Hidden and Ordinary

I have come to believe that the true mystics are not those who contemplate holiness in isolation, reaching godlike illumination in serene silence, but those who manage to find God in a life filled with noise, the demands of other people and relentless daily duties that can consume the self… If they are wise, they treasure the rare moments of solitude and silence that come their way, and use them not to escape, to distract themselves with television and the like. Instead, they listen for a sign of God’s presence and they open their hearts toward prayer.

Kathleen Norris, The Quotidian Mysteries

Once you have begun [to pray], you will find yourself entering into a kind of life that seems very natural, as though you knew how to do it without being told; a life of following a path that is yours alone; a satisfying life that fills a need that was there all along, but somehow always an empty space before. As this happens you come to care less about “answers” to prayer and whether anything is “really” happening. Something is really happening, but it is entirely yours: a secret between you and God.

Emilie Griffin, Clinging – The Experience of Prayer

I pin my hopes to quiet processes and small circles, in which vital and transforming events take place.

Rufus Jones, Quaker Faith & Practice 24.56

I’ve come to feel that the heroic and the extreme are not the way, generally, that God works in us and in that which is. Hiddenness and ordinariness are far more fertile soils for the Spirit than vows and asceticism. Charles Olson wrote:

These days

whatever you have to say, leave
the roots on, let them
dangle

And the dirt

Just to make clear
where they come from

and he was right.

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