Psalm 23

Psalm 23

O my Beloved, you are my shepherd,
I shall not want;
You bring me to green pastures for rest
and lead me beside still waters
renewing my spirit,
You restore my soul.
You lead me in the path of goodness
to follow Love’s way.

Even though I walk through the
valley of the shadow and of death,
I am not afraid;
For You are ever with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they guide me,
they give me strength and comfort.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of all my fears;
you bless me with oil,
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy will
follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the heart
of the Beloved

Blessed are you who walk with goodness

Blessed are you
who walk with goodness,
who stand for the right,
who live in truth. . . .
You are like an acorn planted
in fertile soil
that grows into a mighty oak.
Your life blesses others,
you radiate love;
joy delights your heart.

Listen deeply to others

Listen deeply to others and encourage
their aspirations
by word, by deed, or in deep silence.
Live in a way that draws peace, beauty,
harmony, and justice
toward others and all of creation.
Become an ambassador of peace
through loving service.

The day I saw all things in God and God in all things

As Mechtild of Magdeburg said, "The day of my spiritual awakening was the day I saw -- and knew I saw -- all things in God and God in all things."Everything else suddenly fell into perspective in the light of this awareness.In time, I was to discover that once Life had found me, once Love had taken me by the hand, there was no way I could stop the inner pilgrimage.. . .There was no turning back. . . . To choose Life with deep conviction and commitment is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, our families, our global neighbors, as well as the planet and ourselves.

Awakening is an ongoing journey

Awakening is an ongoing journey.To begin to see and to turn our lives around is only the beginning. . . . This road humbles us and gives us strength to repent, to ask forgiveness, to simplify and discard all that is not Life-giving, and to abandon ourselves into Love’s hands. . . .

I’ve learned to love and to trust the Mystery not needing to know the future.I no longer take Grace for granted -- it is pure gift. . . . My essential course of action is simply to be in the Eternal Now, ready to follow the small, still voice heard in the Silence.

February 2010 (Vol. XXIII, No. 2)

Warm greetings, dear friends, on a cold winter's day!  The sun sparkles on a field of snow, dazzling us with a sudden awareness of the miracles Love wrought in creating our beautiful world.  Perhaps one of the greatest of these miracles is that a spark of the Great Love also exists in every one of us.  The seeds of Love are planted in our hearts that we may blanket the world with fields of love.  We have only to open our hearts to enable that love to grow and bloom and spread across our world.  Look deeply into your own heart as you sit within the silence . . . find the love there, and as the husk falls away from the seed, allowing it to grow and bloom, allow any hardness of heart to dissolve into the flame of Love.  Love can change the world!

January 2010 (Vol. XXIII, No. 1)

New Year's Greetings, dear friends of silence!  As we move through the winter season, let us, like the earth, lie fallow for a while, allowing unseen and as yet unknown life to gestate within our depths.  With deep humility, let us reflect in the silence upon what it means to surrender to the Divine Spark that resides in each of us and allow that creative Life Force to do with us what it will.  It is a gift of this quieter season that we can be released from our ego-driven lives and draw closer to the source of Love in the silent darkness.  Let us surrender ourselves in humble recognition that we are called, through faith, simply to be open and accepting; to listen, without expectations, to whatever is coming to birth within us.  We are called to a humble openness, to walk the way of goodness with the comfort of Love, at one with all humanity and with our earth.  May we surrender to the call, whatever it may be, as it comes to each of us.

Humility as a virtue has to do with knowing ourselves as human, as earthy, as the clay into which the divine breath has been breathed . . .It is to live the paradox of our blessed and broken natures, to know that matter matters, that flesh carries spirit, that life is discovered at the precise meeting place of the human and the divine.To practice humility is to live deeply into this truth, to lift oneself to the mountain top of prayer and aspiration and to embrace the lowly valley of our own abjection.

~ from "Little Things" by Wendy M. Wright in Weavings, Jan-Feb 2003
Wendy M. Wright Weavings humility

We are striving for humility in our lives, to draw closer to God . . .It is not an accident that the humus, or the soil, comes from the same word.It's the base from which everything grows.Gardening and the spiritual life go together.

