sabbath

Leisure is a form of silence which is the prerequisite of the apprehension of reality

Leisure is a form of silence which is the prerequisite of the apprehension of reality: only the silent hear and those who do not remain silent do not hear. Silence, as it is used in this context, does not mean "dumbness" or "noiselessness"; it means more nearly that the soul's power to "answer" to the reality of the world is left undisturbed. For leisure is a receptive attitude of mind, a contemplative attitude, and it is not only the occasion but also the capacity for steeping oneself in the whole of creation ... When we really let our minds rest contemplatively on a rose in bud, on a child at play, on a divine mystery, we are rested and quickened as though by a dreamless sleep ... It is in these silent receptive moments that our souls are sometimes visited by an awareness of what holds the world together.

~ from LEISURE, THE BASIS OF CULTURE by Josef Piper

Summer peace

Here is peace to store within the breast
Against the days of tumult and despair.
Within this cool green light the heart can rest,
The body strengthens in the clear, clean air,
The soul grows tall,
the viol-string tensions cease
Here in this summer stillness, summer peace.

~ from "Summer Fields" by Grace Noll Crowell

How rare in our world to sit absolutely still for an hour

How rare in our world to sit absolutely still for an hour, not thinking, not even feeling, simply being in the presence of great beauty! At first one notices the small things, the subtle changes as wind suddenly ruffles a small space in the water, the amber color of still water over sand, or the reflection of a single tree; but little by little, it is the whole unified scene that takes over. And it is the silence itself that unifies it. One slides down deep deep into contemplation. This is not ecstasy like the light on lavender petals. It is more like prayer. Beauty beyond our understanding and beyond our uniqueness as individuals. Presence that asks nothing of us except to be in its presence. And filled with that presence, we walk back into our separate lives.

~ from RECOVERING by May Sarton
Recovering: A Journal
By May Sarton

When despair for the world grows in me

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~ "The Peace of Wild Things" by Wendell Berry

In the midst of silence a hidden word was spoken to me

In the midst of silence a hidden word was spoken to me. Where is this Silence, and where is the place in which this word is spoken? It is in the purest that the soul can produce, in her noblest part, in the ground, even the Being of the Soul.

~ Meister Eckhart

The world really doesn't need more busy people

The world really doesn't need more busy people, maybe not even more intelligent people. It needs deep people, people who know that they need solitude if they are going to find out who they are:

silence, if their words are to mean anything;
reflection if their actions are to have any significance;
contemplation, if they are to see the world as it really is;
prayer, if they are going to be conscious of God,
if they are to "know God and enjoy God forever". 

The world needs people who want their lives not only to be filled, but to be full and fulfilled ... The world needs people who will allow time for God to recreate them, play with them, touch them as an Artist who is making something beautiful with their lives.

~ from SPACE FOR GOD by Don Postema

I spend my mornings in silence by the lily pond

In the summer while at the cottage, I spend my mornings in silence by the lily pond. I slowly become aware of the extreme discipline of stabilizing myself in the void that is full. When I am able to surrender to the silent void, I dissolve into a dance of love. And the beauty, the beauty of the experience, causes me to weep -- to weep in reverence for what it is, for what I am, for what all life is. The beauty of the reality of love existing within all forms of life softens me into a gentleness that cannot force itself into action. Instead I discover a beautiful quality living within me that radiates strength and direction ... By surrendering to the process I find I am living in a state of grace. I start to hear the forms of life around me as sounds, sounds not heard by my ears but known by the silence. I know I can't take this experience into the world, but I can return to this place and refocus in the love that I want to live in the world.

~ from LEAVING MY FATHER'S HOUSE by Marion Woodman

Where the inner world and the outer world meet

The seat of the soul is where the inner world and the outer world meet. Where they overlap, it is in every point of the overlap.

~ Novalis

When I sleep outside to hear the sounds in the night

When I sleep outside to hear the sounds in the night ...
I hear the moon in her passing light and nightly transitions.
I hear her light falling in the cottonwood leaves and
I hear them spin on their long stems, answering. Regenerating
herself, her excess splendor seeds the earth and
each Tree of Life flowers ...
I hear the light and the seeds falling down and other sounds
rising up from the waters hidden beneath this desert ...
When dawn breaks and I awake to the trees in my eyes,
my ears are ringing with the night silence which sings
in my solitude through the day.

~ from THE LITANY OF THE GREAT RIVER by Meinrad Craighead
The Litany of the Great River
By Meinrad Craighead

July-August 1993 (Vol. VI, No. 7)

GREETINGS AND BLESSINGS be with you all!  Summer: may each one of us find plenty of time and space for leisure and recreation.

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