Orar es subir a una montaña, no físicamente, sino entrando en lo más profundo de nuestro ser en donde encontramos el corazón de luz de Dios.
Se sube a la montaña entrando en nosotros mismos, más allá de sentimientos y razones, más allá del vaivén de la vida diaria llevando en el corazón los grandes problemas del mundo.
Orar es entrar en nosotros mismos, con las manos llenas de rostros y de historias, y dejarnos iluminar, transfigurar por la amorosa y apacible luz de Dios que nos habita el corazón, «en su más profundo centro». Efectivamente, mientras Jesús rezaba su rostro cambió de apariencia.
Orar transforma: te convierte en lo que contemplas, en lo que escuchas, en lo que amas, llegas a ser como Aquel quien rezas. Dice el Salmo 34: «¡Contemplad el rostro de Dios y quedaréis radiantes!» (Sal 34,6).
¡Cuanta necesidad tenemos de subir al monte en nuestra sociedad, para tener una mirada más amplia sobre la historia, para liberarnos del miedo, para superar la irracionalidad y la ideologización!
“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors’” (1 Kg 19:4).
The previous verse tells us why Elijah decides to go to the desert and wants to die: “He was afraid; he got up and fled for his life” (1 Kg 19:3).
Elijah was a great prophet, a man of God, and a giant of the faith. Even the great men of God can suffer moments of crisis and fear, as in this case with the prophet Elijah, who flees in fear before the threats and persecution of the powerful Phoenician queen Jezebel.
The prophet’s crisis, however, becomes a moment of grace because God approaches him in the desert and feeds him, giving him new strength to live.
Elijah goes to the desert, lies down and goes to sleep. He’s just waiting to die. “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors” (1 Kings 19:4). Like so many other believers in the Bible, Elijah complains before God. All that remains is to throw in the towel; everything has been useless.
And further, now Elijah is afraid. Fear leads Elijah not only to run away but also to fall asleep. Falling asleep is to remain unconscious, in a certain way: it’s an escape from reality.
However, when things turn dark; when what’s transpired becomes indecipherable and the future, uncertain: that’s when we have to be wide awake.
We must not turn off the light of conscience and discernment, for that is when we must be more clear-headed than ever.
The biblical story tells us that Elijah was awakened and fed by God, because God doesn’t want anyone to be asleep and fearful.
The prophet turns to hear the word of the Lord through an angel, saying two times: “Get up and eat” (1 Kings 19:5). After eating the first time, Elijah goes back to sleep.
Sometimes the crisis is so great
and the discouragement is so strong
that it is difficult to get up and walk.
But God is not overcome by our weakness; God insists for the second time in feeding Elijah: “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you” (1 Kings 19:7).God doesn’t want us to feel fearful, neither does he want us to sleep.
God offered Elijah—through his messenger—frugal and simple food: a pilgrim’s meal (“a cake baked on hot stones” and “a jar of water”, 1 Kings 19:6). At that moment you don’t need a succulent feast, but effective nutrition. That kind of effective nutrition to recover strength and hope, only God can provide. Elijah ate and “he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God” (1 Kings 19:8).
Before eating, the prophet’s flight was headed toward death;after being fed in the desert, that miraculous meal takes him to Mount Horeb or Sinai, where Moses met the Lord, where Israel first made a covenant with its God.God began everything on that mountain.
Elijah fought against the injustice and arrogance of the powerful, the manipulation of religion, the violent repression, and the use of fear as a form of domination. All of these shady schemes are opposed to God’s plan.
Elijah gave everything. In the end, in self-imposed exile, escaping to protect himself from the death threats of Queen Jezebel, he falls down, tired and hopeless, in the desert. He was tempted not to keep fighting, dreaming, and hoping. It can happen to anyone.
The biblical text, however, gives us the certainty that God’s nourishment allows us to come out of our unconscious state and overcome fear—not letting anyone deprive us of hope. The bread that God gives us in the desert is more powerful than the wiles and threats of the shadowy structures of oppression and death.
Today, too, we need a bread that is mysterious and effective, that allows us to walk with strength and hope.
That bread is Jesus, who today has told us: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever” (Jn 6:51). Jesus offers to nourish us so as to give us strength, light, hope, and the breath of life that come from the same God, the creator of life.
If Jesus nourishes us with his love and kindness, with his light and with his strength, nothing can take away our joy and hope. In our interior, in the depths of our heart, God feeds us with his Son, the Bread come down from heaven.
