winter

We lose ourselves in a pile of leaves

We collect data, things, people, ideas, 'profound experiences,' never penetrating any of them . . . But there are other times. There are times when we stop. We sit still. We lose ourselves in a pile of leaves or its memory. We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper.

~ James Carroll, in SILENCE AND SOLITUDE, edited by Eileen Campbell

Let the soul banish all that disturbs

Let the soul banish all that disturbs; and let the body that envelops it be still, and all the fretting of the body, and all that surrounds it; let earth and sea and air be still; and heaven itself. And then feel the Spirit streaming, pouring, rushing into you from all sides, while you are quiet in this Peace.

~ Plotinus, AD 205, thanks to Suzanne and Philip Norton

To do well what we are called to do

There are times not to answer the door, not to answer the phone, not to do undone things, but to rest in silence from everything. The world can wait for five minutes. In fact, no matter how busy we are, no matter how well organized, no matter how little rest we allow ourselves, we will never do all that needs to be done. But to do well what we are called to do, it is essential to nurture a capacity for inner stillness; such quiet, deep-down listening is itself prayer.

~ from PRAYING WITH ICONS by Jim Forest
Praying with Icons
By Jim Forest

Tell me the weight of a snowflake

"Tell me the weight of a snowflake," a coal-mouse asked a wild dove. "Nothing more than nothing," was the answer.

"In that case I must tell you a marvelous story," the coal-mouse said. "I sat on a branch of a fir, close to its trunk, when it began to snow, not heavily, not in a giant blizzard, no, just like in a dream, without any violence. Since I didn't have anything better to do, I counted the snow-flakes settling on the twigs and needles of my branch. Their number was exactly 3,741,952. When the next snowflake dropped onto the branch–nothing more than nothing, as you say–the branch broke off."

Having said that, the coal-mouse flew away. The dove, since Noah's time an authority on the matter; thought about the story for a while and finally said to herself: "Perhaps there is only one person's voice lacking for peace to come about in the world."

~ from NEW FABLES THUS SPOKE--"The Caribou" by Kurt Kauter

Display the lantern of the soul in shadowy times

My friends, do not lose heart... For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement... To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these–to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity... Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.

~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes in "We Were Made For These Times"

In the stillness of the quiet

In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen,
We can hear the whisper of the heart
giving strength to weakness,
courage to fear,
hope to despair.

~ Dr. Howard Thurman in "Science of the Mind" February 2008
The Inward Journey
By Howard Thurman

Listening, we learn to answer

We come into this stillness like snowfall, the air alive with angels, every blessed flake singular and mysterious, what's outside quiet now, and changing form. Quickening, we breathe silence. Presence holds our lives in hush. Light dazzles. Listening, we learn to answer.

~ Jeanne Lohmann

November 2015 (Vol. XXVIII, No. 10)

Dear Friends, In the Christian tradition Advent is a time of waiting and a time of preparing. It is a season for contemplating who we are, how we fit into the world, and what we hope for its future. For many of us, November is also incredibly busy with the last flurry of activity before winter descends in earnest. Out where I live in the woods away from the noise and bustle of city and town, one does not need to ask if there is enough silence —there is plenty of silence. Yet paying attention to it, listening to it, and allowing it to penetrate beyond the chatter of mind and angst of heart —that is a whole different kind of waiting, a whole different kind of silence —the kind in which something else may perhaps be heard.

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Silence is an active waiting

Silence is an active waiting animated by faith and love.

~ Pierre Lacout
God is Silence
By Pierre Lacout
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