I asked God for strength

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things,
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of people,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I as given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for -- but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men and women, most richly blessed.

~ Prayer of an unknown confederate soldier

Love is love

Life is love: love overflowing, that has no limits and that gives itself freely; love that yields mercifully to every need; love that heals the sick and rouses to life what was dead; love that protects, defends, nourishes, teaches, and forms; love that is afflicted with the afflicted and glad with those in joy; that is ready at the service of each one in order to fulfill the plan of the Beloved, in a word: the love of the divine Heart.

~ from ESSAYS ON WOMAN by Edith Stein

We have to be on our guard

We have to be on our guard against wanting to judge for ourselves what point we have reached in the way of pure love. Only God knows this. What we recognize of ourselves, also of our faults and failings, is only the illuminated part of the surface. The deep roots are also hidden from us. God, who knows these, can purify them.

~ "Letter 143" by Edith Stein

Love is the beauty of the soul

Love comes from within you. When you ask for love from one another, you miss the very source of love. When you give love to another, you find the source of love within you.

Inasmuch as love grows in you, so in you beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.

~ St. Augustine

February 1991 (Vol. IV, No. 2)

Blessings to Friends of Silence with prayers for peace to all peoples on Earth. Ironically, to pray is to go into the desert spaces of our hearts where, in solitude and silence, we can find peace as we commune with the Beloved. Today, when the desert is not silent, Carlo Carretto in LETTERS FROM THE DESERT reminds us that:

This is what you are to do

This is what you are to do: Love God. Go to a quiet place. Calm yourself. And with a gentle stirring of love lift your heart up to God, loving God not for any gifts, but instead, love God for God's sake alone. Sitting thus, do not think about the presence of feelings that God is near. Do not cling to any thought of God, regardless of how sublime the thought might be. Do not pray for anyone or for yourself, regardless of the immensity of the need. Let your love for God alone be your sole concern. Of course, you will make mistakes, for, after all, you do not know what you are doing. You do not know how to life up your heart "with a gentle stirring of love." The very simplicity and radicality of what you are led to do leads you into the obscurity of the contemplative way. But no matter, led by God's promptings you learn (without knowing how) to listen to God's gentle stirrings of love within you. As the gentle stirring is meek, so, too, is your lifting up of it to God.

~ from THE AWAKENING CALL by James Finley

The meaning of our life

"The meaning of our life is a secret that has to be revealed to us in love ... by the one we love.
~ Thomas Merton

Passionately involved with Christ

Two medieval mystics, Hildegard and Hadewijch, are models in a distinctive way. Their willingness to become passionately involved with Christ made them alive with love. They are not boring. Their lives teem with intense participation in life. They said yes to being in love, to the dangers and tribulations of that state as well as to its joys and satisfactions ... Each of these women stand as reminders that we are not alone in our choice to live and love with passion. They knew intimately a passionate God who freely and generously invited them to share in that passion. They responded affirmatively and call us to do the same. The passion of God is guaranteed to call us out from the moral security of obedience to the law toward our own deepest humanity. Passion involves a transformation in which service to others, healing, relief, comfort, hope and forgiveness take on a radically new character.

~ from PASSIONATE WOMEN by Elizabeth Dreyer

My Beloved is the mountains

My Beloved is the mountains,
And lonely wooded valleys,
Strange islands,
And resounding rivers,
The whistling of love-stirring breezes,
The tranquil night
At the time of rising dawn,
Silent music,
Sounding solitude,
The supper that refreshes and deepens love.

~ St. John of the Cross

Nothing which cannot be borne

There is nothing which cannot be borne with cheerful alacrity by those who love one another.
~ St. Teresa
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