Hesychia- Come to Rest

Just finished reading “The Way of the Heart” by Henri Nouwen (Ballantine Books, NY,1981).  This gift from a friend speaks volumes as I continue my journey toward delight.

He quotes from Arsenius, a Desert Father, “‘Lord, lead me to the way of salvation,’ the voice that spoke back to him not only said, ‘Be silent’ but also, ‘Pray always.’”  Unlike some might interpret these words, to mean constant chatter toward God, the word as Nouwen uses it, means to “come to rest” taken from the Greek word hesychia.  “A hesychast” as defined by Nouwen, “is a man or woman who seeks solitude and silence as the ways to unceasing prayer.” p.64-65. 

He goes on to say, “Prayer is standing in the presence of God with the mind in the heart;  that is where there are no divisions or distinctions and where we are totally one.  There God’s Spirit dwells” (Christ in Us) “and there the great encounter takes place.  There heart speaks to heart, because there we stand before the face of the Lord, all-seeing, within us.”p.74.   “ It is the mystery that the heart, which is the center of our being, is transformed by God into his own heart, a heart large enough to embrace the entire universe.  Through prayer we can carry in our heart all human pain and sorrow, all conflicts and agonies, all torture and war, all hunger, loneliness and misery, not because of some great psychological or emotional capacity, but because God’s heart has become one with ours.” p. 86.

Can we love entire cities? I think Paul did?

“Christ in us, the hope of glory.” Col. 1:27

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

8We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

9Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

12So then death worketh in us, but life in you.”  II Cor. 4:7-12

What is delight…participating in His sufferings, resting in His silence, sharing in His heart, reaching cities through His love.

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