Thomas Keating

For five minutes he could not speak

As Dom Helder started to speak about the poor, he choked up and could not continue. The bags under his eyes filled up like fountains and the tears ran down his wrinkled face. For five minutes he could not speak. His mouth twitched every now and then, and we hoped he might be able to continue. We waited in rapt attention for him to express what he was trying to say, but he could not. The memory of the destitute and the realization of their desperate plight left him with just one response: tears.

~ from INVITATION TO LOVE by Thomas Keating

Shared silence

In every ministry, one is giving something to someone else; in shared silence, one is giving oneself. Sharing interior silence is the giving of one's inmost being to another. When one does this in a group, everyone shares everybody else's level or degree of interior silence. Thus, everyone in the group tends to move to a deeper place than when alone and relying on one's own limited experience.

This is especially the case when silence is penetrated by the gift of interior silence. Then silence is an encounter with the divine presence within. One rests in the conviction of faith and in peace that transcends joy and sorrow. It brings one in face-to-face contact with God, so to speak, a being-to-being exchange.

~ from TASTE OF SILENCE by Thomas Keating with thanks to Rev. Bruce Allison
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