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Persevere in the Holy Presence

I have quitted all forms of devotion and set prayers but those to which my state obliges me. And I make it my business only to persevere in the Holy Presence, wherein I keep myself by a simple attention, and a general fond regard to God, which I may call an actual presence of God; or, to speak better, an habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with God, which often causes me joys and raptures inwardly, and sometimes also outwardly, so great that I am forced to use means to moderate them and prevent their appearance to others.

~ from PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD by Brother Lawrence

I became a seed and fell into the ground again

Wouldn't you know it? Last autumn I became a seed and fell into the ground again. That is why I haven't written for a while. How could it always is in the soil. And dark. You can't imagine! But it doesn't matter whether there is light or not because you have no eyes. You feel all alone, and you don't know there are other seeds around you who are also trying to see. Then a little shoot begins to grow out of the top of your head and it starts to feel its way upward through what seems like all the dirt in the world. The ascent is long and hard; you believe it will never end. Then one day in May you break out and into the sun and air. Your eyes are restored, and, when you look around, there are poppies everywhere, all celebrating their own resurrection. What a feeling! I was just beginning to enjoy my own red blossom when a cold September wind stole into the valley and I returned to the ground. Now spring seems an impossible flower.

~ from JUNIPER: FRIEND OF FRANCIS, FOOL OF GOD by Murray Bodo

Friendship

"What begins in a search through nothingness for God and for meaning ends in friendship. In our surrender we come to know God as friend: 'I shall not call you servants anymore ... I call you friends.' Without friendships something is dead within us. Just as a healthy openness, frankness, sincerity and an attitude of respect are fundamental as a foundation for prayer, these qualities are also developed in friendship. For deep friendship brings an empathetic knowledge of the other, an understanding that comes from love and compassion.

Friends grow together ... challenge each other. Friends have the power to draw the best out of us. To have formed a few very deep friendships is the blessing of a lifetime. Silence offers us the luxury of deepening our friendship with God ... of knowing how dearly we are loved by God. The Beloved will speak to us within our self-understanding, love us within our self-acceptance and celebrate with us when we celebrate with our friends."

~ from THE EXPERIENCE OF PRAYING by Sean Calfield
The Experience of Praying
By Sean Caulfield

Even with "nothing" seems to be happening

Even with "nothing" seems to be happening in our prayer-life, we can trust that in the Silence we are growing in contentment, serenity, understanding, empathy, friendliness and concern.

~ Nan Merrill

I used to be stone deaf

I used to be stone deaf. I would see people stand up and go through all kinds of gyrations. They called it dancing. It looked absurd to me -- until one day I heard the music!

~ from THE SONG OF THE BIRD by Anthony de Mello
The Song of the Bird
By Anthony De Mello

A new vision comes

A new vision comes when I can stop looking into the blazing sun that blinds me, and I learn to focus more on deeper, more intimate and hidden beauties and light. It's then that I begin to feel a taste and a hunger for a new love and a new vision that calls me further on. It's then that I can begin to hear a quiet gentle voice within calling to me, inviting me, telling me that I have an immense value, because I am loved and wanted -- not for what I possess or what I have achieved, but simply for what I am. And what I am is this unique person, quite unlike anyone else, with my own story and my own very special light shining in my eyes. This uniqueness of mine comes from one source alone. It comes from the loving call to me by my name from the Author, the Creator and the End of my life. This is the road of your life and mine.

~ from A JOURNEY IN THE COMPANY OF GOD by Brother Andrew

i am a little church

i am a little church (far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish) at peace with nature
i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing.

~ e.e. cummings
Selected Poems
By E. E. Cummings

'Tis good to celebrate

'Tis good to celebrate in the Silence those
Moments of gratitude for the friends who have
walked with me ...
There is always a return gift waiting in my heart.
It is for those who took off their shoes
to be reverent with my coming,
For those who stood on tiptoes beside me
when my hope was small.
It is for those who were present
when I needed my feet washed.
It is for those who raced with me to the tomb
on the day I was certain it held
nothing but death.
It is for those who celebrated my emptiness
with me and
For those who broke with me the kind of bread
that fed my death new life.

~ from SEASONS OF YOUR HEART: PRAYERS & REFLECTIONS by Macrina Wiederkehr

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
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