Missionaries promote Eucharistic Adoration and prayerful reading of scripture along with consultations. It is a great time of silence and there is a “mystery” that is realized when you sit side by side others that are entering into the same summons of being called forth into such a sacred time.
There is most definitely a spirit of oneness as you pray beside each other in this kind of retreat and that is exactly what happened to Judy and I. We sat side by side and Jesus was setting us up for future days that we would experience together. The fruit of this silence was His plan being perfected in both of us. We were to become friends of the spirit and travel a hard road together that was ahead.
How Did it Happen – this Friendship?
We would come together in a little space for meals while on retreat. Even though we sat eating our meals in silence facing windows, facing outward, our hearts were most definitely facing toward each other. So little conversations would arise, short but sweet! And when the time came to go our separate ways we exchanged our contact information.
After the retreat, we did get together, spending weekends of prayer and getting to know one another. A beautiful friendship began but I would be given a strong lesson and shown clearly the fruit of silence and the prayerful witness in Judy as she would face the biggest hardship and sorrow of her life.
Sorrow Enters In
I still remember so clearly the day that Judy came to my home to celebrate the Three Kings Feast Day at the beginning of the year of 2019.
We had gone to Mass together and upon our return had some good prayer time praying the Rosary before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in my living room. It seemed during our prayer that the Blessed Mother was displaying “emotions of sadness” and Judy felt that Mama was trying to tell me something. In essence, She was warning Judy of what was about to unfold.
Judy’s daughter, Dena would be diagnosed with brain cancer. She was only 49 years old and in the greatest of shape health wise, with three teenage sons and a husband. It was a shock. Dena was on vacation when this terrible illness struck like lightening in the peace and quiet of all their lives.
The prognosis wasn’t a good one and it seemed that this young woman didn’t have much time to live out the rest of her days. It was devastating news yet Judy seemed to be at peace with everything and displayed a strength that only Jesus can give. She was accepting and surrendered to the moment. It was mind boggling to watch and be part of.
She spent a week at my home so she could travel back and forth to visit her daughter in a hospital that was close by. Yet came back to my home in the evening with a smile on her face and yelling to me from the driveway, “honey, I am home!” We spent that week in hopeful prayer and placing all trust in Jesus. We spent the week in love and friendship but I was shown a beautiful lesson of Confidence in Jesus.
When the Rubber Hits the Road
I seem to love that phrase. It is so true. It is so easy to say one believes in God when all is going beautifully, but when it isn’t, may the truth be known in those instances!
Judy hit the road running. . . and she has run for the last six months. In that running, she has been at the feet of Jesus in silent prayer. This is where she received her strength to keep on running. . . running to the last days of her daughter’s life.
Judy’s daughter Dena died on September 5th, the Feast Day of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. No coincidence here, just a big, big confirmation of the Lord’s “Amen” to the power of silence and the fruit of that prayer.
The power of silence!
It’s what makes Judy tick!
It’s what made her get through these last six months!
It’s what propels her forth to the goal of seeing her daughter once again in the “Eternal.”
Dena’s Funeral Mass was just on Tuesday, September 10th. Judy arrived here yesterday, Wednesday, September 11th to spend some days of “quiet, silence and prayer,” and friendship.
Little did we know that in the “silence” of our prayer almost one year ago, that our loving Jesus would be preparing the way for Judy and strengthening her to push through this time of sorrow with great fortitude and perseverance.
This blog is dedicated to
both Mother and Daughter
Judy and Dena
Who will one day be united together again in the
“Eternal Kingdom of Love”
For a Very Special Person
©2019 Anita Guariglia
You Tube – The Summons /Song by John L. Bell
Quotes by St. Mother Teresa taken from
Franciscan Spirit/Mother Teresa on the Power of Silence
Photo Credit/Instagram/Vida,deu/Pink Rose & Butterfly
Photos/Featured Image/Anita Guariglia
All Other Photos – Instagram