the sacred cleansing


Silence, is after all, a form of intimacy. That is why Christ comes to us when our hearts and minds are silent and still. Quaker silence is pregnant with holy expectation. It is filled with anticipation that Jesus will be there. And not in some abstract, vaguely spiritual feel-good way, wither. We believe that Christ comes in a physically present way in the same way Catholics believe that when the host is elevated it becomes the literal body and blood of Jesus. It is not just some symbol. As Flannery O’Connor the great Catholic writer, once said of Eucharist, “Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it. It is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable. Friends feel that way about silence. The deep silence of the soul is our Eucharist. Rufus Jones, a Quaker mystic and writer of the 20th century, said of sacramental silence, “it may be an intensified pause, a vitalized hush, a creative quiet, and actual moment of mutual and reciprocal correspondence with God, The actual meeting of man with God and God with man is the very crown and culmination of what we can do with our human life here on earth.” Silence is something we do, not something done to us. It is a participatory act. It engages our heart, mind, soul, and body in listening for the voice of the Beloved. Quaker silence is not passive. After all, how could Holy Communion, which deepens our faith and fills us with passionate love for God ever be inactive?  ~J. Brent Bill

how can we really be strangers? and who do you disown along the way?

inquiry for today~   peace and fear are always present….can you see how they hold each other?

a final look away

as we move deeper

into this mysterious river, I pray

we don’t turn every thing

we touch into us,

that we help each other listen more

deeply than we have ever listened,

that we baptize each other

with what we find there

that we heal each other’s

blindnesses by pouring love like

water on each other’s eyes

and that waking in this way,

we make the unseen breath of God

visible, the way wind can only lift

a tree that has grown in the open.

~Mark Nepo

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