winter

Someone is hidden in this dark with me

I live my Advent in the womb of Mary.
And on one night when a great star swings free
from its high mooring and walks down the sky
to be the dot above the Christus i,
I shall be born of her by blessed grace.
I wait in Mary-darkness, faith's walled place,
with hope's expectance of nativity.

I knew for long she carried me and fed me,
guarded and loved me, though I could not see.
But only now, with inward jubilee,
I come upon earth's most amazing knowledge:
SOMEONE IS HIDDEN IN THIS DARK WITH ME.

~from "Advent" in SELECTED POETRY by Jessica Powers

This birth is always happening

Here in time we make holiday because the eternal birth which our loving God bore and bears unceasingly in eternity is now born in time, in human nature. St. Augustine says this birth is always happening. But if it happens not in me, what does it profit me? What matters is that it shall happen in me.

~ Meister Eckhart

Silence is portable cell that we carry with us wherever we go

Silence is primarily a quality of the heart that leads to ever-growing charity. It is portable cell that we carry with us wherever we go. From it we speak to those in need and to it we return after our words have born fruit. And, it is in this portable cell that we find ourselves immersed in the divine silence. The final question in a ministry of silence is not whether we say much or little, but whether our words call forth the caring silence of God, the silence to which we are all called.

~ from THE WAY OF THE HEART by Henri Nouwen

Like dew from the womb of the morning

In the beauty of holiness have I begotten you, like dew from the womb of the morning.
~ Anonymous

Contemplation and action

For the blessed souls who have entered the profound union of divine life: rest and activity, contemplation and action, silence and speaking, receiving the gift of God in love and returning love by waves of thanksgiving and praise, are the same thing.

~ From THOUGHTS by Edith Stein with thanks to Walter Reinsdorf

We are all one silence

SILENCE and HOPE ... they belong together. Only in the silence of hope can we find our deepest communion. 'We are all one silence', says Thomas Merton, 'and a diversity of voices'. How can we keep our ears attuned to the silence of our common hope when the divergent voices of our hopes distract us? How can we tune in to their ultimate harmony, audible only to the ears of our heart? Only by being still. Only by nurturing in our heart a stillness that grows big enough to embrace even contradictory hopes, a stillness strong enough to go beyond all hopes in hope ... Hope brings us to the core of contemplative transformation: GLORY. Glory is seed and harvest to hope, its initial spark and its ultimate blaze.

~ from GRATEFULNESS, THE HEART OF PRAYER by Br. David Steindl-Rast

Sometimes we talk too much

In the middle of a healing conference on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, a young Native American died of acute alcoholism. Unfortunately, it is not an unusual occurrence on Indian reservations to die of alcoholism. I was working with Matt and Dennis Linn who were in training on the reservation. We were invited to the wake that was to be held later that evening. The Linns told me what to do when we got to the tribal hall.

"When we go into the tribal hall tonight, the man will be in a casket in the front of the room with all of his grieving family around him, and nobody will be talking. The Indian people will be there. Go in, don't say a word, take the hand of each of the grieving relatives, shake it once, and sit down with the rest of the people who are there."

~ Anonymous

The deep things do not come suddenly

The deep things do not come suddenly. Let us be patient -- with ourselves. We may recognize many defects in our natures ... it can all be removed. Go on working silently. Silence and patience go together. Silence has wonderful creative power. Innovators conceive an idea but they do not go out and shout it before the world; they think silently and work quietly until they realize their ideal.

~ Swami Paramananda

Peace me to together, Oh soul

Peace me to together, Oh soul,
Assemblage human and holy,
Peace together the life and the prayer,
That the Current flows strong in stillness,
And a twinkle in the silence catches the breath,
Oh wonder!

~ "The Black Butterfly" by Richard Moss

The new challenge for all peoples

The new challenge for all peoples is to broaden our sense of spiritual community, becoming fully ecumenical not only concerning whom we pray FOR, but also concerning whom we pray WITH. If humankind can begin to pray together we can begin to live together, finding new and creative ways to reduce the evils which plague our planet. But how can we pray together with integrity, when we differ so much in beliefs? The best way to being to pray and meditate together is in SILENCE. Words are not enough. In silence we can sense that we are not separate from anyone, and so we can dare to hope for peace.

~ Donald Evans
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