~ from MONASTIC GARDENS by Mick Hales
Mick Hales Monastic Gardens humility

Humble amazement is a prerequisite for
coming to know God.

~ by Amar Jyoti
Amar Jyoti humility

Humility is not a matter of beating ourselves up. It is not a question of judging ourselves as stupid or sinful, as hopeless and bad. Who are we to judge these things? Humility, it seems, is the gentle acceptance of that most tender place inside ourselves that throbs with the pain of separation from the Beloved. It is that deep knowingness that identification with the false self brings nothing but further separation. It is an initially reluctant dropping down into the emptiness and an ultimate experience of peace when we stop doing and rediscover simple being . . . when we heed the call to cease creating and remember we are created.

~ from DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL by Mirabai Starr
Marabai Staff Dark Night Of The Soul humility Buy on Amazon

The word "humility" (also "human") is derived from the Latin "humus," meaning "the soil." Perhaps this is not simply because it entails stooping and returning to earthly origins, but also because, as we are rooted in this earth of everyday life, we find in it all the vitality and fertility unnoticed by people who mostly tramp on across the surface, drawn by distant landscapes.

~ from INEVITABLE GRACE by Piero Ferrucci
Piero Ferrucci Inevitable Grace humility

Humility is an inner quality that is ranked as the primary prerequisite for holiness. Without humility, we might be too proud to acknowledge our weaknesses, and so we wouldn't be inclined to work to make the necessary inner changes. . . . To strengthen the soul-trait of humility, walk the mind slowly and methodically along the full journey of life, from the fertilization of the egg all the way through death and decay. It engenders great appreciation for the wisdom of the divine and fosters a healthy and genuine sense of humility and gratitude for all we have received.

~ from CLIMBING JACOB'S LADDER by Alan Morinis
Alan Morinis Climbing Jacob's Ladder humility Buy on Amazon

Humility in itself is naught else but a true knowing and feeling of ourselves as we are.

The Cloud Of Unknowing humility

The heights of the spirit can only be climbed by passing through the portals of humility. You can only acquire right knowledge when you have learnt to esteem it.

Rudolf Steiner Knowledge Of The Higher Worlds And Its Attainment humility

We don't talk much about humility in AA, almost never use the word. Maybe that is because, as the spiritual adage has it, if you think you are humble, you are not. But I see enough of freedom, serenity, healing, and unselfishness around me to think it must be hiding there somewhere.

~ from SEEDS OF GRACE by S. Molly Monahan
S. Molly Monahan Seeds Of Grace humility Buy on Amazon

I try to be like water. Water goes to the humblest, lowest places and provides moisture. My place in the world is pinpoint small, but it goes down deep. The residents of this bleak, barren, and disjointed community have taught me that there can be profound wisdom, wonder, and love in a place of almost total despair. Our neighborhood may be nothing like the pristine hallways of a gallery, but we do art here. Our art holds our feelings, the feeling that we care deeply -- like water, like life.

~ from Lily Yeh in "The Other Side," July/August 2004
Lily Yeh The Other Side humility

Once you grasp the nature of unconditional love, you realize there is a higher order of complexity that is unfolding within human consciousness as a whole. Then you receive the next gift of the angel light -- humility, perhaps the hardest gift to accept. In the angel light, there is no room for self-importance -- it is, in fact, a major obstacle. Instead, it is necessary to surrender all our false pride. Humility ultimately teaches us that all life is sacred -- a gift of the divine union of form and the formless.

~ from RETURN OF THE CHILDREN OF LIGHT by Judith Bluestone Polich
Judith Bluestone Polich Return Of The Children Of Light humility

Humility is knowing that God is the sole doer.

~ by Jerry Thomas
Jerry Thomas humility

Cara Mia, if that man has not separated you from the love of God, and he has not, then the only thing keeping hate of him alive is your thought about him. Only your pride keeps him in your memory. Dissolve your pride, and you dissolve your hate. To be still possessed of the hate that pain made is not intelligent. Take care. It can sap your energy to what you know to be your purpose. By being troubled about it, you have already discovered it to be unworthy of your grander aims, and that is the beginning of humility.

