January 2001 (Vol. XIV, No. 1)

BLESSINGS to you, dear friends, in this new year! What is your deepest prayer for yourself and loved ones, for peoples around the world, for our Earth home in 2001? What if eah of us would become a prayer-blessing of peace, harmony, love and joy in the world? What a differene we ould make!

I am learning to observe the silences between the words

In prayer, I am learning to observe the silences between the words. I am learning that I don't have to fill the empty space because the space will eventually sing for itself. The waiting and listening and silence teach that the active work of prayer must be balanced by the humble acceptance of grace.

~ from GRACE'S WINDOW by Suzanne Guthrie

At the extremity of prayer words vanish

At the extremity of prayer words vanish, or rather the "silence-become-word" surpasses all that can be uttered. Prayer becomes the silence of Love, and this silence reveals the "I" in its deepest aspects; and, should words suddenly arise in prayer, we must regard them as fruits of love that send us back to silence.

~ from AWAKENING TO PRAYER by A. I. Okumura
Awakening to Prayer
By Augustine Ichiro Okumura

The silent cries of our soul

We pray that God may accept our call for help. And we also pray that God, who knows that which is hidden, may hear the silent cries of our soul.

~ Rabbi Url of Strelisk

The seed of prayer is sown in heaven

The seed of prayer is sown in heaven.
It pushes its stems toward the earth
and comes to grow there.
It produces an abundance of fruit.
Then, as it becomes seed once more,
it thrusts its way back to heaven.

~ Jukichi Yagi
Awakening to Prayer
By Augustine Ichiro Okumura

The root of all prayer

The root of all prayer is interior silence.

~ Anonymous

It is for you to find out what prayer is

Many people ask me, "How does one pray?" For me, alone in my room in a prayerful attitude, I just see myself as incapable of doing anything without God, since indeed, God is the Provider, the Guide ... and so I turn to God. When there is no within or without, then our prayers are answered, for surely it is union with the One Source of all Life, the Divine, whatever words you want, that is the yearning of the soul.

And yes, my friends, it is for you to find out what prayer is. It is the humility of a child. It is the beauty of being. And it is the love of being alive. So ask God how to pray with all the sincerity, honesty, humility, and passion you have within you. And I'm sure that one day your prayer, which will be God's prayer, will be answered.

~ from REASON IS POWERLESS IN THE EXPRESSION OF LOVE by Reshad Feild

Nothing is more difficult than prayer

Nothing is more difficult than prayer. In all other tasks of spiritual life, however exacting, one can sometimes rest, but there is no rest in prayer, up to the end of one's life.

~ Simon Weil
Waiting for God
By Simone Weil

Prayer brings us into communion

Praying brings Therese into communion with her mother, her father and her sisters. For part of her experience in prayer is condltíoned by the presence of beloved persons: the presence of human love is a sort of token for the hidden presence of God. How otherwise can a child be trained in prayer, in realizing the hidden presence, except by the sacrament of visible, tangible love? Therese is taken into their prayer and nestles there.

~ from TWO SISTERS IN IHE SPIRIT by Hans Urs von Balthasar

Source of All, act within my being

Source of All, act within my being that I may act in accordance with Thine. Amen

~ Anonymous

Prayer releases energy

PRAYER releases energy as certainly as the closing of an electric circuit does. It heightens all human capacities. It refreshes and quickens life. It unlocks reservoirs of power. It opens invisible doors into new storehouses of spiritual force for the Person to live by, and, as I believe, for others to live by as well. It is effective and operative as surely as are the forces of steam or gravitation.

~ from THE WORLD WITHIN by Rufus Jones
The World Within
By Rufus M. Jones

God is just TOO good to me

In downtown Little Rock late one day, a monk saw a bag lady with her full cart staring at the sky.

She ignored his questions, continuing to study the sunset. He looked and saw the bright reds and oranges set against the deep blue sky and white clouds. It was a stunning display of color and contrast.

After a time, she patted his arm and he looked into her sparkling eyes, seeing the fresh tears on her dirty cheeks and the toothless smile.

"God," she whispered, "is just TOO good to me!"

~ Br. Patrick, The Hermitage at Harmony Hill

More things are wrought by prayer

If thou shouldn'st never see my face again, pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.

~ from "Idylls of the King" by Alfred Tennyson

Praying is hearing, not merely being silent

As my prayer became more attentive and inward
I had less and less to say.
I finally became completely silent.
I started to listen
--which is even further removed from speaking.
I first thought that praying entailed speaking.
I then learnt that praying is hearing,
not merely being silent.
This is how it is.
To pray does not mean to listen to oneself speaking.
Prayer involves becoming silent,
and being silent,
and waiting until God is heard.

~ Soren Kierkegaard
The Essential Kierkegaard
By Søren Kierkegaard

True prayer

True prayer is a life of radical abiding in God.

~ Anonymous

Praying by moving deeply within into the center of self

A common way of praying for me is to allow myself to move deeply within into the center of self. I may begin by presenting a situation of concern to God and then move into silence. This is a dark (not depressing) kind of praying, but I descend deep into the mystery where there is both peace and silence; I lose consciousness of the time and place in which I exist in the moment and move into the darkness of God, into unknowing... I return to waking consciousness feeling vulnerable and empowered; I experience tenderness and new awareness.

~ from FROM CENTER TO CIRCUMFERENCE by Elizabeth-Ann Vanek