Quote for the Day

Then you should readily and trustfully commit yourself and all that concerns you to the unfailing and most sure Providence of God, in silence and peace. He Himself will fight for you, and will grant you a liberty and consolation better, nobler, and sweeter than would be possible if you gave yourself up day and night to your fancies, to vain and wandering thoughts, which hold captive the mind, as they toss it  hither and thither, wearying soul and body, and wasting uselessly alike your time and … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Silence is not an absence of noise (though that sort of silence helps) but a limitless interior space. Silence is our natural state. Lack of silence erodes our humanity. ... Through intention we can teach our selves to default to silence; meditation is only a first and very minor step. — Maggie Ross, Writing the Icon of the Heart … [Read more...]

Silence: Doorway to Contemplation and Interfaith Friendship

I've just had a new article published on the website of Atlanta's Interfaith Community Institute. It's called "Silence: Doorway to Contemplation and Interfaith Friendship." In Psalm 46, God is quoted as saying, “Be still and know that I am God.” God, the Ultimate Mystery, is greater than human language, thought, or ideas. For this reason, language always seems to conceal God as much as it reveals God.While not, therefore, replacing the heritage of theological and mystical language that tes … [Read more...]

Silence & Writer’s Block

I have a friend who is struggling to complete a dissertation. Entire days can go by without writing a single sentence. Sitting at the computer is an exercise in fear and frustration.To say my friend has writer's block is — well, you know, just another label. But like so many labels, it has a measure of usefulness. It's interesting to read the Wikipedia entry on Writer's Block. It describes the condition not only as the inability to write, but also "as the affected writer viewing their work as i … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day (for Ali)

Believe me as one who has experience, you will find much more among the woods then ever you will among books. Woods and stones will teach you what you can never hear from any master. — Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, The Letters … [Read more...]

Concerning Spiritual Noise, (Lack of) Inner Silence, and Singlemindedness

AM writes: I find most of your posts on the contemplative life too congested with many labels and categories - mystics and non-mystics, oppositional thinking and non-oppositional thinking, Christian mysticism and ordinary Christian spirituality, Protestant mystics and Catholic mystics, mysticism and contemplation, etc. This appears to me not only an intellectual congestion but also a spiritual noise, a portrayal of a lack of inner silence. Somehow, I visit your blog ... to be nourished … [Read more...]

Maggie Ross’s Response

Here's what Maggie Ross posted on her blog, in response to the questions I posed to her yesterday.First, for those just joining the conversation, here is what I wrote to her: Dear Maggie Ross,First of all, I'm honored even to be mentioned in your blog. I read Pillars of Flame years ago and was impressed by its eloquence, the force of its argument, and its spiritual depth. I still consult both appendices regularly.Now, as to my unlikely appearance in your blog: I'm humbled by your … [Read more...]


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