Friends of Silence: June 2012

Vol. XXV, No. 6

"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"

Warm Greetings, dear Friends of Silence!

What does it mean to offer blessing to one another? In To Bless the Space Between Us, John O'Donohue writes that it would be very lonely to live in a world without blessing. We cannot exist alone; we need others, to talk with, walk with, to offer companionship, comfort and support at times, to laugh with, to cry with. All of us need intimacy, a sense of belonging, of being valued. A blessing can evoke all of those things. As O'Donohue so beautifully writes, a blessing "touches that tender membrane where the human heart cries out to its divine ground. . . . Regardless of our differences in religion, language, or concept, there is no heart that is without this inner divine reference." So offering a blessing brings us closer to the sacred in each other, and closer to the Divine Ground of our being. May we remember to offer and to be blessings to one another!

Bless a thing and it will bless you. . . . If you bless a situation, it has no power to hurt you, and even if it is troublesome for a time, it will gradually fade out if you sincerely bless it.

~ Emmett Fox

God's blessing be yours,
And well may it befall you;
Christ's blessing be yours
And well be you entreated;
Spirit's blessing be yours,
And well spend you your lives,
Each day that you rise up,
Each night that you lie down.

~ Celtic Blessing from CARMENA GADELICA by Alexander Carmichael

The word blessing evokes a sense of warmth and protection; it suggests that no life is alone or unreachable. Each life is clothed in raiment of spirit that secretly links it to everything else. Though suffering and chaos befall us, they can never quench that inner light of providence. . . . A blessing is not a sentiment or a question; it is a gracious invocation where the human heart pleads with the divine heart. . . . When a blessing is invoked, it changes the atmosphere. Some of the plenitude flows into our hearts from the invisible neighborhood of loving kindness. In the light and reverence of blessing, a person or situation becomes illuminated in a completely new way. In a dead wall a new window opens, in dense darkness a path starts to glimmer, and into a broken heart healing falls like morning dew. It is ironic that so often we continue to live like paupers though our inheritance of spirit is so vast. The quiet eternal that dwells in our souls is silent and subtle; in the activity of blessing it emerges to embrace and nurture us. Let us begin to learn how to bless one another. Whenever you give a blessing, a blessing returns to enfold you.


Blessing is an attitude toward all of life, transcending and moving beyond words. When family and friends gather around a table to break bread together, this is a blessing. When we harden our hearts against anyone, this is a cursing.

~ from THE IRRATIONAL SEASON by Madeleine L'Engle

O God,
creator of our land, . . .
You have also pulled other continents
out of the sea.
What a wonderful world you have made
out of wet mud,
and what beautiful men and women! . . .
The grace of your creation is like a cool day
between rainy seasons. . . .
Bless us.
Bless our land and people.
Bless our forests . . .
Bless our fields . . .
Bless the waters . . .
Be with us in our countries and in all Africa,
and in the whole world.
Prepare us for the service that we should render.

~ Ashanti Prayer Blessing

May the sun bring you new energy every day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world
and know its beauty all the days of your life.

~ Apache Blessing

May the blessings of love be upon you
May its peace abide with you
May its essence illuminate your heart
Now and forever more...

~ Sufi Blessing of Love and Peace

Go under Mercy; Sleep under the Protection.

~ from LEWIS AND HIS FRIENDS by C.S. Lewis

The more alert we become to the blessings that flow into us from everything we touch, the more our own touch will bring blessing.

~ Br. David Stendl-Rast

Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.

~ Og Mandino

May you always have work for your hands to do,
May your pockets hold always a coin or two,
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

~ Irish Blessing

However many blessings we expect from God, God's infinite grace will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts.

~ John Calvin

There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. . . . It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility, and our hearts to love life. Without this subtle quickening our days would be empty and wearisome, and no horizon would ever awaken our longing. Our passion for life is quietly sustained from somewhere in us that is wedded to the energy and excitement of life. This shy inner light is what enables us to recognize and receive our very presence here as blessing. We enter the world as strangers who all at once become heirs to a harvest of memory, spirit, and dream that has long preceded us and will now enfold, nourish, and sustain us. The gift of the world is our first blessing.


PRAYING WITH THE PSALMS, a Friends of Silence Retreat, July 12 - 15, 2012

"One thing have I asked of Love, that I shall ever seek: that I might dwell in the Heart of Love all the days of my life, to behold the Beauty of my Beloved, and to know Love's Plan" (from psalm 27 of Nan Merrill's Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness). Nan's soul-stirring renderings of the Psalms published in 1996 continue to draw many hearts into the Heart of Love, awakening us to our true nature and purpose. Through all of life's joys and challenges, we are invited to "live in a spirit of cooperation, cocreation, and companionship with the Beloved." Wherever you are, come and be nourished by the beauty and mystery of the psalms, Silence, mountain wilderness, and loving community. Thursday dinner - Sunday lunch.

For more information, please see our website,, email, telephone 304-724-1069, or write FOS Retreat Ministry, c/o Lindsay McLaughlin, 120 Jubilee Lane, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425. Scholarship assistance is available.