Silent Sunday:
Spring Awakening Growth
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The theme for this silent Sunday is Spring Awakening Growth. I invite you to join in with the music, readings and reflections around this theme.

Opening music:

You shall be like a gardenJ. Phillip Newell and friends
00:00 / 07:51

Lyrics:

You shall be like a garden,

Like a deep spring

where waters never fail.

Spend some time in silent prayer now (you can choose between a 10 minute timer and a 20 minute timer below, which each have a gong at the beginning and three gongs at the end). If you find your mind wandering, gently let go of your thoughts and return to being present, to awareness of your breath or your sacred word. 

Ten minute silence timerGuided Prayer
00:00 / 10:25
Twenty minute silence timerGuided Prayer
00:00 / 20:28

Read the following passages through twice or three times, and listen for any word or phrase that seems to be inviting you to linger with it. Spend some time in silence, allowing the Spirit to breathe fresh life into these words.

Reflection:

Read the following readings through twice or three times, with an attitude of open receptivity.


Psalm 104 extracts:

O You, who know all hearts, how manifold are your works!

In wisdom You have created them all.

O, that we might receive your gifts,

taking only what is needed

with grateful hearts.

When we are in harmony with You,

the earth provides;

yes, a bountiful harvest to be shared with all.

When we misuse what You have created for us,

we blame You for the famine and destruction that ensues,

and feel alienated from You.

When you send your Spirit, new life is created,

and you renew the face of the Earth.

{Adapted from Psalms for Praying by Nan C. Merrill and the NIV}


Spring Prayer (taken from a Jewish Passover liturgy):

Long before the struggle upward begins, there is a tremor in the seed.

Self-protection cracks, roots reach down and grab hold.

The seed swells, and tender shoots push up toward light.

This is spring awakening growth.

A force so tough it can break stone.


Trees, by Rumi:

Spring, and no one can be still,

with all the messages coming through.

We walk outside as though going to meet visitors,

wild roses, trilliums by the water.

A tight knot loosens.

Something that died in winter

lifts a head out, and opens.

Trees, the tribe gathers.

Who has a chance against such an elegant assemblage?



Dialogue with nature (10 minutes):

This is based on an exercise developed by Richard Rohr.

  • Find some form of green growth - could be a simple plant or even a weed.

  • Have a dialogue with this part of nature.

  • Allow your imagination to be open, playful and free as you reply on behalf of this green growth.

For Further Reflection:


I encourage you to spend some time in further reflection on this theme. Below are some possible readings for taking this theme further.


Prayer poem:

The Mystery calls: As you enter the new season,

Bring who you have become through the interplay of time, circumstance and choice.

Enter and take your place in the mysterious unfolding of creation.

The world needs you.


Out of fear, or habit, the soul hesitates.

It hides. It cries:

There is too much uncertainty.

There is too much pain.

I don’t want to show myself.

I don’t want to go.


I will wait, the Mystery responds.

I will wait for you to awaken,

I will wait for you to remember,

That you are part of this magnificent and baffling creation

And you are here to open your heart

And flourish.

 - Adapted from a prayer by Rabbi Yael Levi, from A Way In: Jewish Mindfulness


Meister Eckhart:

The seed of God is in us.…Now the seed of a pear tree grows into a pear tree, a hazel seed into a hazel tree, the seed of God into God.”


John Shelby Spong:

I experience God as the source of life willing me to live fully, the source of love calling me to love wastefully and to borrow a phrase from the theologian, Paul Tillich, as the Ground of being, calling me to be all that I can be.”


Sufi phrase: 

“I was a hidden treasure and I loved to be known”


Cynthia Bougeault: 

"Could it be that this earthly realm, not in spite of but because of its  very density and jagged edges, offers precisely the conditions for the  expression of certain aspects of divine love that could become real in  no other way? This world does indeed show forth what love is like in a  particularly intense and costly way. But when we look at this process  more deeply, we can see that those sharp edges we experience as  constriction at the same time call forth some of the most exquisite  dimensions of love . . . qualities such as steadfastness, tenderness,  commitment, forbearance, fidelity, and forgiveness. These mature and  subtle  flavors of love have no real context in a realm where there are no edges  and boundaries, where all just flows. But when you run up against the  hard edge and have to stand true to love anyway, what emerges is a most  precious taste of pure divine love. God has spoken [God’s] most intimate name.

Let me be very clear here. I am not saying that suffering exists in order for God to reveal Godself. I am only saying that where suffering exists and is consciously accepted, there divine love shines forth brightly."

Ending Prayer:

Lord of Beauty, though You have never left us,

Enter our souls anew and ignite Your life in the hidden ground of our hearts.

Nothing can help us now but Your beauty, which opens and renews us so quickly;

Come, come, our Friend, the form of Your love is not a created form

When it touches us, we blossom into who we truly are

For the inner secret is You, that which was never born.

You are the Dawn, the Source, the Spring.

We drink Your water and feel the currents take us.

You enter and suddenly we are nowhere and nothing again inside Your mystery

You are our freshness and we are with You now,

Amen.


(Adapted from the Oriental Orthodox Order in the West)




Ending music:

Arise my love (Song of Songs)Michael Card
00:00 / 03:33

Lyrics:

Arise, my love, my lovely one come,
Winter is past and the rains will come.
The flowers appear, it's the season of song,
My beautiful one, arise and come with me.


Who is it that appears like the dawn?
As fair as the moon, as bright as the sun?
Show me your face, let me hear your voice.
My beautiful one, arise and come with me.
Set me like a seal on your heart,
For love is unyielding as the grave.
The flash of it is a jealous fire,
No flood can quench,
For love is as strong as death.


Arise my love and come with me
Before the dawn breaks and the shadows flee.
You ravished my heart with just one glance
My beautiful one, arise and come with me.
Do not arose or awaken love
Until it so desires.


Arise, my love, my lovely one come,
The Winter is past and the rains will come.
The flowers appear, it's season of song,
My beautiful one, arise and come with me.


I am my love's, my beloved is mine.
Arise and come with me.

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Sharon's book that was previously called "Contemplative Living" has been republished by AnamChara Books under the title "Deeper: Finding the Depth Dimension Beneath the Surface of Life". The Kindle version is available from Amazon, and the hard copy version should be available soon in South Africa.