A young Indian boy was auditioning along with some of us for a school play. His mother knew he’d set his heart on being in the play — just like the rest of us hoped, too — and she feared how he would react if he was not chosen.
On the day the parts were awarded the little boy’s mother went to the school on her horse to collect her son. The little boy rushed up to her and her horse, eyes shining with pride and excitement.
"Guess what, Mom," he shouted, and then said the words that provide a lesson to us all, "I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer."
How great is the difference between the hidden child and the secret friend! For the friend makes only loving, living but measured ascents toward God. But the child presses on to lose its own life upon the summits, in that simplicity which knoweth not itself.
Perhaps there was in Beethoven the man, a child inside that never grew up and to the end of his life remained a creature of grace and innocence and trust even in his moments of greatest despair. And that innocent spirit speaks to us of hope and future and immortality.
A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed or even lost before we reach adulthood. I wish I could give a sense of wonder to each child in the world, so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote to the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with artificial things, the alienation from the sources of our strength.
"Sometimes, even in the middle of a busy street, I would feel the great union, the great peace when speaking and listening were attuned to the voice of the Most High."
"I have felt this rarely in my life, mostly when I was a very young child," returned Pawel. "Time slowed then, a sense of wonder expanded. Angels sent messages, poured out over the world. One had only to look up to see it, to hear it, to receive the messages. But childhood ends. ‘Reality’ conquers all."
"Childhood should not end," David said. "It should take a more mature form, but its innocence should not cease."
Every dollar you donate helps us to mail out the monthly Friends of Silence newsletter, add back issues of the newsletter to the web site, develop online courses on silence, and provide contemplative retreats at Still Point.
Friends of Silence is a 501(c)3 non-profit public benefit organization and all donations are tax deductible.
We welcome you to become a partner in our work. Thank you so much for your generosity!