Maggie Ross

Solitude is the human condition

Solitude is the human condition, the universal vocation to be human. It is the willingness, with Love indwelling, to go to the heart of pain to find new life and share it with the world even though you may be separated from it physically. It is from this commitment to be focused through the narrow gate of solitude that self-emptying love is outpoured, and the heart of the community, the heart of its pain, is transformed into the heart of joy.

~ Maggie Ross

We are all a hermit

An insight made available to us by the hermit's life is that we are all, each one of us, a hermit; that in the end we know we are a unique creation of God, and alone because of that uniqueness, and that this alone-ness become solitude is the meeting place with God. This is true no matter how social and communal our exterior lives may be. It is within our interior solitude, the solitude and silence that many of us (including hermits) try to shut out with noise and activity of various sorts in order to evade that encounter, that we are called into truth and confrontation with mercy, that we are given what it is we have to give in our encounters with other people who in their own lives are engaged in the same searching.

~ from THE FIRE OF YOUR LIFE: A SOLITUDE SHARED by Maggie Ross

Available to be poured-out-through

Many of us live under the illusion that if we are not for good or for evil we can exist in some moral limbo. The reality is that if we do not choose to be given for the purposes of God, then we are available to be used for the purposes of evil. To be unconscious is to leave oneself open to being manipulated; to be awake and weeping is to be in touch with reality and available to be poured-out-through by the love of God.

~ from THE FOUNTAIN AND THE FURNACE by Maggie Ross

All of us are solitaries

All of us are solitaries: we are born alone through the birth canal into the world and time, and we die alone. No one can enter our interior experience, or its continuum with the outer world we call community. Solitude is the human condition, the universal vocation to be human. It is the willingness, with Love indwelling, to go to the heart of pain to find new life and share it with the world even though you may be separated from it physically. It is from this commitment to be focused through the narrow gate of solitude that self-emptying love is outpoured, and the heart of the community, the heart of its pain, is transformed into the heart of joy.

~ from SEASONS OF DEATH AND LIFE by Maggie Ross

Just as each new seed requires a period of gestation

Just as each new seed requires a period of gestation -- a time of deep silence and solitude -- so, too, we need such seasons. "Someone wrote me recently and asked if it wasn't frustrating to have exterior solitude interrupted. Well, you learn to live out of your interior solitude. And perhaps this is one of the keys to living in the madness, the telescoping demands and resulting exhaustion of our society: to explore our own interior solitude and learn not only to be afraid of it but to live out if its self-discipline, its limitless resources and deep silence. Solitude is like a tea ceremony, the celebration of life in all its homely movements taken out of time -- the wonder of the commonplace, the mystery of ordinary life ... Solitude is being poured-out-through. We evolve toward simplicity. We dwell in the Word."

~ from THE FIRE OF YOUR LIFE by Maggie Ross
The Fire of Your Life
By Maggie Ross

The gift of tears

Jesus wept over Jerusalem ... tears continue to be an appropriate response to the suffering world today.

The gift of tears is a sign of change, of conversation of heart. The tears that are a gift are a sign of willingness to let go, of desire to let go, and the power of God acting in response to the person's prayer of longing ... The gift of tears is a sign of self-forgetfulness, a willing nakedness, a desire that comes from within to create space for God by letting go conscious pursuit of security, power, attachment ... The way of tears, while not seeking pain for its own sake, is a willingness to be continually confronted not only by painful truth about one's self, but also seeks to know this truth on a universal level of human suffering ... The way of tears quickly proceeds beyond focus on personal self-knowledge to an orientation toward the Other ... choosing to be related to the creation.

~ from THE FOUNTAIN AND THE FURNACE by Maggie Ross

Nonexperience is longing that no longer seeks fulfillment

Nonexperience is longing that no longer seeks fulfillment. Even longing itself is being continually let go, the tears mark its passing even as they magnify the Face of God ... Nonexperience is the passage to dwelling in the Silence, of Living Water where we find the waters of eternal life, possibility, salvation, which satisfy our thirst forever ... Nonexperience is the prayer of the abyss, making up by being poured-out-through what is lacking, what remains to be done, in the reconciliation and transfiguration of all things.

~ from THE FOUNTAIN AND THE FURNACE by Maggie Ross with thanks to Sr. Cora Brady
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