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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

The Words of the Word and the Language of the Soul

When the Word made flesh rose from the Dead, human speech was freed from the futility of sin and death. Endowed with power and authority to express the hidden judgments of God, this new kind of speech unveils truth deeper than death and stronger than sin. This is hidden from those who live by the spirit of this dying world - for those still subject to death are deaf to the "alleluia" that resonates deep in the hearts of those who behold the Risen Lord. To all those who accept the remarkable friendship that the Word freely offers, His voice enfolds their whole existence with a meaning so beautiful and complete, the limitedness of time and space cannot contain it.

In the words that the Word of the Father speaks to the heart, the silence of death is no longer humanity's last word and misery no longer circumscribes the meaning of our lives. Instead of alienation and loneliness, a new relationship, a new connection with God, the ability to cry out "Abba!" is born where once was only an empty cavity of pain. Eternal significance that once was impossible to hold now takes hold of each one of us, if only we would welcome this astonishing Gift. He in us, we in Him, He in the Father, the Father in Him, we where He is: by the Gift of the Holy Spirit, the Word of the Father has infused human words with Divine Authority and Power - power to bring back to life, to transform, to recreate, to make all things new. New beginnings, new hopes, new dreams live in each sacred syllable of this language. Speak this undying speech and rejoice with holy tears beyond the fate that Christ has overthrown. If we let the language revealed in the Bible and preached by the Church become the language of our soul, the words that we offer in prayer are more powerful than death itself. This is because the words of Sacred Scripture bear the Truth whom death could not defeat and these words of the Word open our hearts to His undying Presence: When the humblest petition, "Lord, have mercy," is offered with faith, this simple cry is made pregnant with a newness that changes everything. When infused with the obedience of the Risen Lord, the "I believe" of the Creed becomes language that boldly speaks against the mystery of sin and turns it against itself until the soul finds ground to stand on. When "Holy, Holy, Holy" echos in the heart of a believer, this sacred cry raises the soul far above the exigencies that otherwise weigh down the heart. When lips move to offer the "Our Father," heavenly desires are born and the irrevocable judgments unveiled. This is the language of the resurrection. There is so much more to be said, but words fall short. In every case such holy speech makes space for a tender love and inner strength that do not come from the soul but the Risen One, and what He gives is everything that soul and every soul ever needs. The language of a whole new creation, no spiritual power can be an obstacle to the riches that flood the heart that lives by the words of the Word and nothing can thwart the new communion that this spiritual language establishes. These words that the Son of the Father entrusts to us in prayer are a shield against everything that would threaten our integrity and they turn every disappointment and hardship into a floodgate of mercy. This prayerful speech confounds the malignant plans of any creature that would oppose the eternal plan of God. The Lord, for His part, uses all things, even the malice of those who hate His disciples, to make all things new - for His Word is Life.

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