“Syrian monk, Isaac of Niniveh: ‘Many are avidly seeking but they alone find who remain in continual silence. … Every one who delights in a multitude of words, even though they say admirable things, is empty within. If you love truth, be a lover of silence. Silence like the sunlight will illuminate you in God and will deliver you from the phantoms of ignorance. Silence will unite you to God…’
“More than all things love silence: it brings you a fruit that tongue cannot describe. In the beginning we have to force ourselves to be silent. But then there is born something that draws us to silence. May God give you an experience of this ‘something’ that is born of silence. If only you practice this, untold light will dawn on you in consequence … after a while a certain sweetness is born in the heart of this exercise and the body is drawn almost by force to remain in silence.”
Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer
The WUMC sanctuary will be open for quiet prayer and meditation from 7:00-9:00PM on December 8 and 15, and you are invited to come and participate. This time of reflection is for you to connect with self and Spirit in a holy space, free from the distractions that the busy holiday season can bring.
If you are new to meditation and self-guided prayer, never fear! There are many wonderful resources for you to explore in your own way. Here are a just a few.
- Centering Prayer is a meditative practice of focusing the mind, heart, and body on the always-available presence of God. Whether for 5 or 10 or 20 minutes, this practice of slowing down and attending to the divine helps refresh our hearts. Find a guide to this practice here.
- The Ignatian Examen is a gentle practice developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola. It is a simple way to reflect on our days and find places where we experienced the holy and places where perhaps we missed it. Discover more here.
- Ruth’s Mindfulness Practices are four exercises in mindfulness from Dr. James Doty’s book, Into the Magic Shop. In this book, Doty – a neurosurgeon – discovers the magic of mindfulness practice from his mentor, Ruth. Find the exercises online here.