winter

Thou sweet Well for all who thirsteth in the desert

Thou sweet Well for all who thirsteth in the desert! It is closed to the one who speaks, but it is open to all who are silent. When the one who is silent comes, lo, that one finds the Well.

~ Egyptian - 13th century B.C.

To be born again

The following quotation from a new biography of Thomas Merton by Fr. Basil Pennington, seems to reflect the spirit of our prayer:

When we attain true freedom, we live in the spontaneity of the Spirit. And we do not know if we are coming or going. And others don't either ... Usually, we become a problem for those who want to have everything under control. Yet, there is within every one of us, IF WE DARE TO BE FREE ENOUGH TO LISTEN, an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of our creative energies and power ... If we dare to listen, we will soon enough realize that the change we seek is actually a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, and most personal in ourselves. To be born again is not to become somebody else, but to become ourselves, our true selves, in the One who is Christ" ... the Beloved of our hearts.

~ from THOMAS MERTON MY BROTHER by Fr. Basil Pennington
Thomas Merton My Brother
By M.Basil Pennington

God embraces our nothingness

And, paraphrasing Max Picard in THE WORLD OF SILENCE:

"The mark of the Divine in God's good creation is preserved by the connection with the world of silence. For Silence is a primary, objective reality, which cannot be traced back to anything else ..." except Love itself. Or, as one of the saints exclaimed, "When the abyss of God's immensity encounters the abyss of our nothingness, God embraces our nothingness!" Abyss calls to abyss in the Silence. Each time we enter into the Silence, we open ourselves to the Beloved in a unique and vulnerable way ... we open the eyes and ears of our heart to the Heart of the universe.

~ from THE WORLD OF SILENCE by Max Picard
The World of Silence
By Max Picard

A Psalm for Today

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from the Beloved comes my salvation.
Holding me with strength and steadfast love,
my faith shall remain firm.

How long will fears set upon me,
holding me in their grip,
like a trembling child,
a dark and lonely grave?
They keep me from living fully my true self.
They take pleasure in imprisoning my soul.
They pretend to comfort,
so long have they dwelled within me,
but truly, they are my enemies.

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
for my hope is from the Beloved.
Holding me with strength and steadfast love.
my faith shall remain firm.
In Silence rests my freedom and my guidance;
God is the Heart of my heart,
my refuge is in Silence.

Trust in God at all times, O people;
pour out your heart to the Beloved;
Silence is a refuge for you.

Once God has spoken,

~ by Nan Merrill inspired by Psalm 62

Martha's prayer

Martha's Prayer: God, you are in every atom of the creation. You are in my feelings, even feelings of not being consciously close to You. You cherish every one of my poor efforts to remember You. Thank you for the inestimable grace of that little tug at the heart that makes me continue to pray in times of dryness.

~ Anonymous

Remain in me

"Remain in Me." It is the Word of God who gives this invitation, expresses this wish. Remain in Me, not for a few moments, a few hours which must pass away, but REAMAIN ... permanently, habitually, Remain in Me, pray in Me, adore in Me, love in Me, suffer in Me, work and act in Me. Remain in Me so that you may be able to encounter anyone or anything; penetrate further still into these depths. This is truly the SOLITUDE into which God wants to allure the soul that the Beloved may speak to it.

~ from ELIZABETH OF THE TRINITY, Vol. 1 by Sr. Giovanna della Croce

The risen Jesus penetrates the entire cosmos

The risen Jesus penetrates the entire cosmos
pervades the whole world,
And makes his presence felt in every human being.
The resurrection is a process that began with Jesus
and will go on until it embraces all creation.
Wherever an authentically human life is growing the world,
Wherever justice is triumphing over the instincts of domination,
Wherever grace is winning out over the power of sin,
in their social life together,
Wherever love is getting the better of selfish interests
and hope is resisting the lure of cynicism or despair,
There the process of resurrection is being turned into reality. 

~ "Way of the Cross - Way of Justice" by Leonardo Boff

The lenten spring shines forth

The lenten spring shines forth,
the flower of repentance!
Let us cleanse ourselves from all evil,
crying out to the Giver of Light:
"Glory to You, O Lover ...
Glory to You, O Friend of mankind!"

~ Anonymous

Inner city contemplative

There is a kind of giving which is receiving, just as there is a kind of loving that feels like being loved. When the mind is concentrated in the heart and some simple words -- like "Jesus, I love you" -- begin to flow naturally with the breath, if grace is there, the mind comes into a sort of natural union with the mind of Christ. The giving and loving are being done in one's own mind instead of one doing them.

The mind of Christ must be a constant flow of love. If we can concentrate our scattered minds on loving, then our minds and His mind are doing the same thing. Eastern philosophers posit that two things which are in the same flow become the same. They cannot remain separate. This inner loving of the Lord is simply opening one's mind to let Love flow through us.

~ Martha Chevalier, Detroit, MI

To be a monk, you must learn to close the door

Driving to Kirkridge for a retreat, I listen. On cassette, made in 1967, Thomas Merton speaks to the novices. He speaks of a Buddhist monk who has come to visit the monastery at Gethsemane. Joyfully, I remember. I remember 1967. I remember Thich Nhat Hanh. Students had organized a multi-faceted event on "the war" at my college. Two Buddhist monks came to be among us. In their orange robes, with agony for their Vietnamese brothers and sisters in heart, they spoke to us. I remember the power of their souls. I don't remember the quiet. My own life at 21 was such a noisy jumble. My own soul -- such a kaleidoscope of passions. Who did I love? What was my call? What were my gifts? Then, always relentlessly the question of "the war" -- how would I respond to the death and violence, the heroism and the compassion, the deceit and the debate? Those questions powered my soul into overdrive. And yes, I liked being in overdrive. Because then I could produce.

~ Rev. Brooks Smith, No. Plainfield, NJ
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