st-ambrose

“For there is but one true teacher, the only one who never learned what he taught to everyone. But men have first to learn what they are to teach, and receive from Him what they are to give to others. Now what ought we to learn before everything else, but to be silent that we might be able to speak?… It is seldom that anyone is silent, even when speaking does him no good.”

-St. Ambrose

Attending to the will of Jesus Christ through the practices of martial arts and medicine must begin in the same place all journeys must begin: by being silent. This silence must extend beyond the audible, to the active. Some men are busy with their bodies, even though their mouths never move. Still others may relegate activity to their minds, appearing otherwise immobile. The Christian Pilgrim must first strive to become absolutely silent in all aspects of his being. In doing this, he can be taught. And, having begun the process of learning, so too he will have begun his journey, he will have taken the first step of many. Actions and ideas must come from one’s relationship with “the only one who never learned what he taught to everyone”, rather than before such a relationship. Action comes out of stillness before the Infinite.

So, let us begin our journey into the land of medicine and martial arts by becoming still. Let us become humble. Let us become empty. Let us become children. And after this great journey of a thousand miles- after all the dust and adventure, we will one day find ourselves in this very place again, only this time, as weaned children, calmed and quieted, our hearts full of hope.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” -2 Corinthians 13:14