Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments and life itself is grace…..Frances Buechner
we are full of windows and doorways and secret nooks and mysterious passageways……we begin journeys and we get lost…..we bring in light and we brood in the dark……we bloom and we fade…..the exterior mirrors the interior…..we hold the heart and we bury the heart……we are and we are not…..
When we are receptive we let go of our agendas and expectations. We allow ourselves to see beneath preconceived ideas. Rather than going after what we want in life, or ‘forcing,’ we cultivate a contentment with what actually is. Similarly, instead of ‘holding back’ and merely observing life or falling asleep to it, we stay awake and alert, participating fully in its messiness and we keep our eyes open for the holy presence in its midst. Contemplative practice is a receptive practice. We make ourselves available for grace to break in; we open ourselves to listen and ponder……Christine Valters Paintner
The worse thing that can happen to a person who is already divided up into a dozen different compartments is to seal off yet another compartment and tell him that this one is more important than all others, and that he must henceforth exercise a special care in keeping it separate from them. The first thing you have to do, before you start thinking about such a thing as contemplation, is to try to recover your basic natural unity, to reintegrate your compartmentalized being into a coordinated and simple whole, and learn to live as a unified human person. This means that you have to bring back together the fragments of your distracted existence so that when you say ‘I’ there is really someone present to support the pronoun you have uttered…..Thomas Merton