~ from THE PASSION OF ARTEMISIA by Susan Vreeland
Susan Vreeland The Passion Of Artemisia humility

A humble spirit does not ask for more
than it needs, and what it needs,
the Universe provides.

~ by Gary Zukav
Gary Zukav humility

A saint is a person who practices the keystone human virtue of humility. Humility in the face of wealth and plenty, humility in the face of hatred and violence, humility in the face of strength, humility in the face of your own genius or lack of it, humility in the face of another's humility, humility in the face of love and beauty, humility in the face of pain and death. Saints are driven to humbling themselves before all the splendor and horror of the world because they perceive there to be something divine in it pulsing and alive beneath the hard dead surface of material things -- greater and purer than they are.

~ from FATHER JOE by Tony Hendra
Tony Hendra Father Joe humility Buy on Amazon

December 2009 (Vol. XXII, No. 11)

"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"

Winter Greetings, dear friends, and deep peace of the season's first silent snowfall to each of you. As we naturally turn inward in response to the more reflective nature of the season, may we find there reminders that we can carry the peace of this slower, quieter season within us to every place and every time. For peace, fostered by silent communion with the Love that ever accompanies us, is not confined to any outward season or circumstance. Rather, it is born of our constant awareness of and gratitude for the companioning Presence that accompanies us all the days of our lives. May our innate longing for peace foster a growing ability to nurture it within ourselves and each other by turning within in silence. Discover the "still point" of peace within your sacred heart-space and listen for the Word to be heard.

Without doing anything, things can sometimes go more smoothly just because of our peaceful presence. In a small boat when a storm comes, if one person remains solid and calm, others will not panic and the boat is more likely to stay afloat.

~ from LOVE IN ACTION by Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh Love In Action peace

To the degree that each of us is dedicated to wanting there to be peace in the world, then we have to take responsibility when our own hearts and minds harden and close. We have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid, to find the soft spot and play with it. We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility. That's the true practice of peace.

Pema Chodron Practicing Peace In Times Of War peace

I asked for peace
You offered your presence.
I asked for hope
You came to my side.
I asked for joy
You lit my journey.
I asked for love
You gave me yourself.

~ from THE GLORY OF LIGHT by David Adam
David Adam The Glory Of Light peace

Peace is not something you can force on anything or anyone... . much less upon one's own mind. It's like trying to quiet the ocean by pressing upon the waves. Sanity lies in somehow opening to the chaos, allowing anxiety, moving deeply into the tumult, diving into the waves, where underneath, within, peace simply is.

~ from THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL by Gerald May
Gerald May The Dark Night Of The Soul peace

Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it toward others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will be in our troubled world.

~ from AN INTERRUPTED LIFE by Etty Hillsum, thanks to Liz Stewart
Etty Hillsum An Interrupted Life peace Buy on Amazon

Life from the Center is a life of unhurried peace and power. It is serene and radiant. It takes no time, but it occupies all our time, making our life programs new and overcoming. We need not get frantic. Love is at the helm. And when our little day is done, we lie down quietly in peace, for all is well.

~ from A TESTAMENT OF DEVOTION by Thomas Kelly
Thomas Kelly A Testament Of Devotion peace Buy on Amazon

To be at peace with myself means to accept myself the way I am; to reduce the split that is created by the image of what I would like to be and who I really am; to be patient with myself, especially in regard to what conflicts with my idealized self.

~ Anselm Grun
Anselm Grun peace

Lead me from death to Life
from falsehood to Truth.
Lead me from despair to Hope,
from fear to Trust.
Lead me from hate to Love,
from war to Peace.
Let Peace fill our hearts,
our world, our universe.

~ from the World Peace Prayer
World Peace Prayer peace

But above all we should understand that there can never be peace between nations until it is known that true peace is within our very souls.

