January 1993 (Vol. VI, No. 1)

GREETINGS and BLESSINGS to you in this new year ... a good time to reflect on where we have been in our hearts and the road we would aim to travel in these coming months ... and, perhaps, the time for a new prayer of the heart.

You who live within my heart

You who live within my heart,
Awaken me to the immensity of your spirit,
To the experience of your living presence!
Deliver me from the bonds of desire,
From the slavery of small aims,
From the prison of fear and ignorance,
From the delusion of egohood!

Enlighten me with the light of your wisdom,
Suffuse me with the incandescence of your love,
Which includes and embraces the darkness,
Like the light that surrounds the dark core of the flame,
Like the love of a mother that surrounds
The growing life in the darkness of her womb,
Like the earth protecting the tender germ of the seed.

Let me be the seed of your living light!
Give me the strength to burst the sheath of selfhood,
And like the seed that dies in order to be reborn,
Let me fearlessly go through the portals of death,
So that I may awaken to the greater life:

The all-embracing life of your love,
The all-embracing love of your wisdom.

~ from THE WAY OF THE WHITE CLOUDS by Govinda with thanks to Edith Newcomb

Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God

And I said to the one who stood at the gate of the year: "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown." The reply: "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That will be to you better than light, and safer than a known way."

~ from SMOKING FLAX by Louise Haskins

Gift to be simple

'Tis a gift to be simple,
'Tis a gift to be free ...

~ from a Shaker Hymn

Simplicity is a grace given to us by God

Simplicity is a grace given to us by God ... a gift to be graciously received. Simplicity is also a discipline, which involves a consciously chosen course of action in both group and individual life. What we do does not give us simplicity, but it does put us in the place where we can receive it. It sets our lives before God in such a way that we are open to the grace of simplicity. Simplicity and solitude walk hand in hand along with silence. Solitude is the inward unity that frees us from the need for acclaim and approval. Through it we are enabled to be genuinely alone, for the fear of obscurity is gone; and, we are enabled to be genuinely with others, for they no longer control us. The grace of solitude must be rooted deep within if we are to know simplicity of heart.

~ from FREEDOM OF SIMPLICITY by Richard J. Foster

Holy simplicity

I recommend to you holy simplicity.
~ Francis de Sales

We have discovered simplicity

In authentic contemplation, we discover within ourselves the hidden living and loving Companion Presence. We need to go to the solitude and silence of the wilderness, where God calls us by name, to a deeper place. This is where we are filled with the peace that the world cannot give and which the world cannot take from us. We discover there that we have and always shall be in God. It is the spacious place of the soul. To live there is finally to be at home. God is also at home there, and when we return, we have discovered simplicity.

~ from SIMPLICITY: THE ART OF LIVING by Richard Rohr

The life of the simple

The spiritually mature affirm the value of hiddenness for those who wish to grow in love. To experience the hidden loving Companion Presence brings the greatest joy. This is the life of the simple ... the life of everyday. In the silent, hidden growth from acorn to oak can be seen the mystery and fulness of life. A seed is planted and forgotten. And suddenly one day the plant is there. Only in such hiddeness do miracles of growth occur. The same is true for the spiritual life. The Spirit plants the seed of divine union within the soul. For years this seed may be forgotten. Then one day, imperceptibly yet with determination, it will start to grow. Growth is such a quiet thing.

~ from APPROACHING THE SACRED by Susan Annette Muto

The center of our union with God

The center of our union with God is on a deeper level than mind or intellect. It is in the very center of existence, which could be called the will-to-God. This will is a silent faculty; it does not think, speak, remember or form images ... To know the will of God, we have only to remain silent, remain in the still center which, automatically, without a single thought, is the present acceptance of the present moment, and what we are at the moment ... The secret of the unitive life is the graced ability to live in this passive silence of our will running into God's will, a silence which is always here and now, and always one with God. The truest communication with God is absolute, total silence; there is not a single word in existence that can convey this communication.

~ from THE PATH TO NO-SELF: LIFE AT THE CENTER by Bernadette Roberts with thanks to Maureen McAullif

Silence is the strength of our interior life

Silence is the strength of our interior life. If we fill our lives with silence, then we live in hope.

~ Thomas Merton with thanks to Susan Bower

My name is not I Was

I was regretting the past and fearing the future. Suddenly You were speaking:

"My name is I am." You paused. I waited.

You continued. "When you live in the past, with its mistakes and regrets, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not I Was." 

"When you live in the future, with its problems and fears, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not I Will Be."

"When you live in this moment, it is not hard. I am here."

"My name is I Am."

~ Helen Mallicoat

May we listen for what cannot be heard

May we listen for what cannot be heard and search for what cannot be seen.
~ Unknown