SACRED SILENCE OR SELFISHNESS

Written near the end of his life, Soren Kierkegaard gives insights into what we call “infinite resignation.” This is in his book The Lily of the Field and the Bird of the Air. Amazingly, this Danish philosopher/theologian knew what it was to let go of earthly concerns. As shown by lilies and birds, peace and rest emerge; it becomes emancipation.

Soren Kierkegaard uses these words to express the results of this Sacred Silence. Sacred silence kindles intense intimacy, willing obedience, purposeful self-discipline, joyful joy. 

Jesus Himself showed this sense of peace on his walk to Golgotha. However, His previous silent-night hours, before his illegal trial, amplified His intense feelings. He pleaded with His Father three times for another way, not the cross. His loving Father explained this was the only way to redeem all humanity. Later it was explained as “the joy of going to the cross” to accept the inevitable suffering.

Yet, there is an enemy to interior peace. That enemy is our selfishness. It is being overly, or exclusively, concerned with one’s own advantage or pleasure, regardless of others. In reality, selfishness is its own worst enemy. It hates itself more than any person or thing on this planet. Regrettably, selfishness has an insatiable appetite. It is relentlessly hungry for more. Ultimately, it must die; therefore, selfishness destroys itself in greed to survive.

Our loving God is faithful to work out His peace and goodness as we “unravel” our own selfishness. The best way is to live out St. Paul’s words: “I have been crucified with Christ, shared His crucifixion; it is no longer I who lives but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by complete reliance on and adherence to the Son of God, Who loved me and sacrificed Himself on my behalf.”

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