September 1990 (Vol. III, No. 8)

DEAR FRIENDS OF SILENCE ... No need to say how vital is the call for prayer in these perilous days! A friend recently wrote that Friends of Silence reminds her that we are not as helpless or powerless as she was feeling. We can pray. We can radiate God's peace, love and harmony by the silent offering of our selves. And out of the Silence, we can trust that we shall hear what God may be calling us to do.

We walked slowly and quietly through the woods

A recent meeting with nature brought a strong reminder of the beauty, unity and harmony of Creation ... a viewpoint to balance the seeming madness and greed of the present world situation:

We walked slowly and quietly through the woods seeking out the old fallen tree that a raccoon family calls home. After offering our appreciation for their unseen presence, we continued on to a moss covered mound between two trees and sat down to rest -- delighting in the Silence. Within a few minutes, tiny birds began to sing and fly into the branches all around us -- twenty-five to thirty or so chickadees, nuthatches and several wee birds unknown to us. They flitted from branch to branch coming closer and closer -- a symphony of birdsong! One of those timeless moments of perhaps three to five minutes where you hold your breath lest you discover 'tis but a dream. but no, this was real ... pure gift, grace. Then, just as suddenly as they had appeared, they disappeared back again silently into the woods. One's only response could be silent wonder and great gratitude.

~ Nan Merrill

Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all living things

Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all living things which are all part of one another and involved in one another.

~ Thomas Merton

The magnificent space in one's own hear

One who knows distances out to the outermost star is astonished to discover the magnificent space in one's own heart!

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

The gift of tears

Jesus wept over Jerusalem ... tears continue to be an appropriate response to the suffering world today.

The gift of tears is a sign of change, of conversation of heart. The tears that are a gift are a sign of willingness to let go, of desire to let go, and the power of God acting in response to the person's prayer of longing ... The gift of tears is a sign of self-forgetfulness, a willing nakedness, a desire that comes from within to create space for God by letting go conscious pursuit of security, power, attachment ... The way of tears, while not seeking pain for its own sake, is a willingness to be continually confronted not only by painful truth about one's self, but also seeks to know this truth on a universal level of human suffering ... The way of tears quickly proceeds beyond focus on personal self-knowledge to an orientation toward the Other ... choosing to be related to the creation.


Peace is finding the good about people

Peace is finding the good about people and nature and showing how good these people and things really are. It is getting along with the world, no matter how much confrontation there is. We can still find peace ... Once on a school retreat I met a lot of people I didn't know well. In the past I had judged them harshly. Through discussion sessions and prayer together, I got to know these people and found they were so good inside. This taught me how important it is to get to know people, even ones we might not like.

~ Sue P, Grade 11 in IMAGES OF PEACE

Soul is the place of the heart

Soul is the place of the heart. Soul is interiority and stillness and spaciousness where the attention of the heart burns, where constant desire leaps forth like flames ... If we live in the depths, our soul listens with full attention to what is happening, cherishes what is meaningful as would someone about to die who must make every decision rich with the weight of right choice. The soul of a person receives everything, tries to understand or stand under what is given while at the same time realizes that no complete understanding is possible, so it remains awed and mystified. A pure and utterly poor soul receives everything without the resistance of a craving, clinging, self-important ego. Like a Mother Teresa, it opens wide its mouth and receives every blessing so that, in turn, it can transfer those blessings to all others ... The soul, which is utterly personal, trusts with all its might in the Force of the Divine Benevolence. It trusts that the Pneuma Christ is the strongest force at work in the world, mightier than all the most crude and cruel tyrants or any other violent destroyers of human dignity. That Supreme Force has won out. We must but tap into it, and surrender to it. The chief act of the soul is surrender. Surrender emanates from a soul stilled in quiet leisure and struck with holy awe.

~ from SOUL: THE MARIAN PRINCIPLE by Pat McGowan in the Nada Network