Jun 8, 2013


STILLNESS seems simple. 
Seek solitude. Clear the mind. Practice quiet.
And it can be that, simple. 
But it can also be more.

We who join this community on Saturdays, 
we muse about the elements of STILLNESS across our week; 
gathering grains of thought from our daily meandering through read material and lived experience that we might share it in our Saturday post. In the readings of these posts it strikes me that ...

       approaching STILLNESS with preparation 
       can inform and expand that treasured time of being set apart. 

Preparation in the form of daily living that pursues scriptural and spiritual alertness despite the tenacious call of human concerns. 

In The Cloistered Walk Kathleen Norris writes beautifully of the Benedictine monastic communities both Protestant and Catholic, men and women and engages us in their remarkable way of life. In contrast to widely held public understanding, it becomes evident that even in a monastery there is work, there are demands, trials, responsibilities, conflicts, schedules,, ...; the constant clamor of living. Yet the over riding intent of their life is an “immersion into a liturgical world” and that liturgy is centered on the Psalms. She writes:

“One of the goals of [Benedictine] Monastic life is to let the the Psalms become so much a part of one’s consciousness that they surface unexpectedly, in response to the circumstances of daily life.”  

Not surprising, Kathleen’s study, worship, and extended visits with these communities impacts her professional work as a poet but also her personal faith experience long after she returns home to small town life in mid America. In a portion of this work titled “The Lands Of Sunrise and Sunset” she recalls how liturgical practice  entered the STILLNESS and beauty of a sunset walk.

“I’ve spent so much time immersed in Benedictine liturgy, which is centered on the Psalms ... I know many of the phrases by heart....As I walked on that afternoon I suddenly recalled a blessing from Psalm 121: 

“The lord will bless your going and your coming, your resting and rising forevermore ...”

It is the aim of contemplative living, at least in the Christian mode, that you learn to recognize a blessing when you see one, and are able to respond to it with words that God has given you.”  Pg. 351-52

In STILLNESS may the words that God has given us surface unexpectedly, filling the soul with the magnitude of HIS presence.


  1. This is beautiful. I have my stillness time with God every morning. Then I try to keep that with me throughout my day.
    Thanks for linking to Sunday Stillness.

  2. I like these thoughts: "... We muse about the elements of stillness across our week" and "It is the aim of contemplative living... that you learn to recognize a blessing when you see one..."

    I will take those ideas with me into this week. Thanks for sharing them! May your new week have many recognizable gifts of stillness.

    Violet N.