How do we prepare ourselves to respond to crises, to conflict, to the Christ moment? How do we so open ourselves to Love that the fears which paralyze us are overcome? "I have found in my own life and through conversations with others that people need more and more to see the connection between ordinary reality and extraordinary grace, between everyday events and the divine mystery manifested in them. As this sensitivity to the sacred increases, we desire to give high priority to the person-to-person relationship that exists between the pilgrim soul and God. Only through the strength derived from this bond is it possible to give ourselves in turn to the service of others in the world."
At our birth we emerge from the root mystery of the cosmos, a deep and silent mystery into which we will one day be reabsorbed. Our own lives are a spiral pattern of creative unfolding, death, and regeneration. Fashioned out of the creative power of starlight and the fecund body of the Earth, we are the children of Earth and starry heaven caught up in the timeless rhythms of the celestial dance.
~ from "Luminous Alignments" by David Fideler, Parabola 5/'07
To wonder is to stand in awe of the ultimate mystery of life and to understand that mystery exists not merely in the ecstatic but in the ordinary daily life. Eliot Deutsch observed that wonder, unlike curiosity, does not try to figure out, or to explain. We do not wonder "at," "about," or "why" —we wonder with.
If I had influence with the good angel who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world would be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life as an unfailing antidote against boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.
Remain in wonder if you want the mysteries to open up for you. Mysteries never open up for those who go on questioning. Questioners sooner or later end up in a library. Questioners sooner or later end up with scriptures, because scriptures are full of answers.— And answers are dangerous, they kill your wonder.
There are times when life can't help itself and, as the Psalmist wrote, "Deep calls unto deep." Then the mass of the world dances on the pinhead of our wonderment, and our breath so carefully cultivated carries us, like the wind, whithersoever it will.
~ from ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, by Marv and Nancy Hiles
The root of the word "educate" means "to care"—a caring that flows naturally from a deep feeling for the world. This kind of care seems to embody a type of wisdom that has nothing to do with information or knowledge in its restricted sense. Our connection to the world is not through information about it, but through a sense of wonder. How long since the cry of insects and the sight of the setting sun brought us deeply into ourselves?
~ (John Wilson) aka Paramananda in REFLECTIONS ON EVERYDAY LIFE
Children live in a world of dreams and imagination, a world of aliveness...There is a voice of wonder and amazement inside of all of us; but we grow to realize we can no longer hear it, and we live in silence. It isn't that God stopped speaking; it is that our lives became louder.
~ Mike Yaconelli in DANGEROUS WONDER: THE ADVENTURE OF CHILDLIKE FAITH
Wonder is a searching attitude of simultaneously knowing and not-knowing, of finding pattern and breaking apart, [it] goes against the grain of our organizing mind, but is intrinsic to the creativity of introspection, art, and empathy.
Silence enables us to see the sacredness of all life…"to see life steady and to see it whole." In an age that has lost all sense of the sacred, of awe and wonder at the Divine penetration throughout the physical, human plane, how much we need the recovery of silence. Without some sense of awe, there is little basis for meaning.
God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illuminated by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.
Greetings dear friends ~ In a little corner of my garden, I noticed bright green slender crocus leaves pushing their way up through the crusted brown earth. They steadfastly emerged still capped with dry clods of dirt and endured the unsettling vagaries of freezing nights and late season snowfall—a wintery spring after a spring-like winter. Our spirits, too, need lifting—need to emerge, become unbound, push up toward the light. We need to nurture a sense of wonder for if we stay buried in gloom we chance missing opportunities for awakening and for gratitude. Sometimes I find myself so immersed in worry for what might be lost, undone, unraveled that I fail to understand and appreciate what is here right now in front of me. To live with an open heart, to live with a sense of awe, doesn't mean we are blind to suffering or pain or fear, only that we also see the blessings all around us—the sacred gifts of life, love, and beauty.
A listening heart is always open, sensitive to the joy and pain of others, offering a space within itself for the other to enter. It gives each person what is so badly needed—an affirmation of their place in this world.
The discipline of silence was leading me not only to a keener attention to language but to an improved capacity for hearing. On silent Mondays, I began to listen differently—to myself, to others, and to the world around me. It was a listening I would call both active and without an agenda...I began to observe that when there was no expectation for me to respond, acknowledge, analyze...I listened differently. My ego relaxed... In silence I was hearing others more keenly and witnessing my own thoughts, too, and seeing how they served to separate or to connect me. I was learning not to turn away from the parts of myself that were difficult.
~ from LISTENING BELOW THE NOISE by Anne D. LeClaire
Monks take a vow of obedience...It means a loving listening: listening to the Word of God that comes to us moment by moment, listening to the message of the angel that comes to us hour by hour. The very word obedience means an intensive listening. The opposite of that obedience is absurdity, which means being deaf to life's challenges and meaning. We have the choice in our life between living with this loving listening or finding everything absurd...So the next time you say, "This is absurd," you might consider the more helpful question, "To what am I deaf here?"
~ from THE MUSIC OF SILENCE by David Steindl-Rast, O. S. B.
Perhaps we will see that listening is not a course you must register for, a new gimmick that will magically transform your social and professional life. It happens when you take time to look around you, to be still in the evenings, startled by mornings. To listen means to be aware, to watch, to wait patiently for the next communication clue. And, as anyone with a speech or hearing disability can tell you, listening is not always auditory communication...When earth's auditory energy is received as a whisper, or perhaps not at all, other senses become sharpened, grasping communicative clues we have forgotten, in the rush of life...Listening becomes visual, tactile, intuitive. Listening ... perhaps ... is just a mind aware.
~ from LISTENING: WAYS OF HEARING IN A SILENT WORLD by Hannah Merker
Listen in the silence for Spirit's Voice
guiding your soul
for service in the great renewal,
the new creation, the citadel of
Love here on Earth.
All are welcome together as One!
Listen, attune, and heed the inner Voice of Love.
For in sacred Silence, we open ourselves
to ever deepening communion with
the Source of all creation.
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