Hearing the voice of Christ (in others)- Catherine de Hueck Doherty

by Richard Long,

I  am contining to slow read the book “Poustinia” by Catherine de Hueck Doherty.  In her chapter about “Poustinia in the Marketplace” she has this interesting paragraph …

“St. Theresa used to say that to pray is to treat God like a friend.  The essence of prayer is to hear the voice of another, of Christ, but likewise to hear the voice of each person that I meet in whom Christ also addresses me.  His voice comes to me in every human voice, and his face infinitely varied.  It is present in the gardener speaking to Mary Magdalen, it is present in my next door neighbour.  God became incarnate so that man might contemplate his face in every face.  Perfect prayer seeks the presence of Christ and recognizes it in every human face.  The unique image of Christ is the icon, but every human face is an icon of Christ, discovered by a prayerful person.”

That may sound like a particularly Russian or Orthodox way of thinking but what she is aiming at is what she says in her next statement. 

“The contemplative and active life cannot be seperated.”

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