God is the friend of silence

And, from Mother Teresa:

God is the friend of silence. We need to find God
But we cannot find God in noise, in excitement.

See how nature, the trees, the flowers, the grass
Grow in deep silence ... the stars, the moon and the sun
Move in silence ...

The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer
Is faith. The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service ...
(The fruit of service is peace.)

~ from LOVE: A FRUIT ALWAYS IN GOOD SEASON by Mother Teresa with thanks to Alice Howell


Courage has roots. She sleeps on a futon on the floor and lives close to the ground. Courage looks you straight in the eye. She is not impressed with powertrippers, and she knows first aid. Courage is not afraid to weep, and she is not afraid to pray, even when she is not sure who she is praying to. When Courage walks, it is clear that she has made the journey from loneliness to solitude. The people who told me she is stern were not lying; they just forgot to mention that she is kind.

~ from THE BOOK OF QUALITIES by J. Ruth Gendler with thanks to Gay Grissom

As a solitary bird

As a solitary bird
I am fond of solitude
Silently I direct my flight
toward a transcendent horizon
Freed and beauty bound
my heart sings a love song
In the still point of my peace-center
my life is a song of love
in unison with the divine love song
that calls forth the world
in sacred harmony.

~ Sr. Iva Halbur

The guest is sacred

What has always struck me about the way in which the desert dwellers receive friends is their ability to put all activity to one side. You, the guest, become the focal point, and they range themselves round you in a circle. If the owner of the tent has planned to go on a journey, he puts it off: now he must concern himself with you. If the wife was thinking of doing the laundry, she piles it all up on one side: now she must see about serving you. The guest is sacred: everything else is less important.

For the time being you are the one who matters: time is less important. And if the friend, who has left one corner of the world in order to search you out and spend a bit of time with you, has these rights, surely God has the same right, the one who came from heaven itself to find you; who took flesh in order to become visible for you; who became the Eucharist in order to gain entrance to your tent and stay there as long as possible.

~ from IN SEARCH OF THE BEYOND by Carlo Carretto

I said to my soul, be still

I said to my soul, be still
and wait without hope,
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing;
wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing;
there is yet faith,
But the faith and love and hope
are all in the waiting;
Wait without thought,
for you are not ready for thought;
So the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing.

~ "East Coker" by T.S. Eliot


For, when all is said and done, each of us, and in the deepest part of our self, has to learn to accept our own essential solitude. In each of our hearts, there is a wound -- the wound of our own loneliness which hurts at moments of setback and can be even more painful at the time of death. And all suffering, sadness and depression is a foretaste of that death, a manifestation of our deep wound which is part of the human condition. Because our hearts thirst for the infinite, they will never be satisfied with the limitations which are always a sign of death, a manifestation of our deep wound which is part of the human condition. Because our hearts thirst for the infinite, they will never be satisfied with the limitations which are always a sign of death. We can touch that infinite in art, music, poetry and silence. We can experience moments of communion and love, of prayer and ecstasy -- yet, they are only moments.

~ from COMMUNITY & GROWTH by Jean Vanier

Dwelling in the presence

If there is any focus that the spiritual leader of the future will need, it is the discipline of dwelling in the presence of the One who keeps asking us, "Do you love me? Do you love me?" It is the discipline of contemplative prayer. Through contemplative prayer we can keep ourselves from becoming strangers to our own and God's heart. Contemplative prayer keeps us home, rooted and safe, even when we are on the road, moving from place to place, and often surrounded by sounds of violence and war. Contemplative prayer deepens in us the knowledge that we are already free, that we have already found a place to dwell, that we already belong to God, even though everything and everyone around us keep suggesting the opposite.

~ from IN THE NAME OF JESUS by Henri Nouwen


CONTEMPLATIVES -- whether in monastic community or out in the marketplace -- not only help one another to grow grain and produce the bread of the body, but also bring one another to the spiritual ovens of solitude from which they are nourished with the hot, fresh Bread of the Spirit.

They not only press the grapes of their vineyards into material wine, but they lead one another to the eternal fountains of silence in which they drink the living waters and the rich wine of the Holy Spirit ... Thus, the Word of God comes silently into their midst, and eats and drinks with them.

~ from THE SILENT LIFE by Thomas Merton

Giving yourself up to love is falling

Giving yourself up to love is falling, with complete abandon, into the hands of the living God. This is the deep, interior prayer for which we have been striving. Here we must let go our dependency on thoughts, words, and images. We go into the beautiful darkness. We stop struggling. We let the angels carry us. We let go even of our yearning for God. Nothing is left except being in God. What could I say that would matter when I am in the heart of God? Contemplation! It is like going to heaven for a while.



Mystical prayer is essentially an experience of unity with God and God's creation. Kything is a gateway to mystical experience and can foster deeper prayer states. When you kythe you transcend separateness without losing your identity. When you kythe you enter into a state of unconditional love and spiritual union.

As a hasidic master once wrote about experiencing this spiritual energy while kything with nature:

When you walk across the fields with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones, and all the growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you.

~ from KYTHING: THE ART OF SPIRITUAL PRESENCE by Louis Savary and Patricia Berne
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