Educate your inner being in all aspects of life. Keep to the order you learned during your schooling. You did not begin all of a sudden to grasp the higher subjects; you started by learning the alphabet. The same applies to your soul. It is not good for it to strive toward exalted feats until it becomes familiar with the spiritual alphabet: humility and obedience. Let the whole of your life become a continuous prayer.
Prayer leads you to see new paths and to hear new melodies in the air. Prayer is the breath of your life which gives you freedom to . . . find the many signs which point out the way to a new land. Praying is not simply some necessary compartment in the daily schedule of a Christian or a source of support in time of need, nor is it restricted to Sunday morning or as a frame to surround mealtimes. Praying is living.
Prayer and meditation have an important part to play in opening up new ways and new horizons. If your prayer is the expression of a deep and grace-inspired desire for newness of life—and not the mere blind attachment to what has always been familiar and "safe"—God will act in us and to prepare what we cannot yet imagine or understand. In this way our prayer and faith today will be oriented toward the future which we ourselves may never see fully realized on earth.
from CONTEMPLATION IN A WORLD OF ACTION by Thomas Merton
Prayer has a life of its own. If we could define it today, that definition would have moved and changed by tomorrow. Prayer is a living relationship that can never be pinned down and analyzed; prayer is a breath of the soul that has passed before we can seize hold of it; prayer is a reaching out of all that is deepest within us towards all that lies infinitely beyond and around us.
To pray is not to use special language; it is the sound of a cry or a laugh rising from ordinary days. Formal or official words can often be lifeless. To pray we need to return like children to an elemental language of soul, to something close to song, to chant, to playground singing.
from ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE by Marv and Nancy Hiles
Summer Greetings, dear Friends! It is the season of vacation trips, bright summer colors, gardens in full growth preparing for a bountiful harvest, blue skies, sunshine, swimming and picnicking. In short, a busy, outward-oriented time of year. Where is there time for prayer in all this activity? We tend to think of prayer as a quiet, inward-looking pursuit, and it feels more natural to focus on it during deep winter months when nature herself draws inward into silence. But there are many ways to pray. As we eagerly look for new flowers in bloom, as we are stilled for a moment before a blazing sunset over the ocean, as we are humbled by the miracles of growth all around us . . . are these not prayers of gratitude?
I believe that God prays in us and through us, whether we are praying or not (and whether we believe in God or not). So, any prayer on my part is a conscious response to what God is already doing in my life.
Prayer is not a solo art form: for, we never pray alone; all prayers offered to the Beloved by whatever Name, whatever form, Meet in the Holy Tabernacle on high, lifting the hearts, needs, and hopes of myriad souls. . . . United in prayer and purpose, individuals from every nation sowing sacred seeds of peace, truth and love, Create the power to usher in the New Dawn. Let us move inexorably onward toward the divinization of planet Earth.
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!