November 2022 (Vol. XXXV, No. 10)

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

Dear Friends ~ Two challenging, yet inviting, questions have plagued me over the past month. We see escalating wars across the globe, natural disasters made worse by climate change, and an ever-evolving world virus situation. Covid’s ever-changing variants force scientists to remain vigilant with new vaccines to counter them, while some tackle monkeypox and other virulent viruses. As I write, we in the United States have entered the harvest season, preparing for the feast of Thanksgiving. Other countries and cultures mark the Harvest in other seasons, all with myriad meals and festivities.

No matter where we are in the world or what tangible crops we gather in, let us ponder together what we each, personally, harvest from these times in which we live. Perhaps another way to look at it is to consider what we bring to nourish and diversify this table of plenty.

Likewise, may we reflect on the harvest of silence herself, practiced in patience, sincerity, and love, in the depths of languages and religions, formal and informal, throughout the universe. I am heartened by a recent book GOLDEN: THE POWER OF SILENCE IN A WORLD OF NOISE by Justin Zorn and Leigh Marz. Even in the midst of a world wailing with sorrows, we can tap an inner core, gleaning our harvest of gratitude. ~ Mary Ann

 

Listen to silence. It has so much to say.
~ Rumi

 

Open your eyes and look at the fields. They are ripe for harvest.
~ John 4:35

As I watch'd the ploughman ploughing,
Or the sower sowing in the fields, or the harvester harvesting,
I saw there, too, O life and death, your analogies;
(Life, life is the tillage, and Death is the harvest according.)
~ Walt Whitman, "As I Watche'd The Ploughman Ploughing,” in LEAVES OF GRASS

 

You are the Silence
Beyond birth, beyond death, beyond experiences,
Beyond doubts, beyond opinions.
Beyond whatever it is your body is going through,
Whatever thoughts your mind thinks.
You are beyond that.
~ Robert Adams in SILENCE OF THE HEART

 

To live a contemplative life is to be open enough to see, free enough to hear, real enough to respond. It is a life, and so has its own rhythms of darkness, dying-rising. Simply enough, it is a life of grateful receptivity, or wordless awe, of silent simplicity.
~ S. Marie Baha in MEDITATIONS ON NATURE, MEDITATIONS ON SILENCE

 

Go deep into the silence. Absorb it. Let it scare you. Let it reshape you and expand your awareness.
~ Pythagoras, as quoted in GOLDEN: THE POWER OF SILENCE IN A WORLD OF NOISE by Justin Zorn and Leigh Mars

 

No sky could hold
so much light -
and here comes the brimming,
the flooding and streaming
out of the clouds
and into the leaves,
glazing the creeks,
the smallest ditches!
And so many stars!
The sky seems stretched
like an old black cloth;
behind it, all
the celestial fire
we ever dreamed of!
And the moon steps lower,
quietly changing
her luminous masks, brushing
everything as she passes
with her slow hands
and soft lips -
clusters of dark grapes,
apples swinging like lost planets,
melons cool and heavy as bodies -
and the mockingbird wakes
in his hidden castle;
out of the silver tangle
of thorns and leaves
he flutters and tumbles,
spilling long
ribbons of music
over forest and river,
copse and cloud -
all heaven and all earth.
~ Mary Oliver, "Harvest Moon – The Mockingbird Sings in the Night,” in TWELVE MOONS

 

Silence isn't just the absence of noise. It's a presence that brings us energy, clarity, and deeper connection.
~ Justin Zorn and Leigh Marz in GOLDEN: THE POWER OF SILENCE IN A WORLD OF NOISE

 

Gentle us, O Compassionate One, that
We tread the earth lightly
And with grace,
Spreading peace, goodness, and love,
Without harm to any creature.
For in gentle serenity is strength
And assurance;

Confusion and suspicion find
No home here.
In all things may we be be grateful,
Our hearts open to joy.
~ Nan Merrill from her interpretation of "Psalm 105” in PSALMS FOR PRAYING

 

Surviving is for those who have no hope...as God’s child you were meant to thrive... You were meant to dig deep and reach out...Balanced believers dig their roots and reach out for others.
~ Mark Hall in THRIVE

 

She will give the bread of understanding to eat,
And the water of wisdom to drink.
~ Joyce Rupp from her interpretation of Ecclesiastes in THE STAR IN MY HEART: EXPERIENCING SOPHIA

Harvests are a time to remember your sacrifice.
~ William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer in THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND

 

Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you sow.
~ William Arthur Ward

 

We have to say "Thank you” whenever possible even if we are not able to reconcile the human creatures’ free will with the Maker’s working out of a pattern. Thanks and Praise are, I believe, some of the threads with which the pattern is woven.
~ Madeleine L’Engle in GLIMPSES OF GRACE

 

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