At times, one is not at peace within oneself, and, if one is a believer, one has no real faith in the peace of Christ; when one is on one's own, whether unwanted, or chosen in the search for peace; when, in agitation, one tries to withdraw to meditate and pray, but one does not succeed, and a crowd of opposing thoughts and voices rise up like a deafening roar imperceptible to the senses. Then, a form of fear of being alone develops, and one seeks company in any way possible.
Being with others is not in itself a guarantee of spiritual peace, of calm and of psychological balance, unless one meets to meditate and pray together. Even then, if we are not capable of laying aside worries, gloomy thoughts and deep feelings of resentment for the period of meeting, shared worship cannot do much either, as it remains fundamentally foreign.
However, this way of being together has a better chance of victory over the voices and cries of anguish and fear. This communal experience is a kind of apprenticeship, allowing one to meditate with ever greater simplicity, increasingly in the power of the spirit, throwing open the door of the heart with faithful courage so that He may enter and drive out the disturbing and confusing voices.
Silent worship becomes little by little a spiritual exercise that does not require withdrawal from the world at certain times of the year, with particular routines, but it is ready at hand for the believer any time and anywhere, and is the more precious, the further away God's creatures feel from their Creator.
Frino di Ghiffa, 2 IV 1992
Please send any suggestions for alternative translations of any of these meditations to Simon Grant.