House of Silence
Midcoast Friend's Meeeting
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A man asked the Sage, "What is the relationship between silence and love? I just don't get it." The Sage answered, "Growing in a love of silence, you grow in the silence of love." "What is this silence of love?" came the reply. The Sage said, "I can't tell you that - no one can. Only you can find out for yourself... of course, with the help of grace." "And, sir," the man asked, "what is this grace you speak of?" "Only you can find out for yourself... of course," said the Sage, "with the help of grace."
*Brian K. Wilcox. "Meetings with an Anonymous Sage."
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A young monk headed up the mountain to seek Christ. He had not felt his best friend's presence for quite some time, and he could not comprehend why. Before, he had seemed to walk in the glow of grace daily. So, the abbot graciously permitted him time away in the hermitage.
The monk got to the little, rustic hermitage. He walked in and closed the door. For several days he sought Christ with vigil, fasting, and prayers. He still felt cut off from Christ.
Frustrated with his failed efforts, the monk ceased fasting, ate food, and drank wine, all of which he enjoyed much. Afterward, he laid down and slept a long, restful sleep. The monk had given up on sensing his beloved near.
Something surprised him when the monk awoke. For the first time in many months, he sensed his beloved near. He rose and walked cheerfully back down the mountain, enthused to tell his abbot the news.
Calm, gentle openness, rather than zealous effortfulness, is central to living in prayerfulness. One could refer to this as living with loving attention. In prayerfulness, we receive and are given to; everything comes to us as a gift. In a profound sense, we are given to ourselves in Love by Love. Prayer becomes a communion of the heart.
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*©Brian K. Wilcox, 2023.
*Inspiration for the opening Sage story from Brother Victor-Antoine d' Avila-Latourrette, Blessings of the Daily: A Monastic Book of Days. "The desert elders never ceased to encourage and stimulate in the disciple the love of silence, for they knew it would ultimately lead to the silence of love": "November 30 - Love of Silence," 430-31.
*Use of photography is allowed accompanied by credit given to Brian K. Wilcox and title and place of photograph.
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse.