Being made inwardly ready to be present where we are.

There is One who, on that road out of Jerusalem to the little town of Emmaus, taught his companions of the road and of the table what it was to be present. "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked with us by the way?" That same quickening presence still walks by our side. That same presence kindles our meetings and reveals to us our failure to be truly present with our families, our friends, our sisters and brothers in the world. It is there in his presence when we are again given the gift of tears, that we are once more joined to all the living, the hope is restored in us, and that we are rebaptized in to the sacredness of the gift of life and of the gift of being set down here among other humans who, in the depth of their being, long to be truly present to each other. Not only is there "no time but this present", but there is no task God has called us to that is more exciting and challenging than being made inwardly ready to be present where we are.

~ from TOGETHER IN SOLITUDE by Douglas Steere

Nonexperience is longing that no longer seeks fulfillment

Nonexperience is longing that no longer seeks fulfillment. Even longing itself is being continually let go, the tears mark its passing even as they magnify the Face of God ... Nonexperience is the passage to dwelling in the Silence, of Living Water where we find the waters of eternal life, possibility, salvation, which satisfy our thirst forever ... Nonexperience is the prayer of the abyss, making up by being poured-out-through what is lacking, what remains to be done, in the reconciliation and transfiguration of all things.

~ from THE FOUNTAIN AND THE FURNACE by Maggie Ross with thanks to Sr. Cora Brady

She looks at the child in solitude

And, from THE AWAKENING CALL by James Finley, a word for mothers (outer and inner!):

A mother is at home trying to pray while her small child is playing on the floor near her feet. The child's constant movements, its requests to be helped now with this toy, now with another, are a continual distraction to her. At the level of ego consciousness, the child is an obstacle to her attempts to recollect herself in prayer.

~ from THE AWAKENING CALL by James Finley

There was nothing in the Virgin's soul

There was nothing in the Virgin's soul
that belonged to the Virgin --
no word, no thought, no image, not intent.
She was a pure, transparent pool reflecting
God, only God.
She held Love's burnished day; she held Love's night
of planet-glow on shade inscrutable.
God was her sky and she who mirrored God
became Love's firmament.

When I so much as turn my thoughts toward her
my spirit is enisled in her repose.
And when I gaze into her selfless depths
an anguish in me grows
to hold such blueness and to hold such fire.
I pray to hollow out my earth and be
filled with these waters of transparency.
I think that one could die of this desire,
seeing oneself dry earth or stubborn sod.
Oh, to become a pure pool like the Virgin,
water that lost the semblances of water
and was a sky like God.

~ "The Pool of God" from SELECTED POETRY by Jessica Powers

Where am I running to, Lord?

Where am I running to, Lord? Why am I in such a hurry when what I really want is to slow down to your timing and to enjoy the present moment you have given me? Too often, when you give me something to savor I am mentally looking ahead to what might happen next. Slow me down, Beloved: my body, my mind, my reactions, my emotions. Get me off this racetrack. Teach me how to go down deep into the moment of now to enjoy your goodness in peace, with you.

~ from IMAGES OF PEACE by Pat Corrick Hinton

Spiritual pilgrimage involves solitary searching

Spiritual pilgrimage involves solitary searching, receiving help and guidance from others, and offering help to others. It is a journey of deepening willingness and clarifying vision ... a process of reconciling will and spirit. In it, one seeks to find, and realizes with increasing certainty that one has already been found. There is company for each of us in this: of those men and women who have gone before ... of our spiritual guides and those whom we may help guide ... of our own community of faith. There is also the vast company of the rest of our contemporaries on this planet, the great body of sisters and brothers of all races, ages and faiths who seek to know and live in the Way of Ultimate Love ... And in the realm of contemplative quiet, beyond all ideas, beyond our rainbowed images of God and self, beyond belief, we share the same silence. We are rooted all together in the ground of consciousness that is God's gift to us all.

~ from WILL & SPIRIT by Gerald May, M.D.

Putting one's heart into one's prayer

"It is better to put one's heart into one's prayer without finding the right words, than to find the right words without putting one's heart into them."

~ Gandhi

A blessed weakness this human heart

God's grace and attraction touch the human person at the most vulnerable points of existence. Response to this movement in our hearts leads us to compassion, joy, celebration and forgiveness. The heart is that which can be attracted, touched, moved, acted upon. It is called affective, able to be affected, inasmuch as it is drawn and does not move under its own power. Those who act from the heart, moved by God to compassion, become signs of God's love and tenderness. This is the significance of the affirmation that the person is the heart. Created in the image of God, a God who is all love and compassion, we act in harmony with our nature when we manifest the qualities of the heart that are revealed to us in weakness, not in our strength. The seeds of the divine life within and the capacities of the human heart are found in weakness. A blessed weakness this human heart!



Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of god.
~ Leon Bloy

Silence is no passive thing

Silence is no passive thing. It is a vibrant presence which fills any vacuum in sound and conveys its own living quality. Most of us know the truth of the phrase "the silence that sounds," and the old adage "silence is golden" means more than just that it is safe or wise. It means that it is golden in the sense of being filled with light.

~ from THE SILENT PATH by Michael Eastcott with thanks to Rita Adams
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