June1990 (Vol. III, No. 6)

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

Silence and solitude

HEARTFELT GREETINGS to you all in this month so filled with various celebrations of new life! And what hopeful signs of new birth can be seen even amidst the ignorance of our times: the walls in Europe tumbling down ... Mandala released ... Earth day's raising of consciousness ... free elections here and there. Fr. Richard Rohr in BREATHING UNDER WATER encourages us to follow the path of Jesus who is "a social critic of the illusions and games of society, while at the same time healing, loving and caring for the individual ... If I could encourage you toward one spiritual discipline it would be SILENCE and SOLITUDE."
~ from BREATHING UNDER WATER by Richard Rohr
Breathing Under Water
By Richard Rohr

The silence of the spirit

There is a silence of the tongue, there is a silence of the whole body, there is a silence of the soul, there is a the silence of the mind, and there is the silence of the spirit. The silence of the tongue is merely when it is not incited to angry speech or to stirring up trouble; the silence of the soul is when there are no ugly thoughts bursting forth within it; the silence of the mind is when it is not reflecting on any harmful knowledge or wisdom; the silence of the spirit is when the mind ceases even from stirrings caused by created spiritual beings and all its movements are stirred solely by Being, at the wondrous awe of the silence which surrounds Being. In this state it is truly silent, aware that the silence which is upon it is itself silent.

~ from THE SYRIAC FATHERS ON PRAYER AND THE SPIRITUAL LIFE by Sebastian Brock with gratitude to Fr. Thomas Hopko

Interior silence

It is absurd to talk about interior silence when there is no exterior silence.

~ from THE SIGN OF JONAS by Thomas Merton
The Sign of Jonas
By Thomas Merton

In both marriage and the single life

In both marriage and the single life, the celibate moment may be experienced intensely when we discover in each other an ultimate inner solitude that only the transforming presence of God can penetrate. In celibate concern we do what we can to foster in one another's mutual transformation. We stand in awe before the unspeakable mystery of any person's brief life on earth. We choose to love and go on loving until we pass over in silence to the bliss of eternity.

~ from COMMITMENT: KEY TO CHRISTIAN MATURITY by Susan Muto and Adrian Van Kaam
Commitment: Key to Christian Maturity
By Susan Muto, Adrian Van Kaam

The way to God, for us, passes through our neighbor

If we have been called to unity, the way to God, for us, passes through our neighbor. It is through this passage, which may sometimes be as dim and dark as a tunnel, that one comes to the light. This is the mysterious path God invites us to take. Each day there are opportunities to perfect this art, a tiring one at times and exhausting, but always wonderful too, vital and fertile, the art of "making ourselves one" with other people: the art of loving.

~ from UNITY AND JESUS FORSAKEN by Chiara Lubich

The first mystery is silence

... When one enters the mystery of God, the first mystery is silence. When one loves another, silence is absolutely necessary. Long before lovers can speak openly of their love, they speak by silence, a deep silence, especially when it deals with God. It is by entering the mystery of silence that slowly everyone becomes like our Beloved.

~ from DOUBTS, LONELINESS, REJECTION by Catherine de Hueck Doherty
Doubts, Loneliness, Rejection
By Catherine De Hueck Doherty

In the crucible of silence

In the crucible of silence you will learn holiness, since silence is the door to humility, contemplation and mercy.

~ Jerusalem Rule of Life

A marriage is also a meeting place with God

The whispers of the Spirit are not only heard in holy places: they address obedient people in bedrooms, kitchens, dens, backyard and basements, provided they have ears to hear, eyes to see, and religious imaginations to interpret what is going on. Over the years, if a marriage is also a meeting place with God, spouses refine their radar, as it were, for what the Spirit may communicate through moments as common as tucking a child in bed or as rare as buying a new car or winning the lottery. The Holy Spirit, whose grace is everywhere, can use any and all events as channels of love in one's heart, of light to one's mind.

~ from COMMITMENT: DISCOVERING GOD THROUGH FAITHFULNESS TO OUR DAILY COMMITMENTS by Susan Muto and Adrian Van Kaam
Commitment: Key to Christian Maturity
By Susan Muto, Adrian Van Kaam

Our love has been anything but perfect

Our love has been anything but perfect and anything but static. Inevitably there have been times when one of us has outrun the other and has had to wait patiently for the other to catch up. There have been times when we have misunderstood each other, demanded too much of each other, been insensitive to the other's needs. I do not believe there is any marriage where this does not happen. The growth of love is not a straight line, but a series of hills and valleys. I suspect that in every good marriage there are times when love seems to be over. Sometimes these desert lines are simply the only way to the next oasis, which is far more lush and beautiful after the desert crossing than it could possibly have been without it.

~ from TWO-PART INVENTION by Madeleine L'Engle