Tag: silence

Moved to the Mountains

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I was moved to the mountains

by an impulse of the skies

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Pursuing silence

I was pierced

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By the miracle of the seraph

in cross-winged form

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And the vision led me

to follow new paths

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That wound their ways

around the slopes of contemplation

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To the blessed summit

of exaltation.

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movedmountains JOM

The Path I Choose to Follow

The Path I Choose to Follow

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There is a quieter

Resilience

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A strength

Born of conviction

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And inner

Fire

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A silent standing

For truth

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Commitment

To higher

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Values

Ideals

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Vision

Of a nobler way

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And that

Is the path

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I choose to follow

Today.

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A Month of Inspirers (2) – Carmelites

“The soul is like a castle”

“The dark night of the soul”

These insights come from two Carmelites: Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross.

Both have inspired me with their works, like “The Interior Castle”, or “Ascent to Mount Carmel”.  They write about the mystery of the soul.  They write about the mystery of God.  They write about contemplation, and the mystery of prayer.

The following quotations come from their 1995 Constitutions – Carmelites are a living order to this day:

Prayer is the centre of our lives, and authentic community and ministry spring from this source

in our spirituality we integrate our love for the world and our sense of the transcendent

Many of my poems have been inspired by these two Carmelite mystics, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.

In a noisy, busy world, they lead us into a deeper reality – the reality we see in silence, the reality we perceive in contemplation, and the reality of God.

“The soul’s beauty and capabilities are so immeasurably great” – St. Teresa of Avila

Spiritual Reflection: Time to Study, Time to Contemplate, Time to Pray

Study

Study forms our minds but also our inner character.

Study affect our beliefs and our values.

Study affects our understanding and our vision.

Study affects how we look at and perceive the world.

Contemplation

Contemplation is a near-lost method of thinking.

It has been preserved and passed down by some who engage in spiritual practices – for example those who follow the Benedictine way, or who use lectio divina, a contemplative way of reading.

The practice of contemplation can help prevent us reducing life to simplistic logical dualities of right/wrong, us/them, either/or. 

Contemplation allows expansive thinking, consideration of possibilities, engagement of the heart and soul with the mind.

Contemplation may help us to be more compassionate.

Prayer

Not everyone prays.

And not everyone who prays understands prayer as anything more than asking for things.

To pray is become aware of the presence of God.

To pray may involve just being there in God’s presence in silence.

To pray may involve listening – to our deepest thoughts, to our random and superficial thoughts, to what is revealed to us in the silence, to God.

An Ongoing Structure of Life

Study, Contemplation and Prayer may form the basis of an ongoing structure, or rule, of life.

We can try to set aside certain regular times of the day for study – like first thing in the morning, the evening, or “low times” during the day.

We can set aside times for silent contemplation. For example, using what otherwise might be “dead time” – time driving or commuting, time walking or shopping, time doing necessary but mundane tasks.

And we can set aside regular times of prayer.

Some communities support each other to pray at periodic intervals during the day – like at morning and evening; or morning, noon, evening and night.

I think we can only be deeper people with more to give if study, contemplation and prayer are an integral part of our daily lives.