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Watches of the Night
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"Watches of the Night"

"Watchtower of the desert"

          On this second Sunday of Advent we hear "a voice of one crying out in the desert" (Mark1:3). This is the voice of one who has been drawn into God's "devouring passion". God wishes to "devour" humanity with His Love. An intercessor "is one who is devoured by God. He forms one being with God" (Listen, Prophets. George A. Maloney, S. J.; p. 15). This voice is the voice of one who has been formed in the "forge" of God's Heart--formed in the interior life. The voice of the watchman in the desert is the heart cry of the "eremitical intercessor" who stands on "the watchtower of the desert" (2 Chron. 20:24) as a prophet of deep prayer. This voice comes from deep down in the depths of his being where the Spirit of Jesus dwells. In discovering God in "the desert of one's own heart" one discovers one's true "voice" (one's true heart cry) because in "the desert" one discovers one's true identity.

          In chapter 40 of "The Book of the Prophet Isaiah", the prophet says, "A voice cries out" (verse 3); then, in verse 5B we read, "For the mouth of the Lord has spoken" (Is. 40:5B). The prophetic watchman of the desert, "the voice", has become one with the mouth of God because he has become one with the Heart of God and, hence, with the word of God. As scripture says, "From the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks" (Mt. 12:34). As St. Mark writes, it is "a voice of ONE crying out in the desert" (Mark 1:3). One of the essential fruits of "desert formation and discipline"--the contemplative life--for intercessors is that we become one with the living word of God. Each of us is invited into the "desert of Advent" to be formed to become one with God's word. We are to become one with the Heart of God.       

          God is most interested in our hearts. In the desert the true heart of the watchman-warrior is formed. Each of us must begin to encounter God in the "desert of our hearts" where we begin to feel intensely the essential hunger and thirst of hearing the word of God. An intercessor has a prophetic identity in Jesus. We are to be intimately associated with the word of God, and we are to be holy. In the desert of my heart I encounter the God of holiness through a newly forged faith.

          God has bound Himself to us. He wishes to lead each of us to a life of communion with Him. He desires an exclusive love from the heart. In this eremitical encounter with the God of love, an intercessor learns how to pray on behalf of others, how to plead, beg and cry out in prayer. One learns to hold people and situations within one's heart. This desert is not a flight from the world, but rather a fight for the world--a fight for the heart of each person in the world. In the interior desert of the heart, an intercessor cries out on behalf of other hearts, "Come lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20). Standing upon the "watchtower of the desert", the intercessor pleads for others that each may experience the same life-transforming encounter with "the God who comes".

Questions:

1)   How am I experiencing the "desert of Advent" this year?

2)   Am I experiencing a hunger and thirst for the word of God during this Advent?

Scriptures:

Any scripture from the text; Ps. 42:2-3; Ps. 63:2; Mt. 6:6

PLEASE BE UNITED WITH US IN PRAYER BY VISITING "THIS WEEK'S BURNING ISSUES" UNDER THE EVENTS PAGE

"TWO-ZERO-ONE-SEVEN, TIME TO STORM HEAVEN"

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