April 2021 (Vol. XXXIV, No. 4)

"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"

Dear Friends ~ Here in the Northern Hemisphere it is Spring. The earth re-covers herself in the iridescent greens of emerging grasses. Bulbs push their stems to light. Carpets of tiny, illusive flowers herald the season. There are hints of recovery in both local and global news as Covid vaccines become more available. Questions abound: Will our children recover from learning lost? Will lost livelihoods ever be found? Will we ever recover from losing loved ones, over 500,000 in the U.S alone, my 93-year-old mother among them?

NASA images show positive effects for the earth itself during our human slow-down of cars, planes, and manufacturing, but note that these pandemic effects are likely to be fleeting as nations recover and reintroduce business as usual ("Seeing the COVID-19 Pandemic from Space." NASA, Dec. 14, 2020) What can we humans learn about recovery from Mother Earth? How can we as countries turn lessons on recovery into new ways to live and work with one another to protect the earth?

By necessity, the river of recovery will have to overflow its banks. What can we learn of the spiritual journey as we, like the earth, re-cover ourselves time and time again? As we navigate this tricky journey, "May we grow in grace and peace, and not neglect the silence that is printed in the center of our being. It will not fail us." (Thomas Merton from THE HIDDEN GROUND OF LOVE). May it be so. ~ Mary Ann

 

As spring and summer follow... winter, so our lives have seasons. Help us to live in the eternal moment, awaiting your perfect timing in all things.
~ Nan Merrill in "Psalm 105" from PSALMS FOR PRAYING

 

It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke in "Sonnets to Orpheus. Part One, XXI"

 

Changing is not just changing the things outside of us. First of all we need the right view that transcends all notions including of being and non-being, creator and creature, mind and spirit. That kind of insight is crucial for transformation and healing.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

The unbounded spaciousness
of Silence,
filled with the clear light
of Awareness,
dissolves the roots of pain
and sorrow.
~ Kalidas (Lawrence Edwards) from "Take Refuge in Silence"

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain... they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits along with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
~ Kahlil Gibran from THE PROPHET

 

The recovery of faith in our creativity and in the artist within each of us and the artists among all of us is no small thing. It has to do with the rekindling of the spark of hope and vision, of adventure and blessing, that a tired civilization needs...
~ Matthew Fox from ORIGINAL BLESSING

 

Mankind, there has come to you a guidance from your Lord and a healing for... your hearts, and for those who believe, a guidance and a mercy.
~ The Koran (Yunus, 10:57)

 

If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain "move from here to there" and it will move.
~ Matthew 17:20

 

...Deep. deep down in the earth
There is the pure water

The way is down
The old sources have become clogged
New wells are sought...

That might be there
Deep down
For us

I have met her
That one
Who holds a true divining rod
That one who is seeking pure water
~ Emily Brown from "The Burning Bush" in Liberating Liturgies, Women's Ordination Conference, 1989

 

Silence belongs to all of us— it is who we are, it is what we are. If we are to experience and embody authentic peace and love, if we are going to bring true healing to our wildly violent and endangered world, we are going to have to learn to live within this essence which joins us together as brothers and sisters.
~ Robert Rabbin from "The Healing Power of Silence" in Natural Awakenings, February 2013

 

The law of love governs the world. Life persists in the face of death. The universe continues in spite of destruction going on. Truth triumphs over untruth. Love conquers hate.
~ Mahatma Gandhi from PEACE: THE WORDS AND INSPIRATION OF MAHATMA GANDHI

 

Be silent,
Only the hand of God can remove
The burdens of your heart.
~ Rumi

 

for a brief moment early spring rain ceases,
the sun breaks through
grey sky...

threads of gold
thin enough to pierce the forest,
glitter on dewdrops...
bows to brilliance,

where everything arrogant
takes off its shoes
to stand on holy ground.
~ Joyce Rupp from "For a Brief Moment" in MY SOUL FEELS LEAN: POEMS OF LOSS AND RESTORATION

 

Let us now open our hearts to recall those who have died from the coronavirus. Strengthen those families and friends who remain behind, to comfort one another and to wipe the tears from our eyes. May each one find peace and let the memory of our loved ones itself be a blessing.
~ Cardinal Wilton Gregory in a prayer offered on CNN as the United States reflected on the 500,000 lives lost, February 22, 2021

 

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