We have heard Jesus say: “No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me.”The Father mysteriously draws us to Jesus; he makes Jesus attractive to us. And if Jesus presents himself again to us—attractive, fascinating, familiar in the depths of our being—we are attracted to the good, the beautiful, the noble.
If Jesus makes us attractive, we will be fascinating and attractive, which does good for the human person—which builds a better world.
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua Homily, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (excerpts) 12 August 2018
You can read the full text of the homily on our blog here.
Loving our enemies is not feeling sympathy and caring for those who have hurt us. It’s about not feeding hatred and thirst for vengeance (which doesn’t exclude a demand for justice) and being ready to do good to those who have harmed us. This is how to conquer evil.
Bishop Silvio J. Báez, O.C.D.
«Amad a vuestros enemigos» (Mt 5,44). No es sentir simpatía y cariño por quien nos ha dañado. Se trata de no alimentar odio y sed de venganza (lo cual no excluye exigir justicia) y estar dispuestos a hacer el bien a quienes nos ha hecho mal. Así se vence al mal. @silviojbaez
Elijah went a day’s journey into the desert,
until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it.
He prayed for death saying:
“This is enough, O LORD!
Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree,
but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat.
Elijah looked and there at his head was a hearth cake
and a jug of water.
After he ate and drank, he lay down again,
but the angel of the LORD came back a second time,
touched him, and ordered,
“Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!”
He got up, ate, and drank;
then strengthened by that food,
he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.
The biblical story tells us that Elijah was awakened and fed by God because God does not want anyone to be afraid and remain asleep. Precisely at the time of greater darkness and weariness is when the prophet listens once again to the word of the Lord — two different times — speaking through an angel, saying: “Get up and eat.”
After eating the first time, Elijah goes back to sleep.
Sometimes crisis in our lives is so great and there is so much discouragement, that it is difficult to get up and walk; but God is not overcome by our weakness.
God insists for the second time in feeding Elijah: “Get up and eat, because the road before you is very long, it is greater than your strength”.
God does not want us to feel fearful; neither does he want us to sleep. That is why he feeds the prophet, just like he feeds all of us when we feel deflated, frustrated, and hopeless.
God takes what seems like the end of the road and turns it into a new horizon; what we experience as death is transformed into the beginning of a new life.
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. Homily, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B (excerpt) Mount Tabor Parish, Managua — 12 August 2018
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. is one of eighteen living bishops who are affiliated with the Discalced Carmelite order; he is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua. He began his Discalced Carmelite formation in the General Delegation of Central America in 1979 and was ordained a priest 15 January 1985. He pursued advanced studies in Sacred Scripture and biblical geography and archeology in Rome and Jerusalem. In 1999 he defended his doctoral thesis in biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on the subject, Tiempo de callar y tiempo de hablar: el silencio en la Biblia Hebrea(A time to keep silence, and a time to speak: silence in the Hebrew Bible). Serving as a seminary professor, he authored numerous articles and books, speaking at conferences and retreats, and served on the council of the general delegation. In 2006 he was appointed Vice-President of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology Teresianum in Rome, where he was Professor of Sacred Scripture and Biblical Theology and Spirituality; in addition, he was the editor of the theology journal Teresianum. On 9 April 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Managua and Titular Bishop of Zica.
On 30 May 2009 Silvio José Báez, O.C.D, was ordained bishop in the Cathedral of Managua. The principal consecrator was Archbishop Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano, Archbishop of Managua; the principal co-consecrators were Archbishop Henryk Józef Nowacki, Titular Archbishop of Blera and Bishop César Bosco Vivas Robelo, Bishop of León en Nicaragua.
You may view his episcopal lineage / apostolic succession here.
Scripture commentary translation is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission
She raised her head as a servant of the Lord welcoming his word
The gospel says, “raise your heads” (Luke 21:28). The Lord wants us to look to the future with hope. There are certainly problems, there are situations that create fear; but as Christians, we who believe in Jesus Christ who is to come, we raise our heads.
Raising your head means being able to talk to God. Lifting your head is a gesture of humility in the gospel. It is the one who stands up to meet the Lord and listen to him, to be available to walk wherever he sends us, to be available to listen to his voice, to speak with him like the Virgin Mary did: she raised her head as a servant of the Lord welcoming his word.
She raised her head — full of grace — to do the will of God in everything and always to be moved by the Spirit that had descended upon her most holy womb. Mary teaches us to raise our heads; that is not the lifting up of the haughty, the head-raising of the proud, who look at others from above, who are so sure of themselves that they think they don’t need others.
