Tag Archives: Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis

The words we use

Given what I wrote the other day in a blog post, “Choose life” this post using a piece of Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis (now Fr Simeon, OCSO, monk of Spencer Abbey) from his magisterial work Fire of Mercy: Heart of the Word puts a finer  point on what I tried to convey. Christians believe that life comes through the Word. Preeminently, life comes through the Eternal Word of God –Jesus.

Our best words are far more than units of information; they are epiphanies of the truth and gifts through which we can communicate to others our own deepest being and the life of God that has been deposited into our “treasury of goodness.”

Like the divine Word, our own words have the vocation and the mission to do the work that God has purposed. Our words, springing out of the divine Word planted deep within us by baptism and the Eucharist, are called to be further incarnations in the world and in history of the one Word spoken by God in his heavenly dwelling before the beginning of all ages.


Jesus’ presence fixes our gaze

The revealed Word of God has set Christ Jesus before us in order that we may have that on which to fix our eyes. We cannot, with Paul, strive to gain Christ and be found in Christ without precise existential and personal knowledge of who Christ is.

And this knowledge has been made available to us in the living and often paradoxical figure of Christ we encounter in the “Gospel.” Without continually feeding on the Gospel text, Christian contemplation withers and dies or mutates into something strange.

Thus, being with Jesus interiorly and contemplating Jesus in the Gospel objectively are almost synonymous events.

Fire of Mercy
Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis (now Fr. Simeon, OCSO)

What Fr Simeon speaks of is precisely why we study the sacred Scripture, why we do lectio divina, why we pray the Scripture in the Liturgy. God’s definitive (complete) revelation in Jesus Christ sets the stage for all other things.

No substitute for a personal encounter with the Lord

St Peter walking on water LBorrassa.jpgJesus invited us to meet. Saint Benedict’s talked about it; a plethora of saints have talked about it; Fr Giussani constantly talked about it; Pope Benedict XVI talks about it: nothing can substitute for personally knowing Jesus. Want to be a Christian? Go and meet Christ in Scripture, in the Holy Eucharist, in personal and communal prayer, in doing good works. In short, meet Jesus Christ by the ears of your heart and in your minute by minute human experience.

Saint Benedict asked a question that ought to be remembered:

What, dear brothers, is more delightful than this voice of the Lord calling to us? See how the Lord in his love shows us the way of life. Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see him who called us to his kingdom (RB, Prologue, 20-1).

After reading the Holy Rule, I read the following from The Way of the Disciple:

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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