Silence is the strength of our interior life

Silence is the strength of our interior life. If we fill our lives with silence, then we live in hope.

~ Thomas Merton with thanks to Susan Bower

My name is not I Was

I was regretting the past and fearing the future. Suddenly You were speaking:

"My name is I am." You paused. I waited.

You continued. "When you live in the past, with its mistakes and regrets, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not I Was." 

"When you live in the future, with its problems and fears, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not I Will Be."

"When you live in this moment, it is not hard. I am here."

"My name is I Am."

~ Helen Mallicoat

January 1993 (Vol. VI, No. 1)

GREETINGS and BLESSINGS to you in this new year ... a good time to reflect on where we have been in our hearts and the road we would aim to travel in these coming months ... and, perhaps, the time for a new prayer of the heart.

May we listen for what cannot be heard

May we listen for what cannot be heard and search for what cannot be seen.
~ Unknown

We need quiet time in the presence of God

We need quiet time in the presence of God. Although we want to make all our time time for God, we will never succeed if we do not reserve a specific and consistent amount of time to listen in the Silence. This asks for much discipline and risk-taking, because we often have something more urgent to do and "just sitting there" and "doing nothing" may disturb us more than it helps. But there is no way around this. Being useless and silent in the presence of God belongs to the core of all prayer. In the beginning, we often hear our own unruly inner noises more loudly than God's voice. This is at times very hard to tolerate. But slowly, very slowly, we discover that the silent time makes us quiet and deepens our awareness of ourselves and God. Then, very soon, we start to miss these moments when we are deprived of them, and before we are fully aware of it, an inner momentum has developed that draws us more and more into silence and closer to that still point where God speaks to us.

~ from SEEDS OF HOPE: A HENRI NOUWEN READER ed. Robert Durback

A simple intuition of the truth

Contemplation is the central human act that puts us perceptively and lovingly in touch with the innermost reality of everything because it is a simple intuition of the truth.

~ from THE HUMAN ADVENTURE by William McNamara

The silence of contemplation!

The silence of contemplation! Within each of us lie unknown gulfs of doubt, violence, secret distress ... as well as guilt, of things unacknowledged, so that gaping below our feet we sense an immense void. As we let divine love pray in us, trusting as a child, one day these gulfs will be inhabited. And, one day we shall discover that there has been a revolution in ourselves. With time, contemplation begets a happiness. And, that happiness is the drive behind our struggle for and with all people. It is courage, energy to take risks. It is overflowing gladness.

~ from AWAKENED FROM WITHIN by Br. Roger

The door swung wide

I cried to God,
I beat upon the door
Until my knuckles bled;
God gave me no answer, gave no sign.
"There is no God," I sad.
I stopped my clamor
And lay spent,
A channel at ebb tide,
And slowly in the silence
The door swung wide.

~ "Be Still and Know" by Christina Rainsford

The truth of the hermitage comes down to paradoxes

The truth of the hermitage comes down to paradoxes. It empties us so we may be filled; its simplicity is a luxury, and we go there seeking solitude so we can better serve God's people ... Whether we serve as parents, as pastors, as missionaries, as teachers, as peace-makers -- there is a monk in all of us. To get in touch with the silence of God is necessary for everyone. The hermitage allows people to get in touch with that silence. That does not mean the touch only happens here. But it can be refreshed here. It can be strengthened.

~ from "The Gift of Solitude" by Catherine Peck

When everything we do is prayer

The life of prayer is a journey with God as well as toward God, a journey in which prayer becomes for those who pursue it as natural as breathing. The first big step is to cease talking TO God and start listening FOR God. And that requires silence. Silence is the language God speaks, and everything else is a translation. "As long as you know you are praying, you are not praying properly", says Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast. When everything we do is prayer, the fruit is an increase in love, patience and compassion for others, leaving behind the unmistakable taste of holiness.

~ from "Talking to God", Newsweek, January 6, 1992
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