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It’s time to celebrate the arrival of summer, even if we are still experiencing some days of wet and rain. In the moment of celebration, we don’t need much encouragement lie back grab the sounds of the season — the buzz of bees, the song of birds, the wind in the trees… and silence.
Silence has featured strongly in our monthly prayer meetings. We originally set these up in answer to the need for vigils, but our monthly interfaith prayer groups have now become spiritual drop-ins for those who just want to share silence, sacred words and messages of intention covering everything from loving wishes for those who need healing, to thoughts for those who need compassion, anywhere in the world. We are still holding these meetings on Zoom, and you are warmly invited to join us, read a prayer, sit in the peaceful love of silence or hear some beautiful words of connection chosen by other members and friends of the IFCG. If you want to join our Zoom prayer meetings, please do write to me, via email: email@example.com
Meanwhile I have four offerings for this week’s Words of Connection, on the theme of ‘silence’. The first is entitled The Silence of Nature, by the great Sufi Leader and poet, Hazrat Inayat Khan. Following this, two readings about silence from Quaker Faith & Harmony. Thirdly we have a prayer of Silence by David Adam, and we close with an invocation called Silence and Harmony by Erica Sharne.
THE SILENCE OF NATURE
Inayat Khan (1882 – 1927)
Through the silence of nature,
I attain Thy divine peace.
Oh sublime nature,
in thy stillness let my heart rest.
Thou art patiently awaiting the moment
to manifest through the silence of sublime nature.
Oh nature sublime, speak to me through silence,
for I am awaiting in silence like you the call of God.
Oh nature sublime,
through thy silence I hear Thy cry.
My heart is tuned to the quietness,
that the stillness of nature inspires.
From QUAKER FAITH & PRACTICE
In silence which is active, the Inner Light begins to glow – a tiny spark. For the flame to be kindled and to grow, subtle argument and the clamour of our emotions must be stilled. It is by an attention full of love that we enable the Inner Light to blaze and illuminate our dwelling and to make of our whole being a source from which this Light may shine out. Words must be purified in a redemptive silence if they are to bear the message of peace. The right to speak is a call to the duty of listening. Speech has no meaning unless there are attentive minds and silent hearts. Silence is the welcoming acceptance of the other. The word born of silence must be received in silence.
Pierre Lacout 1969
[The early friends] made the discovery that silence is one of the best preparations for communion [with God] and for the reception of inspiration and guidance. Silence itself, of course, has no magic. It may be just sheer emptiness, absence of words or noise or music. It may be an occasion for slumber, or it may be a dead form. But it may be an intensified pause, a vitalised hush, a creative quiet, an actual moment of mutual and reciprocal correspondence with God.
Rufus Jones 1937
I Weave My Silence…
I weave a silence on to my lips
I weave a silence into my mind
I weave a silence within my heart
I close my ears to distractions
I close my eyes to attractions
I close my heart to temptations
Calm me, Oh Lord, as you stilled the storm
Still me, Oh Lord, keep me from harm
Let all the tumult within me cease
Enfold me Lord in your peace.
SILENCE AND HARMONY
Gently your heart
A passing traveller’s
Soundless memory music
Meanders into mind
Angel’s wings brush past
A breeze caresses
Your deepest dreams
Shaping patterns in the sand
Quiet, quieter, quietest
Above and below
Heaven and Earth
Green and blue