~ Black Elk
Black Elk peace

The peace in the sky, the peace in mid-air,
the peace on the earth, the peace in the waters,
the peace in the plants, the peace in the forest trees,
the peace in the angels, the peace in the Beloved,
the peace in all things
the peace in peace ...
May that peace come to me!

~ from EVERY EYE BEHOLDS YOU, edited by Thomas J Craughwell
Thomas J Craughwell Every Eye Beholds You peace Buy on Amazon

This is the way of peace:
Overcome evil with Goodness,
falsehood with Truth,
and hatred with Love.

~ Peace Pilgrim
Peace Pilgrim peace Buy on Amazon

My life, when I look back, has not been easy. One thing I learned was that compassion, a sense of caring, thinking about others' welfare, that sort of mental attitude brings me inner peace.

~ 14th Dalai Lama
14th Dalai Lama peace

The grandmothers agree that personal healing is the essential first step toward healing the world. We need to strive for the peace of mind that has no price before we can realize peace on the planet, they say... . Deep within our hearts is where the peace and the healing will start. Surrender to Spirit. Be silent and listen to the guidance there.

Carol Schaefer Grandmothers Counsel The World peace

Over all the mountaintops is peace,
In all the treetops, scarcely a breath;
The little birds in the forest are silent.
Wait then; you, too, will have peace.

~ Goethe
Goethe peace

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

~ Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa peace

Love is our shared truth.
Peace is our eternal hope.

~ Museum of World Religions, Taiwan
Taiwan, Museum Of World Religions peace

A peacemaker prays. Prayer is the beginning and the end, the source and the fruit, the core and the content, the basis and the goal for all peacemaking. I say this without apology, because it allows me to go straight to the heart of the matter, which is that peace is a divine gift, a gift we receive in prayer.

~ Henry Nouwen
Henri Nouwen peace

November 2009 (Vol. XXII, No. 10)

"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"

Bountiful blessings of the Silence, dear friends!

Taking time each day to allow the Silence to permeate your whole being is a gift to your Self that keeps on giving. For, in Silence we are never truly alone. Indeed, as we abide in the Silence, countless beings are drawn to the peace and well-being that radiates around us ... those from the unseen Realm of Love along with the angels and community of heaven. Since silence is the language of Love, we are practicing the Presence daily each time we surrender ourselves into holy Silence, be it for a few moments, minutes, or hours. As our souls yearn for the Beloved, in stillness and silence our souls are guided to the Divine Indweller. To maintain a daily discipline of silence is to nourish and nurture the Divine Child within us. ... May we each sink again and again into the Silence of Love and listen ... Silence speaks.

A work of beauty requires the diverse and contrary qualities of discipline, hard work, gentleness and love.To create a work of beauty, a human being needs a spiritual life and a rhythm, and those two things need to work well together.By "rhythm" I mean a slower, more thoughtful pace than that which is generally lived in this society.

~ Rod MacIver in "Heron Dance," Issue 48
Rod MacIver Heron Dance beauty

When your ears aren't filled with chatter and the cacophony of negativity, and your life is free of stress-generated mindless actions and the prolonged cleanup operations that result from the subsequent mess, then the still, small voice of spirit may be heard. The music of the universe becomes louder and louder in the silence generated by the absence of charged auto-chatter, and we are able to hear the whispered instructions of the soul, the rustle of angel wings, and the divine harmony of the spheres.'

~ from THE GENIE IN YOUR GENES by Dawson Church
Dawson Church The Genie In Your Genes silence

Basking in solitude, Silence is
the Friend who stills
lurking desires, as
Wisdom cuts through tangled
webs of illusion.
Meditation lights the Flame.

~ from WALKING WITH WISDOM by Nan C. Merrill
Nan Merrill Walking With Wisdom silence Buy on Amazon

An early century desert monk once shared an image:

"When the door of the steam bath is continually left open, the heat inside rapidly escapes through it; likewise the soul, in its desire to say many things, dissipates its remembrance of God through the door of speech, even though everything it says is good ..."

Timely silence, then, is precious, for it is nothing less than the mother of the wisest thoughts.

~ Evelyn Underhill
Evelyn Underhill silence

Silence purifies. Those who are dedicated to silence must persevere in our over-busy world zones of purified air. We must struggle against the asphyxiation, which threatens the cities of our consumer society. We live in a world mentally polluted by verbal intoxication. If dedication to silence did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it.

~ Pierre Lacont
Pierre Lacont silence

On the surface, silence was simple: we didn't speak unless it was necessary. But what was the point of silence? The point was, we learned, not mere silence, not silence to preserve some sort of order, but something much greater. In silence the idea was to recollect ourselves, to place ourselves more squarely in the presence of God than we would if people were talking to us all the time. We could pray, we could meditate, we could contemplate.

~ from THE TULIP AND THE POPE by D. Larsen
D. Larsen The Tulip And The Pope silence Buy on Amazon

A poem is a passionate prayer of song
with blessings from and for the faithful All,
an innocent, sacramental creation
remembering ancient tradition,
a gift of praise at an invisible altar,
and a lone priestly vision embraced
by sacred silence,
seeking forever the eternal unknown.

~ Richard W. Bachtold
Richard W. Bachtold silence

Poetry comes out of silence and yearns for silence. Like us, it travels from one silence to another. It is like flight, like a circling over silence.

~ Max Picard
Max Picard silence

In silence
we hear God's whisper
moving like a feather
through our being,
stroking and transforming
timid souls into
fiery passion
for justice.

~ from A MYSTICAL HEART by Edwina Gately
Edwina Gately A Mystical Heart silence Buy on Amazon

God speaks out of the inner-
most being of the mystics while they are silent.

~ Al-Junayd
Al-Junayd silence

I have listened to the Silence; and in the deep places of Life, I have stood receptive to Thy songs and they have entered my soul. It is in silence that we find the depth of our being. In the deep places of the soul, we connect to the boundless life that connects all things. In this secret place of the Most High, we are borne like leaves floating upon a still pond. Here, beyond identities and accomplishments, we find who we truly are.

~ Patricia Gentry
Patricia Gentry silence

... silence is filled with a Presence that
seeks us in our lostness, comforts us in our pain,
heals us in our brokenness, and guides us in our confusion.

~ Trevor Hudson - South Africa
Trevor Hudson silence

We first Americans believe profoundly in silence – the sign of a perfect equilibrium. Silence is the absolute poise of balance of body, mind, and spirit.

If you ask us, "What is silence?" we will answer, "It is the Great Mystery. The holy silence is God's voice."

If you ask, "What are the fruits of silence?" we will answer, "They are self-control, true courage or endurance, patience, dignity and reverence. Silence is the cornerstone of character."

~ Ohiyesa in "Sacred Journey" Aug/Sept 2006
Ohiyesa Sacred Journey August/september 2006 silence

Take time to laugh, cry, and be silent.

~ P. Dove
P. Dove silence

The silent voice of the Eternal
silently speaks.

~ Oonagh Twomey
Oonagh Twomey silence

Sometimes there would be a rush of noisy visitors and the Silence of the monastery would be shattered. This would upset the monks; not the master, however, who seemed just as content with the noise as with the Silence. To those protesting he said one day:

"Silence is not the absence of sound,
but the absence of self."

~ thanks to Robert Blakesly
Robert Blakesly silence

Feel the winds of change blowing the superficiality of your life away.

~ from The Sufi Book of Life by Neil Douglas-Klotz
Neil Douglas-Klotz The Sufi Book Of Life

The light of the soul throws sparks, can set up flares, builds fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of the soul in shadowy times like these, to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both, are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch lights from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.

~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Clarissa Pinkola Estes silence

As Rembrandt's life moves toward the shadows of old age, as his success wanes, and the exterior splendor of his life diminishes, he comes more in touch with the immense beauty of the interior life. There he discovers the light that comes from an inner fire that never dies; the fire of love. His art no longer tries to "grasp, conquer, and regulate the visible," but to "transform the visible in the fire of love that comes from his own unique heart."

~ from RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON by Henri Nouwen
Henri Nouwen Return Of The Prodigal Son silence Buy on Amazon