solitude

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

She looks at the child in solitude

And, from THE AWAKENING CALL by James Finley, a word for mothers (outer and inner!):

A mother is at home trying to pray while her small child is playing on the floor near her feet. The child's constant movements, its requests to be helped now with this toy, now with another, are a continual distraction to her. At the level of ego consciousness, the child is an obstacle to her attempts to recollect herself in prayer.

~ from THE AWAKENING CALL by James Finley

There was nothing in the Virgin's soul

There was nothing in the Virgin's soul
that belonged to the Virgin --
no word, no thought, no image, not intent.
She was a pure, transparent pool reflecting
God, only God.
She held Love's burnished day; she held Love's night
of planet-glow on shade inscrutable.
God was her sky and she who mirrored God
became Love's firmament.

When I so much as turn my thoughts toward her
my spirit is enisled in her repose.
And when I gaze into her selfless depths
an anguish in me grows
to hold such blueness and to hold such fire.
I pray to hollow out my earth and be
filled with these waters of transparency.
I think that one could die of this desire,
seeing oneself dry earth or stubborn sod.
Oh, to become a pure pool like the Virgin,
water that lost the semblances of water
and was a sky like God.

~ "The Pool of God" from SELECTED POETRY by Jessica Powers

May1990 (Vol. III, No. 5)

May the flowers of May brighten your hearts! GREETINGS to all Friends of Silence. Recently, in recollecting personal Emmaus experiences, we found a paragraph in Douglas Steere's book, TOGETHER IN SOLITUDE, which beautifully describes that sense of being present to another that comes out of the deep silence of our hearts:

Where am I running to, Lord?

Where am I running to, Lord? Why am I in such a hurry when what I really want is to slow down to your timing and to enjoy the present moment you have given me? Too often, when you give me something to savor I am mentally looking ahead to what might happen next. Slow me down, Beloved: my body, my mind, my reactions, my emotions. Get me off this racetrack. Teach me how to go down deep into the moment of now to enjoy your goodness in peace, with you.

~ from IMAGES OF PEACE by Pat Corrick Hinton
Images of peace
By Pat Corrick Hinton

To write is to enter into silence

To write is to enter into silence, to speak in a low voice for the few who enter into silence with you because they recognize a voice that is rising up out of themselves. There exists a race of people, you see, who are in harmony with you. One is a writer, another is a reader, what does it matter? They are branches of the same stream, beyond ideas and opinions. If so many human beings live by appearances and exhaust themselves in the theater of the world, it is in order to cover over the depth of the abyss. For if the immemorial voice continued to murmur to them, they would no longer be able to believe in progress, money, success or glory.

~ from MORNING LIGHT by Jean Sulivan

God is the friend of silence

And, from Mother Teresa:

God is the friend of silence. We need to find God
But we cannot find God in noise, in excitement.

See how nature, the trees, the flowers, the grass
Grow in deep silence ... the stars, the moon and the sun
Move in silence ...

The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer
Is faith. The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service ...
(The fruit of service is peace.)

~ from LOVE: A FRUIT ALWAYS IN GOOD SEASON by Mother Teresa with thanks to Alice Howell
Love: A Fruit Always in Season
By Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Courage

Courage has roots. She sleeps on a futon on the floor and lives close to the ground. Courage looks you straight in the eye. She is not impressed with powertrippers, and she knows first aid. Courage is not afraid to weep, and she is not afraid to pray, even when she is not sure who she is praying to. When Courage walks, it is clear that she has made the journey from loneliness to solitude. The people who told me she is stern were not lying; they just forgot to mention that she is kind.

~ from THE BOOK OF QUALITIES by J. Ruth Gendler with thanks to Gay Grissom
The Book of Qualities
By J. Ruth Gendler

As a solitary bird

As a solitary bird
I am fond of solitude
Silently I direct my flight
toward a transcendent horizon
Freed and beauty bound
my heart sings a love song
In the still point of my peace-center
my life is a song of love
in unison with the divine love song
that calls forth the world
in sacred harmony.

~ Sr. Iva Halbur

The guest is sacred

What has always struck me about the way in which the desert dwellers receive friends is their ability to put all activity to one side. You, the guest, become the focal point, and they range themselves round you in a circle. If the owner of the tent has planned to go on a journey, he puts it off: now he must concern himself with you. If the wife was thinking of doing the laundry, she piles it all up on one side: now she must see about serving you. The guest is sacred: everything else is less important.

For the time being you are the one who matters: time is less important. And if the friend, who has left one corner of the world in order to search you out and spend a bit of time with you, has these rights, surely God has the same right, the one who came from heaven itself to find you; who took flesh in order to become visible for you; who became the Eucharist in order to gain entrance to your tent and stay there as long as possible.

~ from IN SEARCH OF THE BEYOND by Carlo Carretto
In Search of the Beyond
By Carlo Carretto
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