Christ's Faithful People
|In the morning we have a lively and agreeable sense
that life is starting and is on the increase; then obstacles arise and we are slowed up.
By noon for a short while we seem to stand quite still. A little later our sense of life
declines; we grow weary, recover a little, and then subside into the quiescence of night.
Half way between the rising and the setting sun, when the day is at its height, comes a breathing space, a brief and wonderful moment. The future is not pressing and we do not look ahead; the day is not yet declining and we do not look back. It is a pause, but not of weariness; our strength and energy are still at the full.
For noonday is the pure present. It looks beyond itself, hut not into space or time. It looks upon eternity.
Noon is a profound moment. In the stir and extroversion of a city it passes unperceived. But in the country, among cornfields and quiet pastures, when the horizon is glowing with heat, we perceive what a deep moment it is. We stand still and time falls away. Eternity confronts us. Every hour reminds us of eternity; but noon is its close neighbor. Time waits and holds its peace. The day is at the full and time is the pure present.
The day being at its height and eternity close by, let us attend to it and give it entrance. In the distance the Angelus, breaking the noontide silence, reminds us of our redemption. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God.... The angel of the Lord brought the message to Mary, and she conceived of the Holy Ghost. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy will...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us."
At the noon hour of man's day, in the fulness of time, a member of the human race, on whom this fulness had come, stood and waited. Mary did not hurry to meet it. She looked neither before or after. The fulness of time, the simple present, the moment that gives entrance to eternity, was upon her. She waited. Eternity leaned over; the angel spoke, and the Eternal Word took flesh in her pure bosom.
Now in our day the Angelus proclaims the mystery. Each noonday, for each Christian soul, the noonday of mankind is again present. At every moment of time the fulness of time is audible. At all times our life is close neighbor to eternity. We should always hold ourselves in that quietude that attends upon and is open to eternity. But since the noise of living is so loud, let us pause at least at noon, at the hour the church has sanctified, and set aside the business we are engaged in, and stand in silence and listen to the angel of the Lord proclaiming that "while the earth lay in deepest silence the Eternal Lord leapt down from his royal throne"--then into the course of history for that once only, but since then at every moment into the human soul.