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Immaculate Heart of Mary
You lived in Silence the Integrity of Faith

(Excerpt from Meu Coração Para Vós by Maria Stella Salvador)

How can I speak to you about faith, about true faith, to you who have so little? What is faith to you, my children? By faith, you believe that God exists. As far as faith goes, that’s where it stands and stagnates.

How can I speak to you about silence, to you who are so afraid of it, and live constantly deafened by noise. Even when you seek some quiet, because you are tired of so much din, you still do not remain in silence. Rather, you eagerly turn to listen to music, to watch TV and movies, or to entertain yourselves with your own tumultuous thoughts.

My children, I want to tell you that faith and silence have a great deal in common. It’s difficult to acquire true faith without silence. You will not succeed in remaining long in silence if you have no faith.

It’s faith that leads you to love silence. For it is in silence that you come into contact with God. If your faith were diminished, you would not know how to find Him. This is why silence frightens you.

Silence without God is really terrifying; it is a void with which you do not know how to deal. So you take refuge in fantasies which lead you into grave deceptions concerning yourselves and your fellow men.

Many times you seek to drown out silence in the pages of the books which appeal to your imagination and keep your mind busy. The minutes pass without you realizing it, for the very perception of the passage of time causes fear, revulsion and weariness.

Your fear issues, namely, from tediousness, which makes you agitated, change your posture, moan with disgust. That’s what you detest: to have nothing to do, not to know what to do. This revulsion agitates you and makes you look at your watch, bored. For you are in silence, alone and without faith, without trying to find Him Who dwells in the desert of silence.

It is there, in silence, that the flower of faith unfolds. But this can only come to pass if you endeavor to find Him Whom you can only find in faith; if you do not distract yourself with other things, but allow silence to penetrate you completely, body and soul.

When you succeed in silencing your words, your posture, your eyes–that is, the abandonment of the body to silence–silence will take care of your body,

You will attain to silence in your soul when you silence your memories and your imagination. If you allow yourself to be found alone by Him Whom you always leave alone, preferring as you do to commune with creatures (be they ever so good and holy), your soul will come to silence.

Let silence come. Take the risk of being bored. Take the risk of that emptiness which frightens you, of not knowing what to do or think. Then you will find yourself, without being aware of it, in an abyss of faith, where He is all. His Light will enlighten you and you will finally feel His loving company.

In faith, you will practice this silence. If you don’t have faith, you won’t be able to practice it. Start from the little faith you have and, relying on it, advance in the marvelous adventure of silence.

Your faith is very small, I know. But if you but wish to advance, it is sufficient to begin. You advance in that frightening silence, for you believe that there you will find Him Whom your soul loves. For love of Him, you want to begin this adventure which so many dread.

It is an adventure in which you will walk in faith and towards faith. It is an adventure in which you will start from faith and walk by faith towards faith. For it is only in faith that you will be able to meet our God, Who is always a hidden God.

You won’t find Him in the tempest of occupations, nor in the thunder of distractions, but in the gentle breeze, which is only perceptible in silence.

Therefore, my children, I advise you not to seek any distractions whatsoever during prayer; rather, let yourself be imbued by the silence wherein He dwells.

Even during the day, make it a habit to pause occasionally, allowing silence to take possession of you. Try, at least, and you will see that it is not as difficult as it seems. The results are greatly rewarding, for you will meet the Lord, Who dwells in these pauses.

Slowly but surely, you have to get used to the agreeable atmosphere of interior silence. You should practice it everywhere, even in the midst of your work or rest, in the midst of distractions or in a circle of noisy people.

The Lord Himself will reward you and will come to meet you in the place where you are. It is He Who is looking for you, Who in such moments increases and stimulates the faith upon your journey, Who fills you with more fire to warm yourselves. He sows within you, even when you are not thinking about it.

Yes, my children, it is by the theological virtue of faith that you draw close to the Lord. It is not by any...virtues that you may have, nor by what you may read.

Surely, you also find Him in Holy Scripture. But if you don’t use it frequently and meditate on it in silence, He will be for you as a passing shade. For if you don’t succeed in clinging to His presence, you don’t remain in His company. Rather, you remain like a parched land where neither flowers nor fruits will sprout.

You have to give ample time to the Celestial Gardener to water your souls. Know that, generally speaking, the greatest opportunities you can give Him for watering your souls are the moments when you let silence establish itself within you. Silence, by means of faith, puts you in direct contact with Him.

You complain so much about your misery, your difficulty in recollection, the difficulty you have in attaining union with God, the difficulty you have in showing Him your love, in doing His will, in overcoming the troubles which obstruct your way at every step.

My children, learn together with me, and you will accomplish all these things by the silence of faith. It was in silence, principally in the silence of the heart, that I practiced the integrity of faith. Do you know, my children, what faith is in its integrity? It is faith which is complete, total and perfect. I acquired that faith by silently meditating in my heart.

Learn, my children, to carry your hearts in silence. Learn to silence the desires of your heart which always desires more rest than work, more of what it likes than of what it dislikes. Learn to silence the desire of the heart for more of what affords it consolation than of what seems to be insipid or hard to fulfill.

