contemplation

Be quiet and listen

"I told everyone to be quiet and listen. One of my friends said, 'I don't hear anything.' I said, 'Exactly'."
~ Unknown

May 1993 (Vol. VI, No. 5)

May, the BLESSINGS OF PEACE be with you, friends!

The magpie mind chatters

Somehow, I must sit to listen.
Standing implies a readiness for action, for the executing of the will.
To hear You I must sit down and calm down.

The magpie mind chatters.
It doesn't know about stopping.
How helpless I feel in its automatic firing, its busy babbling.
It is impossible to hear You as long as I am full of sound.
I turn this helpless prayer toward You.
... slowly unknowing everything, becoming dark,
becoming yielding ... just sitting.

~ from BEING HOME by Gunilla Norris with thanks to Marjorie Michael

What you ARE

When you know, without a shadow of doubt, that the spirit of God is within you, for you have actually experienced the Presence in the silence of your heart, then you have truly grown in being. In your daily life you become a proof of this knowledge -- a witness to others by what you are. A witness in a court testifies to what has been seen, and the strength of that evidence helps to clarify the truth of the case. So, as one who knows love, you convince those with whom you come into contact, of some indefinable quality which seems to give you the ability to flow with life with a glowing radiation. Others derive strength from your strength, and their fear is dispersed -- even if only momentarily -- by your peace, your understanding of what they are going through, and by your sincere concern. What you ARE, far more than what you say or do, will be the witness of your faith.

~ from GROWTH INTO BEING by Margaret Holmes
Growth into Being
By Margaret Holmes

Gentle me, Holy One

Gentle me,
Holy One,
into an unclenched moment,
a deep breath,
a letting go
of heavy expectancies,
of shriveling anxieties,
of dead certainties,
that, softened by the silence,
surrounded by the light,
and open to the mystery.
I may be found by wholeness,
upheld by the unfathomable,
entranced by the simple,
and filled with the joy
that is You.

~ from GUERRILLAS OF GRACE by Ted Loder with thanks to Marjorie Michael

Secretly and quietly

God ... secretly and quietly ... inserts in the soul loving wisdom and knowledge.

~ from THE LIVING FLAME OF LOVE by St. John of the Cross
The Living Flame of Love
By St. John of the Cross

Contemplation is the highest expression of man's intellectual and spiritual life

Contemplation is the highest expression of man's intellectual and spiritual life. It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware, that it is alive. It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being. It is gratitude for life, for awareness and for being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent and infinitely abundant source. Contemplation is, above all, awareness of the reality of that source.

~ from NEW SEEDS OF CONTEMPLATION by Thomas Merton
New Seeds of Contemplation
By Thomas Merton

Do not look to another for your connection to God

Eternal life is a gift of God. It is through God's love that we have eternal life, through the great love that God has for creation. And through love, all individuals have the freedom to choose whether to seek or to separate themselves from love ... Do not look to another for your connection to God. This is available to you through your mind and heart. In the silence, you will be able to hear with your mind love's voice guide you; with your heart you will feel God's great love. It is the responsibility of each individual to seek their own connection to God ... When you find that you are truly connected to God from within, then you will eliminate fear, hostility and such. Not by power or might, but by the Word of God, by taking into your life the love of God and the word of God. By accepting the goodness of God, you move toward wholeness and holiness.

~ from MARY'S MESSAGE TO THE WORLD by Annie Kirkwood

A quiet settles on the hills

A quiet settles on the hills
Augmented by the birds,
Everything is softer --
A time for fewer words.

A time best spent listening
To the voices of the land,
How softly winter guides us
With her wondrous hand.

~ Peter Rinehart

January 1992 (Vol. V, No. 1)

BLESSINGS, dear friends, as we begin the fifth year of this monthly offering. Friends of Silence started as an inner-city contemplative community of individuals committed to pray in the Silence. Linked to a growing number of groups and individuals around the globe, we open our hearts to radiate love as one response to the violence, injustice and confusion in the world today. The outward, visible results of our silence are often difficult to discern or define. Yet, by faith, we continue to meet together in the solitude of our homes to pray in the Silence -- and, to experience the inward fruits of the Spirit at work in us ... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, gratitude ... May your own Silence of the inner being offer blessing, harmony and balance to Love's Creation in this new year!
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