clarity

Prayer begins in us the restoration of the divine image

Prayer begins in us the restoration of the divine image, in all its hiddenness and wonder. It brings us closer to the "region of likeness" and every prayer is an act of letting the old self go. It involves "dying". The grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies. Dead, it is destined to bear much fruit.

~ Alan Jones

The gift of contemplation

The gift of contemplation is eternally given; it is always there... It is that moment when the ache in my heart becomes so intense that I can no longer bear it. And in that moment, I cry out in my agony to the One I never knew and have always known. It is the moment when the depth of the ache becomes the depth of the knowing, the moment when I know that I am in the Presence of God.

~ from THE SMELL OF INCENSE, THE SOUND OF SILENCE by John W. Groff, Jr.

Love solitude and silence

In order to make it easier to keep your thoughts continually on God in accordance with your wish and your need, this is what you can do. First, love solitude and silence, which greatly help the spirit within, and sacred meditation. Second, choose to read books that are sound spiritually. Pause frequently, trying to appreciate rather than understand or remember them. And third, throughout the day turn to God in prayer about all that takes place... All will be well in time.

~ from THE SPIRITUAL LETTERS OF JEAN-PIERRE de CAUSSADE with thanks to Joyce Lang

Mindfulness is meditation in action

Mindfulness is meditation in action and involves a "be here now" approach that allows life to unfold without the limitation of pre-judgment. It means being open to an awareness of the moment as it is and to what the moment could hold. It is a relaxed state of attentiveness to both the inner world of thoughts and feelings and the outer world of actions and perceptions.

~ from MINDING THE BODY, MENDING THE MIND by Joan Borysenko

Memo to God

Memo to God: I've been demanding and demanding things from You, often quite rudely, in fact often very rudely, like an ill-bred spoilt child, but I think prayer must have made me better mannered or perhaps it's helped me grow up a little and now I should like to say politely: "thank you very much" -- not just for staying with me no matter how unpleasant I was, but for actually moving closer and surrounding me with people who care.

~ from ABSOLUTE TRUTHS by Susan Howatch

There is a contemplative in all of us

There is a contemplative
in all of us,
almost strangled
but still alive,
who carves quiet
enjoyment of the Now,
and longs to touch
the seamless
garment of silence
which makes whole.

~ Alan P. Tory

March 1996 (Vol. IX, No. 3)

BLESSED BE in the Silence, dear friends. May the deep prayers of your heart radiate out to those in need around the world. For indeed, our heart prayer is a double blessing: awakening our own soul's growth, while benefiting others in ways we may never know. Don't you love the Mystery!

Leisure is a form of silence which is the prerequisite of the apprehension of reality

Leisure is a form of silence which is the prerequisite of the apprehension of reality: only the silent hear and those who do not remain silent do not hear. Silence, as it is used in this context, does not mean "dumbness" or "noiselessness"; it means more nearly that the soul's power to "answer" to the reality of the world is left undisturbed. For leisure is a receptive attitude of mind, a contemplative attitude, and it is not only the occasion but also the capacity for steeping oneself in the whole of creation ... When we really let our minds rest contemplatively on a rose in bud, on a child at play, on a divine mystery, we are rested and quickened as though by a dreamless sleep ... It is in these silent receptive moments that our souls are sometimes visited by an awareness of what holds the world together.

~ from LEISURE, THE BASIS OF CULTURE by Josef Piper

Summer peace

Here is peace to store within the breast
Against the days of tumult and despair.
Within this cool green light the heart can rest,
The body strengthens in the clear, clean air,
The soul grows tall,
the viol-string tensions cease
Here in this summer stillness, summer peace.

~ from "Summer Fields" by Grace Noll Crowell
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