Learn to silence your heart which immoderately loves satisfaction. Learn to silence it when it wants to do something that ought not to be done at the present moment, even though it be something good.

Learn to silence your heart in friendships cultivated for their own sakes or for your personal consolation. They always end up producing a lot of interior noise, and, more frequently, perturbation, where the hand of your enemy is not far.

Learn to silence your heart in curiosity, when it wants to know many things, far too many things. Silence it in things which have nothing to do with your obligations, nor your work, nor with what you need to better fulfill God’s will.

Learn to silence it when it is annoyed at something, provided this matter is not a sin, nor an imperfection. Silence it when it interiorly criticizes another’s attitude.

Make a certain distinction here when you need to discern a particular matter and one or more persons have a part in this. If it is necessary and useful, my children, make use of your intelligence and the gifts of heart which the Lord has given you. In such a case, your heart can and should speak, always guided by charity, which dwells in silence together with faith.

Faith, my children, is like the house of silence. Faith is its residence, the place where it can exist.

If you but knew the value of silence and the riches of faith, hope and charity which it brings, you would take great pains to practice it. Thus would you enter into the possession of such great goods.

The treasure-seekers have to advance along difficult ways. They exhaust themselves; they suffer heat, the difficulties of rough terrains, dangers and very often thirst. But they do not give up, animated by the hope of finding the hidden treasure.

God also is hidden within you. Embark on this journey of silence, and you will obtain it, even though this will cost you much trouble.

How often I, too, had to silence the questions of my anxious heart, questions about things I did not understand, about what people were saying of Jesus, and even about what He Himself said.

I know from my own experience that silence, even for those who love it and practice it, is not always easy. It can be difficult to the point of becoming heroic.

This was the case with many of my acts of silence before Jesus, believing in Him with integral faith, pure faith, when I saw nothing and understood nothing.

My children, your faith will become more authentic, more complete and more pure in the measure that all the props upon which you materially support your spiritual life are progressively taken away from you.

The less you see and understand, the purer your faith will become; the more it will grow. Moreover, hope and charity will grow together with it. But this will happen only provided that, despite all the suffering, you continue to believe Jesus will fulfill His promises. He has the power and He loves you.

You will find that the other virtues which now cost you so much, will cost you less and less. For they are desert flowers and will also flourish within you.

I do not conceal from you, my children, that this growth in faith, this integrally pure faith, cannot be gained without deep suffering arising precisely from not seeing, not understanding and not feeling. But if you wish to continue the search for your treasure, silence the suffering of your heart. Bear your heart in the silence of one who suffers. For lamentations, though seemingly mild and innocent, produce an immense interior tumult.

My children, understand that I do not want to say that you may never complain. This would be to ask the impossible. With respect to your body, you should see to it that you get the necessary medical treatment when you are sick. For that reason, you have to express your pains to the doctor and say something to those who live together with you. But, as far as possible, you should avoid complaining too much or unnecessarily, putting on, as it were, the aura of the martyrs in the desire of being appreciated like them for the merits of their suffering.

Keep whatever does not need to be mentioned in your heart. Do not even desire to divulge it. To what avail is it? What good is your brother’s compassion or his irritation for you? Do you realize that this silence in suffering is very meritorious for Heaven?

The same can be said with respect to interior sufferings. There is no gain in manifesting them to everyone. But you will profit greatly if you keep silence about your sufferings. In this silence you will find the Lord Who will console you secretly, much better than anyone else can.

Notwithstanding, in situations of suffering, you can and even should speak to someone about them, with the intention of seeking counsel, help and strength. It would be better if that someone were a priest, but it can also be an intimate friend, endowed with the gift of discernment and in whom you have much confidence.

A good friend is an additional strength. It is someone who can help you, who can reinforce your actions, give you counsel and pray for you. Many a time you will come to see the light in this way. After such a necessary and useful conversation, keep silence and wait for the Lord to pour forth His grace, without pouring forth a tale of woes to others and without consenting to interior complaints.

Interior lamentations cause the greatest turmoil within you. They are the seedbed of anxieties and sadness, which keep you from flourishing in charity and in the acceptance of God’s will.

I never permitted complaints or moaning to arise within me. Therefore, my faith struck deep roots in suffering; it grew, blossomed and bore fruit in the profound silence with which I enveloped it.

My children, do likewise, and if you need to speak or to complain to someone, speak to me, complain to me. I who endured such trials as you are now enduring — indeed, they were much more painful — will be able to understand you very well.

My little children, do what I tell you, accept my advice, and you will see your greatest desires realized: finding God and being united with Him. You will see them realized in graces far more elevated than those for which you ever dared to hope.

Trust in me. Commit this undertaking to me and pursue it together with me. I am your Mother, desirous of giving you the best things I have, desirous of your progress.

I will help you. Trust that I will not permit you to be lost in the desert. Though the thought of walking alone frightens you, nevertheless, I advise you to walk in the desert of silence.

My children, you are not walking alone. No! In silence, I will be your companion. I will be the one in whom you can always take refuge, where you will always find shelter, a resting place, a Mother’s tender love.