Silence is important in the life of every Christian. Here is a short article on the importance of cultivating silence in your daily life. I am posting it on this site rather than The Beautiful Gate because I believe silence opens our spiritual ears and makes us more receptive to the voice of God. This helps draw us "Out of Babylon" (worldliness). The more often we practice this, the easier it becomes . Here is the link:http://thesinnersguide.com/2010/02/18/silence-and-the-radical-chrisitian-life/
Purification begins at home. The Church has been undergoing a purification for years and this will continue until the Bride of Christ is spotless, without stain or blemish. We, too, are in the midst of a purification. Can you feel it in your hearts? Here is a link to an interesting article on Spirit Daily which discusses this issue:http://www.spiritdaily.com/churchcleansing.htm. Often purification is looked upon with dread but we should actually be praising God for this. Purification only hurts the ego; it helps our souls. Our pride is sometimes punctured and the truth about ourselves can come as a shock, but we have a wonderful physician who heals the wounds of sin. The medicine may taste bad but it's effects are powerful :) Trust Him. The world will fail you... but Our Lord never will.
As Christians, we live, not naturally, but supernaturally. The Holy Spirit lives in us to lead us, guide us, love us and transform us. In 1 Thessalonians 5:19 it says:
"Do not quench the Spirit."
I was thinking about this passage and it is clear that we CAN put out the fire of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Unconfessed sin is like pouring water over the fire of the Spirit, especially grievous sin. Our lives were meant to be lived knitted to the Spirit. He is the Advocate promised by Jesus. Nothing separates us more from God than sin...unconfessed sin. Even venial sin gradually begins to harden our hearts and leave us less open to the inspirations of the Spirit. Verse 22 goes on to say:
"Refrain from every kind of evil."
That a big request. EVERY kind of evil. Lack of charity, lies, unjust anger [let's face it - most anger is unjust]. This is why regular confession is important. Ask the Holy Spirit for light and confess your sins. I go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation about once a month on average and I also ask forgiveness immediately during the course of the day if I've noticed I have sinned. This seems to keep the Holy Spirit shining brightly in my soul. Confession pleases Him. Prayer helps, too.
"Lord who hast mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully, kindle in me the fire of thy Holy Spirit. Take away from me this heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore Thee, a heart to delight in Thee, to follow and to enjoy Thee, for Christ's sake. Amen"
[I am not sure which saint wrote this prayer, St. Gregory maybe?]