Nan Merrill

Let all the earth keep silence

May we each answer the call to let ourselves be defined by God at any given moment, let ourselves be attuned to our essential course of action, without loosing or abandoning any one of our own unique qualities and gifts. May we, like Mary, discover the secret of true silence.

"Let all the earth keep silence before God!"

~ Nan Merrill

July-August 1988 (Vol. I, No. 7)

Blessings to all Friends of Silence in these last two months of the Marian Year! Mary, beautiful model of holy receptivity, knew the secret of true silence ... she treasured all her memories faithfully and pondered them in her heart. She knew that to live in faith means to live in silence. Her very being is in unity with the hiddeness of a great Silence. Yet to know this Silence, she must depend on her own inner silence ... her own mystery. Mary shows us that to reverence that Silence is to be ever expectant to the divine Word welling up from within us. Blessed are those who await in faith for the Word to be dropped into the silence of their own well.

June 1988 (Vol. I, No. 6)

Summer greetings to all friends of Silence! May each one of you enjoy a time of recreation ... re-creation ... this season both outwardly and inwardly. And, what season of Silence are you experiencing in your prayer life? Winter Solstice sometimes seems like a deep abyss where the Word dwells in us unspoken ... Spring Silence brings an expectancy, an active waiting, for the Word in us ... in Summer Silence, the Word wells up -- growing in us, challenging us, changing us, nurturing us into new life, into new creations ... while Autumn Silence seems the time to reap the harvest of the Word in us, to reflect on the fruits the Word has borne. It seems good to share our reflections and experiences of the Silence that we might come to know one another and grow in Silence together.

May 1988 (Vol. I, No. 5)

Happy Pentecost season to all friends of Silence! And what gift of the Holy Spirit are you praying to receive over the next thirty weeks -- piety ... counsel ... courage ... fear of the Lord ... knowledge ... understanding ... or, wisdom? There is so much that the Spirit wants to give to us in order that we might die to our inner fears, that we might give birth to our hidden selves which have not yet risen. Our homes, our cities, our countries, our world are in such need of these gifts today. And all that is given to us is for us to use to enrich one another ... to enrich all of creation.

Just as the seed given to Mary by the Holy Spirit brought forth the spiritual birth of Love to our world, the Holy Spirit in every moment awaits our fiat, our total YES to God's word in us, so that the inner womb of our hearts may receive the seed and give birth to that same Love.

April 1988 (Vol. I, No. 4)

Greetings to friend of Silence around the world -- and, welcome to all those who have recently indicated their interest in and commitment to allowing enough silence in their lives for the Word to be heard!

A Psalm for Today

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from the Beloved comes my salvation.
Holding me with strength and steadfast love,
my faith shall remain firm.

How long will fears set upon me,
holding me in their grip,
like a trembling child,
a dark and lonely grave?
They keep me from living fully my true self.
They take pleasure in imprisoning my soul.
They pretend to comfort,
so long have they dwelled within me,
but truly, they are my enemies.

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
for my hope is from the Beloved.
Holding me with strength and steadfast love.
my faith shall remain firm.
In Silence rests my freedom and my guidance;
God is the Heart of my heart,
my refuge is in Silence.

Trust in God at all times, O people;
pour out your heart to the Beloved;
Silence is a refuge for you.

Once God has spoken,

~ by Nan Merrill inspired by Psalm 62

March 1988 (Vol. I, No. 3)

HAPPY EASTER, friends! May we pray in the Silence, that in this glorious season of Resurrection -- of new life and new beginnings -- there may be created a new heart in our homes, our cities, our countries, our world ... that all peoples and nations will come to recognize how we complement one another, how we complete one another, how we are all One in the Beloved's heart.

February 1988 (Vol. I, No. 2)

Greetings to you, friends, as we enter into the Lenten season -- the time when in the Silence we are invited to remember our story ... to contemplate the life of Jesus -- the deepest mysteries and most profound truths, which He fulfilled on the Cross ... to commune with God as we reflect, pray, fast, repent of our own shortcomings so that we may come more fully into communion/community with all people -- and, especially with those we see as enemies.

As Friends of Silence, we are united in a common bond-of-being with men and women of every country ... of every faith, creed, color. For in the Silence we are One in God. In recognition of our Oneness, perhaps we could hold this excerpt from the prayer-poem "Way of the Cross - Way of Justice" by Leonardo Boff together in our hearts as we move toward Easter and resurrection:

January 1988 (Vol. I, No. 1)

Three years ago this week, the St. Agnes Contemplative Community was initiated with an afternoon of prayer, adoration and contemplation. Since then, over sixty different individuals from various faiths have participated on the fourth Sunday of each month just to be together with Jesus in prayer over our parish and city. And as we are gathered together in prayer, we are in the company of all those who live contemplatively around the world -- from the Community of Transfiguration in Scotland to Focus Hope in Ireland ... from the Jerusalem community in France to the Little Brothers and Sisters of the Eucharist in Cleveland. We are in company with all those Friends of Silence in every country -- from Africa to Australia ... from Central and South America to Russia ... from Maine to Santa Fe ...

Our little community

Our little community of the FRIENDS OF SILENCE is an expression of the desire to have all our relations, all of our activity in the world, pass THROUGH Eternity. If we are to participate in bringing the Blessed Community to its completion, we must be still and know God in our inner beings. We invite anyone who shares this dream, this hope, to COME and SEE ... to COME and BE with us each month.

This is our beginning. We welcome your sharings and responses. Please send them by the 15th of each month to Nan at St. Agnes Church.

~ Nan Merrill
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