Silence and Being

From Martin Thornton’s Prayer: A New Encounter.  (H/t to Matthew Dallman for the quote & link.)

“It is common experience to ordinary Christians in retreat, or after a prolonged period of silent prayer, for things, beings, creation, to take on a new and more vivid appearance. The cultivation of a deep interior silence issues in a new look towards everything, the presence and manifestation of Being in the beings is constant, but here is a positive response to that constancy. Under such conditions Julian [of Norwich] contemplated her hazel-nut; to George Fox things had ‘another smell than before’; Saint Francis called wind and water brother and sister, not out of sentiment, but as a theological expression of contemplation; to John Scotus Eriugena the world became ‘a theophany.’ In Buber’s terminology they all had moved into an I-Thou relationship. In Macquarrie’s, human being became united with other beings and glimpsed Being. In all cases it is prayer, emphatic and contemplative.”
[The painting is Vilhelm Hammershoi’s Dust Motes Dancing in Sunbeams]

 

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