silence

A Psalm for Today

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from the Beloved comes my salvation.
Holding me with strength and steadfast love,
my faith shall remain firm.

How long will fears set upon me,
holding me in their grip,
like a trembling child,
a dark and lonely grave?
They keep me from living fully my true self.
They take pleasure in imprisoning my soul.
They pretend to comfort,
so long have they dwelled within me,
but truly, they are my enemies.

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
for my hope is from the Beloved.
Holding me with strength and steadfast love.
my faith shall remain firm.
In Silence rests my freedom and my guidance;
God is the Heart of my heart,
my refuge is in Silence.

Trust in God at all times, O people;
pour out your heart to the Beloved;
Silence is a refuge for you.

Once God has spoken,

~ by Nan Merrill inspired by Psalm 62

Martha's prayer

Martha's Prayer: God, you are in every atom of the creation. You are in my feelings, even feelings of not being consciously close to You. You cherish every one of my poor efforts to remember You. Thank you for the inestimable grace of that little tug at the heart that makes me continue to pray in times of dryness.

~ Anonymous

March 1988 (Vol. I, No. 3)

HAPPY EASTER, friends! May we pray in the Silence, that in this glorious season of Resurrection -- of new life and new beginnings -- there may be created a new heart in our homes, our cities, our countries, our world ... that all peoples and nations will come to recognize how we complement one another, how we complete one another, how we are all One in the Beloved's heart.

Remain in me

"Remain in Me." It is the Word of God who gives this invitation, expresses this wish. Remain in Me, not for a few moments, a few hours which must pass away, but REAMAIN ... permanently, habitually, Remain in Me, pray in Me, adore in Me, love in Me, suffer in Me, work and act in Me. Remain in Me so that you may be able to encounter anyone or anything; penetrate further still into these depths. This is truly the SOLITUDE into which God wants to allure the soul that the Beloved may speak to it.

~ from ELIZABETH OF THE TRINITY, Vol. 1 by Sr. Giovanna della Croce

The risen Jesus penetrates the entire cosmos

The risen Jesus penetrates the entire cosmos
pervades the whole world,
And makes his presence felt in every human being.
The resurrection is a process that began with Jesus
and will go on until it embraces all creation.
Wherever an authentically human life is growing the world,
Wherever justice is triumphing over the instincts of domination,
Wherever grace is winning out over the power of sin,
in their social life together,
Wherever love is getting the better of selfish interests
and hope is resisting the lure of cynicism or despair,
There the process of resurrection is being turned into reality. 

~ "Way of the Cross - Way of Justice" by Leonardo Boff

The lenten spring shines forth

The lenten spring shines forth,
the flower of repentance!
Let us cleanse ourselves from all evil,
crying out to the Giver of Light:
"Glory to You, O Lover ...
Glory to You, O Friend of mankind!"

~ Anonymous

Inner city contemplative

There is a kind of giving which is receiving, just as there is a kind of loving that feels like being loved. When the mind is concentrated in the heart and some simple words -- like "Jesus, I love you" -- begin to flow naturally with the breath, if grace is there, the mind comes into a sort of natural union with the mind of Christ. The giving and loving are being done in one's own mind instead of one doing them.

The mind of Christ must be a constant flow of love. If we can concentrate our scattered minds on loving, then our minds and His mind are doing the same thing. Eastern philosophers posit that two things which are in the same flow become the same. They cannot remain separate. This inner loving of the Lord is simply opening one's mind to let Love flow through us.

~ Martha Chevalier, Detroit, MI

To be a monk, you must learn to close the door

Driving to Kirkridge for a retreat, I listen. On cassette, made in 1967, Thomas Merton speaks to the novices. He speaks of a Buddhist monk who has come to visit the monastery at Gethsemane. Joyfully, I remember. I remember 1967. I remember Thich Nhat Hanh. Students had organized a multi-faceted event on "the war" at my college. Two Buddhist monks came to be among us. In their orange robes, with agony for their Vietnamese brothers and sisters in heart, they spoke to us. I remember the power of their souls. I don't remember the quiet. My own life at 21 was such a noisy jumble. My own soul -- such a kaleidoscope of passions. Who did I love? What was my call? What were my gifts? Then, always relentlessly the question of "the war" -- how would I respond to the death and violence, the heroism and the compassion, the deceit and the debate? Those questions powered my soul into overdrive. And yes, I liked being in overdrive. Because then I could produce.

~ Rev. Brooks Smith, No. Plainfield, NJ

February 1988 (Vol. I, No. 2)

Greetings to you, friends, as we enter into the Lenten season -- the time when in the Silence we are invited to remember our story ... to contemplate the life of Jesus -- the deepest mysteries and most profound truths, which He fulfilled on the Cross ... to commune with God as we reflect, pray, fast, repent of our own shortcomings so that we may come more fully into communion/community with all people -- and, especially with those we see as enemies.

As Friends of Silence, we are united in a common bond-of-being with men and women of every country ... of every faith, creed, color. For in the Silence we are One in God. In recognition of our Oneness, perhaps we could hold this excerpt from the prayer-poem "Way of the Cross - Way of Justice" by Leonardo Boff together in our hearts as we move toward Easter and resurrection:

Behold I stand at the door and knock

Our Quaker friends have much to teach us in the way of silence. The following quotations are taken from the little classic, A TESTAMENT OF DEVOTION, by Thomas R. Kelly:

"... the Living Christ within us is the initiator and we are the responders. God the Lover, the accuser, the revealer of light and darkness presses within us. 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.' And all our apparent initiative is already a response, a testimonial to His secret presence and working within us.

"The basic response of the soul to the Light is internal adoration and joy, thanksgiving and worship, self-surrender and listening. The secret places of the heart cease to be our noisy workshop. They become a holy sanctuary of adoration and of self-oblation, where we are kept in perfect peace, if our minds be stayed on Him who had found us in the inward springs of our life ... In the Center of Creation all things are ours, and we are Christ's and Christ is God's."

~ from A TESTAMENT OF DEVOTION by Thomas R. Kelly
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