The secret and admirable way of silence

Mectide de BarIn this passage from a letter of 1678 addressed to a Religious of the Monastery of Toul, Mother Mectilde shows herself a teacher of interior prayer: a simple prayer of stark adoring silence in faith, a resolute attending to God present in the soul. Mother Mectilde used to recommend fifteen minutes a day of doing nothing but waiting on God. She knew how difficult this is for souls who want to furnish their prayer with a quantity of thoughts, and words, and acts, but she recommends it as a most fruitful and life–changing form of interior prayer.

Mother Mectilde de Bar to a Religious of the Monastery of Toul, 1678 (Part II)

Blessed the soul that attends faithfully to her God by this secret and admirable way of silence. Never depart from it lest you become unfaithful. If, in this silence, one should say to you, “What are you doing?” You yourself do not know what you are doing: your support is naked faith. Be content that God knows it and that He knows it through and through.

Do not take fright at any temptation, no matter what it may be. You have not yet come to the end. There are souls who, [praying] in this way, suffer terrifying temptations. It is necessary that God alone, in pure faith, be enough for you; learn to do without all the rest. If one should say to you that you do not know what you adore, be assured, on this point, that you cannot miss the mark, because you are adoring in spirit and in truth He who is, and that you adore Him all the more truly in that you gaze upon Him by means of a simple faith, as He is in Himself, without image and without distinction.

Close your ears to all the interrogations that will be made concerning your way; be content in knowing that it is your path. Do not quit it, and do not trouble yourself over its obscurity nor over the obstacles that you meet. Abide in a loving confidence in God. Many souls arrive a certain degree of prayer, but they do not get beyond it. Saint Teresa says that she does not know the cause of this, and someone else says that the fault comes from our having too much self–love and holding back. We do not enough abandon ourselves blindly, under the best pretexts in the world.

If I followed my thoughts, I would write much on this subject, and I don’t know why Our Lord has given me so many little lights on this subject, given the abyss of my infidelities and how far I am from the purity of this way. It is true that there is a great distance from the union of love with God and the holiness  that one must have to enter heaven. God moves souls along during life and He brings them to consummation at death: it is the work of His divine hand. As for your sins, do not trouble yourself looking for them. If God wants an extraordinary confession of you, He will give you the grace and light to make it. Do not worry about it. Ask for the sanctification of this community and for my soul a perfect annihilation.

I embrace you in the pure and sacred love of our Divine Master, and I leave you in His Divine Heart, and in the hands of His most holy Mother. Farewell in God forever, without separating ourselves from the holy union that is ours in Him, in life and in death.