out of which the life upon which my body depends
comes in utter abundance.
There is at work in the soil a mystery
by which the death of one seed
is reborn a thousandfold in newness of life.
Trust yourself in the deep, unchartered waters. When there is a storm, it is safer on the open sea.
I abandon all that I think I am, all that I hope to be, all that I believe I possess. I let go of the past, I withdraw my grasping hand from the future, and in the great silence of this moment, I alertly rest my soul.
There must be always remaining in everyone's life some place for the singing of angels, some place for that which in itself is breathlessly beautiful, and by an inherent prerogative, throws all the rest of life into a new and creative relatedness, something that gathers up in itself all the freshets of experience from drab and commonplace areas of living and glows in one bright white light of penetrating beauty and meaning—then passes. The commonplace is shot through with new glory; old burdens become lighter, deep and ancient wounds lose much of their old, old hurting. A crown is placed over our heads that for the rest of our lives we are trying to grow tall enough to wear. Despite all the crassness of life, despite all the hardness of life, despite all the harsh discords of life, life is saved by the singing of angels.
In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.
Open unto me ... light for my darkness.
Open unto me ... courage for my fear.
Open unto me ... hope for my despair.
Open unto me ... peace for my turmoil.
Open unto me ... joy for my sorrow.
Open unto me ... strength for my weakness.
Open unto me ... wisdom for my confusion.
Open unto me ... forgiveness for my sins.
Open unto me ... tenderness for my toughness.
Open unto me ... love for my hates.
Open unto me ... Thy Self for my self.
This poem-prayer comes from Philip J. Bennett of Fostoria, Ohio. An excerpt from his letter gives some sense of his journey, which he generously shares with us: "The past six years have been my time of silence -- a time for prayer, a time for thought, a time to listen to God and man. As I listen to God, I receive hope out of inescapable despair; from man I hear mostly a college of confusion, ignorance, sin, arrogance, and ultimate despair, which drives me once again into the Silence to God for assurance and hope ... You are, therefore, an ember in a smoldering fire to me. You may be enough to rekindle a flame ..."