Monday, July 16, 2018
No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away. – Luke 8:16-18
A newspaper prints on its masthead the words, “Democracy Dies in Darkness”. This refers to the primary reason for free press … to carry a lantern into the hidden places of those who govern. I believe the free press is an expression of Christ’s own commitment to the Truth and to His being a revealer of that which is plotted in the darkness.
In the account of the Last Supper, it says that Judas left that upper room and went out into the darkness of night. The betrayals of Peter in his cowardly moments took place in the cover of night. The Sanhedrin executed their plot in the darkness of both their hearts and in the night in a garden of Gethsemane. Throughout Biblical history, we find that evil prefers to work in the shadows and to hide in the darkness of secrets. Yet the Lord in the beginning cried out, “Let there be Light!”
I am intrigued by a phrase often overlooked in this teaching of Christ, the phrase, “Then pay attention to how you will listen …” Christ tells his disciples to listen in a certain manner while He is teaching about Light and Darkness. “Pay attention to how you will listen …”
My pattern of devotion includes periodic night vigils of prayer. After awhile praying in the darkness, the stars grow brighter and the moonglow becomes stronger … I have observed that my listening becomes keener. I can begin to hear what was previously hidden in the darkness … and I sense I can “see” my surroundings all the better.
Learning how to listen comes by way of quiet, quiet prayer. It is the manner of prayer that first quiets the noise of the world trapped within us, that first quiets the crowd of voices that keep echoing within us. It is the manner of pray to listen to that tries to be hidden. This manner of prayer, this school of deeper listening, bestows to the seeker the greater ability to discern the truth and what is actually happening. Most people do not take the time to refine these listening skills that allow one to discern that which tried hide in the darkness … and so … they not only remain deaf but also half-blind.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz