October 1991 (Vol. IV, No. 9)

BLESSINGS and Peace be with you!

One night last autumn

One night last autumn I was strangely drawn to the beauty of a moonlit night; there was a strong urge to become part of the night and its beauty. After finishing my kitchen work, I went outside for a walk in the woods with my little puppy. The powerful beauty of the night stirred in my soul. The large silvery moon cast an eerie glow on my world, darkly engraving towering spruce trees against the lighter spaces between earth and its heavens. As the puppy trotted obediently and silently beside me, our shadowy figures against the ground were as daguerreotypes of days past. Almost without provocation, except by the incredibly soft beauty of the night, I felt the desire to meditate. I sat down on a grassy spot and my puppy sat by my side.

Entrance into meditation was easy and natural, taking me into a quietness of no-thinking and timelessness. When meditation was finished, I slowly opened my eyes to find my little dog sitting directly in front of me, watching me with ears erect. The moon, no longer among the spruce trees, had moved into larger spaces diminishing the contrasting blackness of the ethereal forest and the heavens. I found that I was covered with a heavy layer of shimmering dew. I don't know how long I had been meditating, but it was unimportant. I remained sitting on the dewy grass as a flow of nature swept through me. The moon, the shadows, the dew, my dog, and I were one in the silence of the moonlight night. I was aware of the omniscient feeling of detachment, a detachment from knowing the world through myself. I was one with the flow of the universe.

~ from A MEDITATOR'S DIARY by Jane Hamilton-Merritt

God is breathing through us

God is breathing through us in ways we have yet to discover.
~ Unknown

What we need is here

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

~ Wendell Berry

We are all a hermit

An insight made available to us by the hermit's life is that we are all, each one of us, a hermit; that in the end we know we are a unique creation of God, and alone because of that uniqueness, and that this alone-ness become solitude is the meeting place with God. This is true no matter how social and communal our exterior lives may be. It is within our interior solitude, the solitude and silence that many of us (including hermits) try to shut out with noise and activity of various sorts in order to evade that encounter, that we are called into truth and confrontation with mercy, that we are given what it is we have to give in our encounters with other people who in their own lives are engaged in the same searching.


Green water in the creek is clear

Green water in the creek is clear
Moonlight on Cold Mountain is white
Silently knowing, the spirit is enlightened of itself
Contemplate emptiness, and the world grows more still.

~ Unknown

The richness of fecundity of emptiness

A disciple suddenly discovered the richness of fecundity of emptiness -- the realization that everything is impermanent, unsatisfactory, and empty of self. In this mood of divine emptiness, he sat in joy under a tree, when suddenly flowers began to fall all around him.

And the angels whispered, "But I haven't uttered a word about emptiness."

"True," the angels replied. "You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard of emptiness. This is true emptiness." And the showers of blossoms continued to fall.

~ from TAKING FLIGHT by Anthony de Mello

Music needs the hollowness of the flute

Music needs the hollowness of the flute;
Letters, the blankness of the page;
Light, the void called a window;
Holiness, the absence of the self.

~ from TAKING FLIGHT by Anthony de Mello

To be empty

To be empty is to practice letting go of the fears that possess us and to be more attached to the substance of life, the love in the silence. To be empty is to be available for the riches of the hidden harmony instead of the substitutions our fears would have us settle for. With emptiness as a friend we are brought to a new fullness of quiet, a fullness that comes from our commitment to a life in the silence. We make more room for emptiness as we value the wonder, the grand heights, and quiet recesses of silence. We find more emptiness as we commit ourselves to the mysteries worth beholding, to the inner life that has more space and appreciation to expand in our emptiness.


Do not pray for easy lives

Life is to live and life is to give and talents are
to use for good if you choose.
Do not pray for easy lives.
Pray to be stronger.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers.
Pray for powers equal to your tasks --
then the doing of your work shall be no
miracle but you shall be a miracle.
Every day you shall wonder at yourself ...
at the richness of life which has come
to you by the grace of God. But everyone
needs someone -- knowing that
somewhere someone is thinking of you.

~ Fr. Solanus Casey, Capuchin