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.

One thought on “Hesychia- Come to Rest

  1. There always seems to be a little door opened to people with incredible faith. I think the ABIDING church abides in judgments (loving mercy as they judge) and holiness rather than in the realm of renewed faith. At heart, I am convinced there is a faith ‘body’ that all men should follow. It is based on loving Jesus with mind, heart, and soul and loving everything else laterally (in governance and at lesser levels). It is tricky to understand loving God with mind, heart, and soul, but the gift of Pentecost shows me that God is willing to ‘raise children’ (in many tongues and languages). A desire to find God can be a spark towards the revelation of relationship and community with God – in the stead of a lack of where to find God (in case you can’t find God – seek Him!). A city needs ‘true’ more than hope. A city needs foundations more than a rallying cry. The darkness in America is the destruction of sound foundations. I think the biggest-practical miracle (if that makes sense) may be when people give up ‘making it work’, look upward, and return to things that have worked instead of following the creativity and bright ideas of a younger generation. [Fasting is still powerful, God is still found of penitent sinners, men should still love God above it all, Men should seek God if they can’t find Him, Jesus is still rich in mercy and full of wonderful promises, etc.] Wisdom has the body of the aged, strength has the body of the young. The city needs the former, as the latter has always proven to wear out!

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