silence

The sound of the snow falling

How I would like
people to hear ...
the sound of the snow falling
through the deepening
night ...

~ Hakuin (17th century)

January 1989 (Vol. II, No. 1)

A MOST BLESSED NEW YEAR TO ALL FRIENDS OF SILENCE!

As we begin the second year of this little newsletter

As we begin the second year of this little newsletter, please know of the joy and gratitude received and given through our mutual sharing and prayer. That our "membership" almost quadrupled is perhaps an indication of how many hidden contemplatives live and work in our busy and noisy world. How crucial our Silence is for the balance and transformation of our planet!

In the November issue, having asked if anyone knew of THE ROLL, what a delight to discover a complementary group offering an in-depth, quarterly newsletter. Schola Contemplationis, dedicated to global spirituality, is a networking community for contemplatives in the world, at home and in monasteries.

~ Nan Merrill

The gift of silence

Practicing Silence is the art of letting down the barrier that separates our rational consciousness from the depth of our soul ... of coming into touch with the spiritual world in a way that opens our whole being to the reality of the creative and integrating center -- to the Risen Christ ... In silence we meet the reality of the inner voice from God which gives inspiration, guidance and direction, and transformation.

The gift of Silence is to allow the Christ to bring the split-off, conflicting parts of our being into fruitful relationship, and at the same time, to deliver us from destructive evil which seeks to keep us fragmented and operating unconsciously. In this way, we are brought together and given a single eye -- that new center of being which allows us to operate at more nearly full potential, creatively and freed from giving in to destructive impulses.

~ from THE OTHER SIDE OF SILENCE by Morton T. Kelsey

The ultimate goal of living

For, the ultimate goal of living in Silence is love, is to become holy and whole. The Holy is the most intimate and intensely personal and unitive of all experiences; that which integrates most totally, where all superlatives converge, where the sense of the overflowing ultimate Presence and Joy enwrap and draw us into the ecstasy of wordless adoration. Adoration of God is a long, slow life process of interpenetrating manifestation and discovery. Each of us is a pilgrim of the Absolute on an immense and limitless journey. Blessed are those who follow the Way with a single eye!

~ from SURPRISED BY THE SPIRIT by Edward J. Farrell
Surprised By the Spirit
By Edward J Farrell

On a dark afternoon

On a dark afternoon -- I was ten or eleven -- I was walking on a country road, on my left a patch of curly kale, on my right some yellowed Brussel sprouts. I felt a snowflake on my cheek, and from far away in the charcoal-gray sky I saw the approach of a snowstorm. I stood still. Some flakes were now falling around my feet. A few melted as they hit the ground. Others stayed intact. Then I heard the falling of the snow, with the softest hissing sound.

I stood transfixed, listening ... and knew what can never be expressed: that the natural is supernatural, and that I am the eye that hears and the ear that sees, that what is outside happens in me, that outside and inside are unseparated. It is the inexpressible, and the inexpressible is the only thing that it is worthwhile expressing.

~ from THE ZEN OF SEEING by Frederick Franck

November 1988 (Vol. I, No. 10)

Greetings to all Friends of Silence in this month where we celebrate all the Saints and all the Souls. November is also the time to remember that we are all called to live with grateful hearts. And our Silence is often where the fullness of our thanksgiving is most keenly experienced.

Ineffable journey

This poem-prayer comes from Philip J. Bennett of Fostoria, Ohio. An excerpt from his letter gives some sense of his journey, which he generously shares with us: "The past six years have been my time of silence -- a time for prayer, a time for thought, a time to listen to God and man. As I listen to God, I receive hope out of inescapable despair; from man I hear mostly a college of confusion, ignorance, sin, arrogance, and ultimate despair, which drives me once again into the Silence to God for assurance and hope ... You are, therefore, an ember in a smoldering fire to me. You may be enough to rekindle a flame ..."

~ from "Meditations of the Heart" by Howard Thurman
Meditations of the Heart
By Howard Thurman

To be born again

The following quotation from a new biography of Thomas Merton by Fr. Basil Pennington, seems to reflect the spirit of our prayer:

When we attain true freedom, we live in the spontaneity of the Spirit. And we do not know if we are coming or going. And others don't either ... Usually, we become a problem for those who want to have everything under control. Yet, there is within every one of us, IF WE DARE TO BE FREE ENOUGH TO LISTEN, an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of our creative energies and power ... If we dare to listen, we will soon enough realize that the change we seek is actually a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, and most personal in ourselves. To be born again is not to become somebody else, but to become ourselves, our true selves, in the One who is Christ" ... the Beloved of our hearts.

~ from THOMAS MERTON MY BROTHER by Fr. Basil Pennington
Thomas Merton My Brother
By M.Basil Pennington

God embraces our nothingness

And, paraphrasing Max Picard in THE WORLD OF SILENCE:

"The mark of the Divine in God's good creation is preserved by the connection with the world of silence. For Silence is a primary, objective reality, which cannot be traced back to anything else ..." except Love itself. Or, as one of the saints exclaimed, "When the abyss of God's immensity encounters the abyss of our nothingness, God embraces our nothingness!" Abyss calls to abyss in the Silence. Each time we enter into the Silence, we open ourselves to the Beloved in a unique and vulnerable way ... we open the eyes and ears of our heart to the Heart of the universe.

~ from THE WORLD OF SILENCE by Max Picard
The World of Silence
By Max Picard
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