To raise your head in the gospel means raising your head to meet God and abandoning yourself into his hands; it means gazing at him with love and welcoming his love like the Virgin.
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. Auxiliary Bishop of Managua Homily, First Sunday of Advent, 2015 (excerpt)
About the painting:
The archangel Gabriel announces to the Virgin that she will bear the Son of God. New Testament (Luke 1:26-38). Above her hovers a dove who represents the Holy Spirit, the medium through whom the Christ Child was conceived. Unusually, the Virgin’s cloak is painted yellow. This color probably had symbolic significance, possibly as a sign of hope and/or purity.
Un llamado a la población a no tomarse la justicia por sus propias manos, hizo este domingo el obispo auxiliar de Managua, monseñor Silvio Báez, tras los incidentes derivados de la represión el sábado por la tarde en Metrocentro, cuando un fanático orteguista fue golpeado por manifestantes cuando lo desarmaron. La entrada Monseñor Silvio Báez:…
El obispo auxiliar de Managua, monseñor Silvio Báez, exhortó a los participantes en la negociación entre la Alianza Cívica y el régimen a que prevalezcan sus valores cristianos y no anteponer la estabilidad financiera a la persona humana.
“Es hora que muestren su fe cristiana, no solamente sus habilidades políticas, no solamente su fidelidad ideológica…” También les recordó que en la negociación…
Note from Elijah’s Breeze: From time to time we share images and quotes from Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D., the Discalced Carmelite friar who is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua, Nicaragua. Agenzia Fides, Crux, and other Catholic news services continue to report on the unfolding drama in that troubled nation as the Church and Catholic laity are violently oppressed. Blogger Dr. Minuscula offers great insight into the situation, particularly from her academic background as a university professor.
The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States took the first step towards the application of the OAS Democratic Charter this morning. The PC met today at the request of Secretary General Luis Almagro, who invoked Article 20 of the Democratic Charter. Article 20 states that when the constitutional order in a member state…
We are grateful to Israel González Espinoza for his kind permission to translate and publish his marvelous article highlighting the media blitz campaign that is the brainchild of Bishop Báez, our Discalced Carmelite confrère.
The pope is rehabilitating many men of God misunderstood for being prophets, says the Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
October 11, 2018 | Israel González Espinoza
Bishop Silvio José Báez, Auxiliary Bishop of Managua, launched the hashtag #OigamosARomero on social media platforms as part of a tribute to the martyred Salvadorean Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez [still lovingly referred to as “Monseñor Romero”], who was killed by a paramilitary commando from El Salvador´s political far-right in March 1980; he will be canonized this coming Sunday, October 14 by Pope Francis in Rome.
Bishop Báez explained that the purpose of the initiative is for Nicaraguans to get to know Monseñor Romero’s thoughts, and from that point on they can reflect on his pastoral and prophetic life and work.
“I created the hashtag #OigamosARomero to be able to talk about this extraordinary man of God who gave his life for his people,” Bishop Báez stated.
Until now, the hashtag has been used to share famous quotes, photographs, audiovisual material, and even cartoons of the so-called “bishop of the poor” of Latin America.
The goal, according to Bishop Báez, is to establish a solid number of impressions and engagements for the hashtag during the rest of the week until Sunday, which is the day that Monseñor Romero will be raised to the full honors of the altar. Along with this, the objective is that Romero’s work may spread and that his words may have an effect upon the current sociopolitical situation in the country.
“Without a doubt, Monseñor Romero is a contemporary saint for our times; his life and his witness enlighten us,” the religious leader pointed out.
I believe that it is a mission of the successor of Peter to revendicate and rehabilitate all these incarnations of the Gospel who, with human eyes and pettiness of heart, were not understood.
Báez revealed that since his years in the novitiate with the Carmelite friars in San José, Costa Rica, he has been a professed admirer of the prophetic work of Archbishop Óscar Romero, whose total dedication to the poor and his ardent defense of human rights in the face of the Salvadorean military regime led to his martyrdom while celebrating the Eucharist.
“The Pope [Francis] has given indications of rehabilitating personalities who are deeply rooted in the Gospel, and who, forgetful of self, gave their lives for the poor, for social change, and for the fight for justice in history. In their day they were misunderstood, as were so many prophets or like Jesus himself.
“I believe that it is a mission of the successor of Peter to revendicate and rehabilitate all these incarnations of the Gospel who, with human eyes and pettiness of heart, were not understood. But today, the Pope invites us to see them as models of the Gospel and as paradigms to follow if we truly want to change the world,”Bishop Báez concluded.