winter

The most important need in the world today

Advent is a season to ponder "all these things" in our hearts:

Thomas Merton calls us all to contemplation in his book of Contemplative Prayer ...

" ... the most important need in the world today is the inner truth nourished by the Spirit of contemplation -- the praise and love of God, the longing for the coming of Christ, the thirst for the manifestation of God's glory, truth and justice -- the Kingdom of God in the world."

~ from CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER by Thomas Merton & Thich Nhat Hanh

Lord of the Shining Worlds

Christ is the Lord
Lord of the Light
Lord of the Shining Worlds
the One Light
within each One.

Christ is the One Light moving
across the face of the Earth
awakening souls
in the shadow of illusion.

Awakening love
and forgiveness
in every heart,
awakening Peace on Earth

~ Anonymous

The gift of silence

Practicing Silence is the art of letting down the barrier that separates our rational consciousness from the depth of our soul ... of coming into touch with the spiritual world in a way that opens our whole being to the reality of the creative and integrating center -- to the Risen Christ ... In silence we meet the reality of the inner voice from God which gives inspiration, guidance and direction, and transformation.

The gift of Silence is to allow the Christ to bring the split-off, conflicting parts of our being into fruitful relationship, and at the same time, to deliver us from destructive evil which seeks to keep us fragmented and operating unconsciously. In this way, we are brought together and given a single eye -- that new center of being which allows us to operate at more nearly full potential, creatively and freed from giving in to destructive impulses.

~ from THE OTHER SIDE OF SILENCE by Morton T. Kelsey

The ultimate goal of living

For, the ultimate goal of living in Silence is love, is to become holy and whole. The Holy is the most intimate and intensely personal and unitive of all experiences; that which integrates most totally, where all superlatives converge, where the sense of the overflowing ultimate Presence and Joy enwrap and draw us into the ecstasy of wordless adoration. Adoration of God is a long, slow life process of interpenetrating manifestation and discovery. Each of us is a pilgrim of the Absolute on an immense and limitless journey. Blessed are those who follow the Way with a single eye!

~ from SURPRISED BY THE SPIRIT by Edward J. Farrell
Surprised By the Spirit
By Edward J Farrell

On a dark afternoon

On a dark afternoon -- I was ten or eleven -- I was walking on a country road, on my left a patch of curly kale, on my right some yellowed Brussel sprouts. I felt a snowflake on my cheek, and from far away in the charcoal-gray sky I saw the approach of a snowstorm. I stood still. Some flakes were now falling around my feet. A few melted as they hit the ground. Others stayed intact. Then I heard the falling of the snow, with the softest hissing sound.

I stood transfixed, listening ... and knew what can never be expressed: that the natural is supernatural, and that I am the eye that hears and the ear that sees, that what is outside happens in me, that outside and inside are unseparated. It is the inexpressible, and the inexpressible is the only thing that it is worthwhile expressing.

~ from THE ZEN OF SEEING by Frederick Franck

Ineffable journey

This poem-prayer comes from Philip J. Bennett of Fostoria, Ohio. An excerpt from his letter gives some sense of his journey, which he generously shares with us: "The past six years have been my time of silence -- a time for prayer, a time for thought, a time to listen to God and man. As I listen to God, I receive hope out of inescapable despair; from man I hear mostly a college of confusion, ignorance, sin, arrogance, and ultimate despair, which drives me once again into the Silence to God for assurance and hope ... You are, therefore, an ember in a smoldering fire to me. You may be enough to rekindle a flame ..."

~ from "Meditations of the Heart" by Howard Thurman
Meditations of the Heart
By Howard Thurman

May we consistently choose the single goal of peace

And,

may we consistently choose the single goal of peace
rather than multiple goals that lead to conflict;

may we continue to practice forgiveness;

may we recognize that we are united as one Self and illuminate the world with the light of Love that shines through us;

may we awaken to the knowledge that the essence of
our being is Love, and, as such, we are the light
of the world.

~ from LOVE IS LETTING GO OF FEAR by Gerald Jampolsky
Love Is Letting Go of Fear
By Gerald G. Jampolsky

Contemplation

CONTEMPLATION ... from the Latin 'com' -together and 'templum' - temple. We contemplate that we might recognize ever more deeply who and Whose we are. "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? ... God's temple is holy and that temple are."

~ I Corinthians 3:16-17

Gather yourself up

"Gather yourself up. Then -- with attention no longer frittered amongst the petty accidents and interests of your personal life, but poised, tense, ready for the work you shall demand of it -- stretch out by a distinct act of loving will towards one of the myriad manifestations of life that surrounds you: and which, in an ordinary way, you hardly notice unless you happen to need them. Pour yourself out towards it, do not draw its image towards you. Deliberate -- more, impassioned -- attentiveness, an attentiveness which soon transcends all consciousness of yourself, as separate from and attending to the thing seen. As to the object of contemplation, it matters little. From Alp to insect, anything will do, provided that your attitude be right: for all things in this world towards which you are stretching out are linked together, and one truly apprehended will be the gateway to rest."

~ from PRACTICAL MYSTICISM by Evelyn Underhill
Practical Mysticism
By Evelyn Underhill
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