Contemplatives and ascetics of every age and every religion have always sought God in the silence and solitude of deserts, forests and mountains. Jesus himself lived for forty days in complete solitude, spending long hours in intimate converse with the Father in the silence of the night.
I have heard it all my life
A voice calling a name I recognized as my own.
Sometimes it comes as a soft-bellied whisper.
Sometimes it holds an edge of urgency.
But always it says: Wake up my love. You are walking asleep.
There’s no safety in that!
Remember what you are and let this knowing
take you home to the Beloved with every breath.
Hold tenderly who you are and let a deeper knowing
color the shape of your humanness.
There is no where to go. What you are looking for is right here.
Open the fist clenched in wanting
and see what you already hold in your hand.
There is no waiting for something to happen,
no point in the future to get to.
All you have ever longed for is here in this moment, right now.
You are wearing yourself out with all this searching.
Come home and rest.
How much longer can you live like this?
Your hungry spirit is gaunt, your heart stumbles.
All this trying. Give it up!
Let yourself be one of the God-mad,
faithful only to the Beauty you are.
Let the Lover pull you to your feet and hold you close,
dancing even when fear urges you to sit this one out.
Remember, there is one word
you are here to say with your whole being.
When it finds you, give your life to it.
Don’t be tight-lipped and stingy.
Spend yourself completely on the saying.
Be one word in this great love poem we are writing together.
— Oriah Mountain Dreamer from The Call
Look, the world
is always ending
the sun has come
crashing down. Continue reading “Blessing When the World Is Ending …”
First, silence makes us pilgrims. Secondly, silence guards the fire within. Thirdly, silence teaches us to speak.
― Henri J.M. Nouwen from The Way of the Heart
In our quest for God, we think too much, reflect too much, talk too much. Even when we look at this dance that we call creation, we are the whole time thinking, talking (to ourselves and others) reflecting, analyzing, philosophizing. Words. Noise.
Be silent and contemplate the Dance. Just look: a star, a flower, a fading leaf, a bird, a stone… any fragment of the Dance will do. Look. Listen. Smell. Touch. Taste. And, hopefully, it won’t be long before you see Him—the Dancer Himself!
— Anthony de Mello SJ from The Song of the Bird
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose, there are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.
— Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Later that night
I held an Atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
Where does it hurt?
— Warsan Shire
Prayers offered in times of peace are silent conversations,
Appeals for love or loves release, in private invocations.
But all that is changed now,
Gone like a memory from the day before the fires.
People hungry for the voice of God
Hear lunatics and liars Continue reading “Where Does It Hurt: A Wartime Prayer …”
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Only an in-depth spirituality can fully accept the paradox of our flawed humanity, indwelled by God’s presence, where both light and dark are allowed and used by God. This is not a capitulation to our shadow self, but an integration that brings forth what Merton called “a hidden wholeness.” We grow through necessary conflicts and tensions. I don’t think there is any other way. Dancing along a self-created primrose path will merely lead you to illusion and superficiality.
— Richard Rohr adapted from Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer from Meditation: God Sees in Wholes, We See in Parts
How to Love
To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love. To know how to love someone, we have to understand them. To understand, we need to listen …
When you love someone, you should have the capacity to bring relief and help him to suffer less. This is an art. If you don’t understand the roots of his suffering, you can’t help, just as a doctor can’t help heal your illness if she doesn’t know the cause. You need to understand the cause of your loved one’s suffering in order to help bring relief … Continue reading “God Is Very Patient With Us While We Learn How To Really Love …”
The topic of Auschwitz has become part of mainstream culture. There are films, plays, novels, international conferences, exhibitions, annual ceremonies with the participation of the nation’s officaldom. The most striking example is that of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.; it has received more than twenty-two million visitors since its inauguration in 1993. Continue reading “Even In Darkness It Is Possible To Create Light …”
This experience called “depression” is isolating to a greater extent than I imagined could be survivable, but I realize that this incredibly isolating experience ultimately reconnected me with the human community in a deeper, wider, and richer way.
— Parker J. Palmer from Darkness Before Dawn: Redefining the Journey Through Depression
The Mystery of Depression
Learn to embrace mystery
Twice, in my forties, I spent endless months in the snake pit of the soul. Hour by hour, day by day, I wrestled with the desire to die, sometimes so feeble in my resistance that I “practiced” ways of doing myself in. I could feel nothing except the burden of my own life and the exhaustion, the apparent futility, of trying to sustain it. I understand why some depressed people kill themselves: They need the rest. But I do not understand why others are able to find new life in the midst of a living death, though I am one of them. I can tell you what I did to survive, and eventually to thrive— but I cannot tell you why I was able to do those things before it was too late. Continue reading “Depression and The Spiritual Journey …”