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The meaning of the contemplative life is love

The meaning of the contemplative life -- of all spiritual life -- is love. Love is at once the origin, the means, and the goal of human spirituality, and when seen through spiritual eyes, the meaning of life in its entirety is love. God's love is endless, boundless without qualifications. Love must create, and we human beings and all the rest of creation are continually born in and from God's love. Creation brings forth diversity and separation. This permits a sense of "me and you," "I and thou," lover and beloved. In other words, we are created as unique individuals so that we may love God and one another. Love is the reason for our being. In our individuality and separateness, each of us is given a longing for re-union, a yearning for the greater fulfillment of love. In the endless movements of love, there is delicate beauty, majestic power, unbearable joy and considerable pain -- and freedom.

~ from "To Love - or to Die!" by Gerald May

Live outward silence

IN A CITY NOT FORSAKEN, the Jerusalem Community Rule of Life invites all to enter into the mystery of silence:

Silence is the well-spring of your prayer at the heart of the city and the daily peace of your soul ... In the crucible of silence you will learn holiness, since silence is the door to humility, contemplation and mercy. By leading you to self-forgetting, silence will allow you to discover God and in the heart of God, you will rediscover the world by God's light. So live outward silence and enjoy it inwardly and you will taste the perfect delight of those who keep the commandments in their hearts and dwell silently in God's love.

~ from IN A CITY NOT FORSAKEN

Let all the earth keep silence

May we each answer the call to let ourselves be defined by God at any given moment, let ourselves be attuned to our essential course of action, without loosing or abandoning any one of our own unique qualities and gifts. May we, like Mary, discover the secret of true silence.

"Let all the earth keep silence before God!"

~ Nan Merrill

We will be healed by the weak

Faith and Sharing celebrated their twentieth year with a retreat in Montreal in July. Jean Vanier shared out of his experience in the Faith and Light and the L'Arche Communities around the world the healing power of the poor. "The power of the powerless is to touch people in their hearts ... We will be healed by the weak ... To love someone is to reveal they are important, to reveal their beauty, to spend time with them."

~ from WELCOMING JESUS IN THE POOR by Jean Vanier

This we know

This we know:
The earth does not belong to us
We belong to the earth.

All things are connected
Like the blood which unites one family

We do not weave the web of life
We are merely a strand in it.

And whatever we do to the web
We do to ourselves!

~ Chief Seattle (1854) with thanks to Maria Henry

Silence is sound from the future

"Silence is sound from the future, an intimation of eternity. Eternity has begun for me. I carry eternity within me; it is slowly, silently growing out of me. More is becoming eternalized, forevered. 'Whoever really possesses the Word of Jesus can sense also his silence' (Ignatius of Antioch). Silence is our way of going into the desert, into eternity ... We each carry our own found anywhere else. Another can enable us to discover the hidden silence within ourselves. It is a special gift to receive the depth silence of another. Silence is a presence, a receptivity, a readiness, a waiting, a listening."

~ from CELTIC MEDITATIONS by Edward J. Farrell
Celtic Meditations
By Edward J. Farrell

Lead us, O God

Lead us, O God, into paths from which our spirits shrink because the demand is so great. Give to us the quiet confidence, without trumpet blast, without arrogance and pride, declamation, flag waving ... but just a simple, simple trust. Let us be true to that which You have entrusted into our keeping, the integrity of our own souls. For us, O God, this is enough. Amen.

~ from TEMPTATIONS OF JESUS by Howard Thurmond with thanks to Fredi Brown

We must try to penetrate our most secret self

Teilhard de Chardin's knowledge of himself in the Silence is powerfully described in the DIVINE MILIEU:

~ from DIVINE MILIEU by Teilhard de Chardin

The experience of prayer

The experience of prayer is the experience of coming into full union with the energy that created the universe. What Christianity has to proclaim to the world is that that energy is LOVE and it is the well-spring out of which all creation flows. It is the well-spring that gives each one of us the creative power to be the person we are called to be -- a person rooted and formed in love.

~ from MOMENT OF CHRIST: THE PATH OF MEDITATION by John Main

The person who loves never abandons contemplation

The person who loves never abandons contemplation. On the contrary, s/he alone thirsts for it in the right spirit ... God gives Love to those in prayer, and the more s/he loves others, the better s/he can understand. Being filled with God's love, one is capable of a new love for one another -- a joyful and self-forgetting love. Love brings contemplation itself into the mystery of change. It is no longer a neutral point from which the transformations of love are beheld; it is carried away in the flood of the love which is ever the same and ever new, forever changing.

~ Hans Urs Von Balthasar
Love Alone Is Credible
By Hans Urs von Balthasar, D. C. Schindler
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