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Silent Sunday

Winter Fragments

Winter Fragments

At this time of year in the southern hemisphere we are in the dead of winter, and this holds the invitation for us to stop and really give time to this season, and to hold the sacredness of endings and loss.

Opening music:

Calm me LordChoral
00:00 / 04:55


Calm me Lord as you calmed the storm

Still me Lord, keep me from harm

Let all the tumult within me cease,

Enfold me Lord in your peace

Introduction Talk:

Quiet Prayer

I invite you to enter the stillness in a time of quiet prayer (you can choose between a 10 minute and a 20 minute time of simple silence using the timers below). If you find your mind wandering, gently let go of your thoughts and return to stillness, to being present, to awareness of your breath or your sacred word. Read the poem by John O'Donohue as a lead into the time of stillness:
Stillness is vital to the world of the soul.
If as you age you become more still,
you will discover that stillness can be a great companion.
The fragments of your life will have time to unify,
and the places where your soul-shelter is wounded or broken
will have time to knit and heal.
You will be able to return to yourself.
In this stillness, you will engage your soul.

10 minute MeditationSilent
00:00 / 10:25
20 minute MeditationSilent
00:00 / 20:28

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

It's always loveCarrie Newcomer
00:00 / 03:18


It takes some starts and stops

To hold a paradox

All that's boundless and forever

With an ever ticking clock

I am every lonely ache

And all the times I knew to wait

I am all that I did right

And I am every bad mistake

It is love that breaks your heart

Love that tears the world apart

Only love that makes it all worth it in the end

It always love, its always love again

I don't know what to say

But there are no words anyway

Some things a wider than words

That only echo and fade

But there are also sentences and songs

The ones I've always carried on

That I can sing while I am here

And you can sing when I am gone

It is love that breaks your heart

Love that tears the world apart

Only love that makes it all worth it in the end

It always love, its always love again

Its old and yet it's new

Luminous and true

The best that we can love

Is the most that we can do

I keep trying to understand

And to hold it in both hands

How to know what can't be done

And still envision all that can

I am everything I've found

And I am everything I've lost

I am all that I've been given

And I'm everything it cost.

Sacred Reading:

Read the following reading through twice or three times, with an attitude of open receptivity. Allow a few minutes of silence between each reading. Listen for any words that call out to you, or that draw you into the sacredness of silence that is deeper than your usual knowing:

Psalm 57 paraphrase

Be merciful to me, O Beloved!

I return to Your sheltering embrace, opening my heart to You,

For You are the Source of the Love and Wisdom that I yearn for.

In the shadow of your wings I take refuge

Until the fears that bind me are transformed,

Losing their power as I find my home in You.

I cry to the Source of all life,

To the Eternal One who brings wholeness and healing.

Send your Spirit to awaken me,

Put to rest all that keeps me fearful and fragmented.

The Beloved radiates loving kindness and faithfulness.

At night I lie in the midst of terrifying monsters,

Fears that threaten to overpower me;

They tighten the noose around me,

Trying to control my life.

My fears have woven a web around me,

Seeking to entrap me.

They live within me, fuelled by my mind's narratives,

gnawing at my bones,

leaving me in a pit of suffering and despair.

But as I return to the refuge of Your presence,

this pit gives way, opening out into your embrace,

And I realise that I was never not held.

You, O Holy One, are the tender vastness

beyond the destructive fantasies of my mind.

There is no end to your spacious embrace,

And my heart sighs in gratitude and wonder when I remember this.

I am learning to trust your holding embrace,

and so my heart is steadfast and resilient,

learning new songs of hope and courage,

Songs that bubble from within,

awakening a new dawn.

May all of humanity be freed from our small prisons of suffering and isolation,

To grasp the wonder of your endless, boundary-less love,

Filling this whole earth with your radiant presence, and abundant life.

For Further Reflection:

Below are poems, the one from the video and an additional poem, that you could pray with if you want to take this theme further.

I am praying again, Awesome One.

You hear me again, as words

from the depths of me

rush toward you in the wind.

I've been scattered in pieces,

torn by conflict,

mocked by laughter,

washed down in drink.

In the alleyway I sweep myself up

out of garbage and broken glass.

With my half-mouth I stammer you,

who are eternal in your symmetry.

I lift to you my half-hands

in wordless beseeching, that I may find again

the eyes with which I once beheld you. ...

I yearn to belong to something, to be contained

in an all-embracing mind that sees me

as a single thing.

I yearn to be held

in the great hands of your heart--

oh let them take me now.

Into them I place these fragments, my life,

and you, God -- spend them however you want.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

The Healing Time

Finally on my way to yes

I bump into

all the places

where I said no

to my life

all the untended wounds

the red and purple scars

those hieroglyphs of pain

carved into my skin, my bones,

those coded messages

that send me down

the wrong street

again and again

where I find them

the old wounds

the old misdirections

and I lift them

one by one

close to my heart

and I say holy


~ Pesha Gertler

Ending Prayer:

I yearn to be held

in the great hands of Your heart--

oh let them take me now.

Into them I place these fragments, my life,

and You, God -- spend them however You want.


(Rainer Maria Rilke)

Ending music:

That's where the beauty isMary Chapin Carpenter
00:00 / 03:56

Song lyrics:

The crooked line beneath the paint

From faraway it looks straight

Where practiced hands betray a shake

That's where the beauty is

The mark upon your skin revealed

Where injury and pain were sealed

But a scar’s the place where you were healed

That's where the beauty is

Walk with me and hold my hand

There's so much we don't understand

The shattered pieces of a bowl

Filled and fused with dust and gold

in brokenness we are whole

That's where the beauty is

Walk with me and hold my hand

there's so much we won't understand

All that's buried in your heart

The cold and lonely, hopeless part

Dig down deeper and find the spark

that's where the beauty is.


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Deeper cover smaller.jpg

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 can be ordered from or Takealot, or from your local bookshop through Ingram Distribution.

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