Excerpt from Pillars
Talk given by M. Nadine


“I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband.” (Rv 21:2)

Scripture says, “The foundation of the city wall was ornate with precious stones of every sort” (Rv 21:19). That’s us – precious stones, living stones, foundation stones. God is beginning with us. It’s important to realize it’s the foundations of the city wall. The wall is always depicted as where the intercessors are. In Isaiah we read, “Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have stationed watchmen” (Is 62:6). We “see” for many reasons, but it’s mainly for prayer and for whatever God wants. So we are living, precious stones. God is beginning to build this city for the New Jerusalem.

Believe it or not, He’s building it with those basic four pillars upon which all authentic contemplation rests. Out of the pillar of silence come emeralds of discernment. We know. We see. We understand. Hope comes out of silence because of this discernment gift.

Out of this pillar of solitude come pearls of faith. Solitude is not a means to God –silence is. Solitude is where God dwells. When we’re in the alone with the Alone, we are always united with God. In that solitude we hear, we learn, and we know, and our faith is enkindled. Our faith is so electrified that nothing can shake it because now we are resting totally upon God Himself and His Word. This is the great fruit of solitude.

The great fruit of the great pillar of penance is diamonds of Wisdom. This is because penance will always take us to the Cross, and that is the fullness of Wisdom. Scripture says that all wisdom and power comes from the Cross (1 Cor 1:18-19). The Cross is the epitome of surrender because it’s the fullness of Love. Love always surrenders, and this is wisdom at its best.

The pillar of prayer produces beautiful red rubies of contemplation. These rubies cost us our lives. The German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, said that “when Christ bids a man to come and follow Him, He bids him to come and die.” But who gets to live then? Jesus.

Another Scripture that is saying this but in a different way is from Chapter 37 of Ezekial. “Thus says the Lord God: From the four winds come, O Spirit, and breathe into these slain that they may come to life … and the Spirit came into them; they came alive and stood upright, a vast army” (Ez 37:9-10). These four spirits are prayer, penance, silence and solitude. When they are operating in our lives, we will come into that full resurrection. When the Church comes into these four pillars of contemplation again, it will also come into resurrection. We will be then a mobilized army ready to move forward with God, “a vast army,” as Ezekial says.

“Come to Me heedfully, listen, that you may have Life” (Is 55:3)