Madeleine L'Engle

Come light this tiny candle

Come light this tiny candle. Give me a flame of understanding according to Your Word.
~ Madeleine L'Engle

I, who live by words, am wordless when I try my words in prayer

I, who live by words, am wordless when
I try my words in prayer. All language turns
To silence. Prayer will take my words and then
Reveal their emptiness. The stilled voice learns
To hold its peace, to listen with the heart --
to silence that is joy, is adoration.
The self is shattered, all words torn apart
In this strange patterned time of contemplation
That, in time, breaks time, breaks words, breaks me,
And then, in silence, leaves me healed and mended.
I leave, returned to language, for I see
Through words, even when all words are ended.
I, who live by words, am wordless when
I turn me to the Word to pray. Amen.

~ Madeleine L'Engle

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

Stand there

If we are called to be observers and contemplators, we are also called to nourish, to be nourishers, not consumers. Only a nourisher knows when to stop, not to overeat, overindulge, to draw back. To say no. I have a friend who has a coffee mug with the inscription: DON'T JUST DO SOMETHING, STAND THERE ... We often underestimate those who stand there. But I have had to do some new thinking about all this, as I have had to do some new thinking about the sound of the tree falling in the forest. If we are unwilling to practice the gift of contemplation, we are likely to get stuck in one position, and to be fearful of changing it, and so we cling, unable to laugh at ourselves and move on.

~ from "The Possible Human" by Madeleine L'Engle
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