Silent Sunday Service:
Surrender to Silence

Today the theme of our silent Sunday is the invitation to surrender ourselves to the silence, as a way of falling into grace, falling into God.

I invite you to begin this quiet morning by slowly reading the following poem, and then listening to the song that follows as an opening prayer.

Let your God love you

Be silent.

Be still.

Alone.

Empty

Before your God.

Say nothing.

Ask nothing.

Be silent.

Be still.

Let your God look upon you.

That is all.

God knows.

God understands.

God loves you

With an enormous love,

And only wants

To look upon you

With that love.

Quiet.

Still.

Be.

Let your God—
Love you.

By Edwina Gately

O Lord, My Heart Is Not ProudMargaret Rizza
00:00 / 07:50

Lyrics:

 

O Lord, my heart is not proud,
Nor haughty my eyes.
I have not gone after things too great,
Nor marvels beyond me.
Truly I have set my soul
In silence and peace;
At rest, as a child in its mother's arms,
So is my soul.

Words: Psalm 131

Introduction
Introduction and opening prayer

The following is a guided practice to lead you into a time of silent prayer (you can choose between a 10 minute or a 20 minute time of prayer below, which each have the guided introduction at the beginning, a time of silence, and three gongs at the end).

10 min Guided Prayer
00:00 / 10:00
20 min Guided Prayer
00:00 / 20:00

Listen to the following song as an ending to the time of prayer:

Sacred Reading:

 

Read the following passage through twice or three times, and listen for any word or phrase that seems to be inviting you to linger with it.

Psalm 139:1-18

You have searched me, Lord,
   and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
   you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
   you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
   you, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before,
   and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
   Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
   if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
   your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
   and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
   the night will shine like the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.

 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
   they would outnumber the grains of sand—
   when I awake, I am still with you.

Spend some time in quiet reflection on this passage (you can use the 10 minute timer).

Ten minute silence timerSilence
00:00 / 10:25

Listen to the following song as a prayer, Where I belong, by Cory Asbury:

Where I BelongCory Asbury
00:00 / 04:58

Lyrics:

Your presence is all I'm longing for here in the secret place
Your nearness is all I'm waiting for here in the quiet place
Here in the secret place

My soul waits for you alone
Like the watchmen wait for dawn
Here I've finally found the place
Where we'll meet, Lord, face to face

I've finally found where I belong
I've finally found where I belong, in your presence
I've finally found where I belong, Lord
To be with you, to be with you

Your presence is all I'm longing for here in the secret place
Your nearness is all I'm waiting for here in the quiet place
Here in the secret place

My soul waits for you alone
Like the watchmen wait for dawn
Here I've finally found the place
Where we'll meet, Lord, face to face

I've finally found where I belong
I've finally found where I belong, in your presence
I've finally found where I belong, Lord
To be with you, to be with you

I am my Beloved's and He is mine
So come into your garden and take delight in me
Take delight in me

Delight in me, delight in me
Delight in me, delight in me

Here in Your presence, God, I find my rest
Here in Your presence, God

For further reflection:

Below are some of the quotes from the talk, and some additional quotes, for you to reflect on further:

Rumi:

Take off your clothes and jump in the pool

Escape the forehead pressure of your mind.

We used to think this splashing around was foolish.

Then came a wink, and we were done for.

How long do you stay jealous and angry?

Let two or three sad songs rise from your chest.

Or just keep doing as you are now.

Maybe in your loud confusion

the world will disappear and the curtain will lift.

Passion breaks loose. Now silence.

The love-king says, It takes courage to keep the deep self quiet.

Cynthia Bourgeault:

"As we move toward center, our own being and the divine being become more and more mysteriously interwoven".

 

Meister Eckhart:

 "There is in the soul a something in which God dwells, and there is in the soul a something in which the soul dwells in God."

Matthew 16:25‭-‬26 

For whoever wants to save their life  will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 

Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

1 Corinthians 1:27‭-‬29 

"God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; 

God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 

God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are."

 

Thomas Merton:

In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose your peace of heart. As soon as you compare that shadow with the shadows of other people, you lose all joy, because you have begun to trade in unrealities, and there is no joy in things that do not exist. ...

If, then, we want to seek some way of being holy, we must first of all renounce our own way and our own wisdom. We must “empty ourselves” as He did. We must “deny ourselves” and in some sense make ourselves “nothing” in order that we may live not so much in ourselves as in Him. We must live by a power and a light that seem not to be there. We must live by the strength of an apparent emptiness that is always truly empty and yet never fails to support us at every moment. 

This is holiness. 

None of this can be achieved by any effort of my own, by any striving of my own, by any competition with other people. It means leaving all the ways that people can follow or understand. I who am without love cannot become love unless Love identifies me with Himself. But if He sends His own Love, Himself, to act and love in me and in all that I do, then I shall be transformed, I shall discover who I am and shall possess my true identity by losing myself in Him.

James Finley:

"Slow things down enough to relax into the subtle silence that opens out into God. …

Sitting in silence, breathing in silence, opening yourself to silence, you become, little by little, more and more silent. So much of what meditation has to offer lies hidden in our willingness to allow the last echoes of egocentric noise to dissolve in silence. The silence of a single session of meditation can open up more mystery and depth of oneness with God than a lifetime of speaking could even begin to explain. ...

It is in learning to rest in silence that you are led by the indwelling Spirit into the eternal silence of God.”

Ending prayer:

As swimmers dare

to lie face to the sky

and water bears them,

as hawks rest upon air

and air sustains them,

so would I learn to attain

freefall, and float

into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,

knowing no effort earns

that all-surrounding grace.

The Avowal, by Denise Levertov

Some of you may be interested in listening to the following talk by Richard Rohr, Becoming Stillness. It is particularly relevant from 39 minutes onward. 

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