Seth Earl

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Down to the Cross...
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Seth Earl is now friends with Jillian Rettig
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Down to the Crossroads by Aram Goudsouzian
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Orthodox Spirituality, An Outline of the Orthodox Ascetical a... by Lev Gillet
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Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver
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The Year of Grace of the Lord by Monk of the Eastern Church
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Mission in Christ's Way by Anastasios Yannoulatos
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Silence by Shūsaku Endō
Silence
by Shūsaku Endō
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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
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Down to the Crossroads by Aram Goudsouzian
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Silence by Shūsaku Endō
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More of Seth's books…
“Dying is all about letting go and letting be, as is the awareness of God. People who have traveled far along the contemplative path are often aware that the sense of separation from God is itself pasted up out of a mass of thoughts and feelings. When the mind comes into its own stillness and enters the silent land, the sense of separation goes. Union is seen to be the fundamental reality and separateness a highly filtered mental perception.”
Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation

“But gradually we learn something very precious under the tutelage of these wounds. We learn a compassion for others that replaces judging, self-loathing, and the compulsion to find someone to blame. We learn a reverent joy before our wounds that replaces the condemnation of and comparison of ourselves with others that used to fuel our anxiety. We learn that the consummation of self-esteem is self-forgetful abandonment to the Silence of God that gives birth to loving service of all who struggle.”
Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation

“God in Christ has taken into Himself the brokenness of the human condition. Hence, human woundedness, brokenness, death itself are transformed from dead ends to doorways into Life. In the divinizing humanity of Christ, bruises become balm.”
Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation

“The doorway into the silent land is a wound. Silence lays bare this wound. We do not journey far along the spiritual path before we get some sense of the wound of the human condition, and this is precisely why not a few abandon a contemplative practice like meditation as soon as it begins to expose this wound; they move on instead to some spiritual entertainment that will maintain distraction. Perhaps this is why the weak and wounded, who know very well the vulnerability of the human condition, often have an aptitude for discovering silence and can sense the wholeness and healing that ground this wound.

There is something seductive about the contemplative path. “I am going to seduce her and lead her into the desert and speak to her heart” (Hosea 2:14), says Yahweh to Israel. It is tempting to think it is a superior path. More often, however, the seduction is to think we can use our practice of contemplation as a way to avoid facing our woundedness: if we can just go deeply enough into contemplation, we won’t struggle any longer. It is common enough to find people taking a cosmetic view of contemplation, and then, after considerable time and dedication to contemplative practice, discover that they still have the same old warts and struggles they hoped contemplation would remove or hide. They think that somewhere they must have gone wrong.

Certainly there is deep conversion, healing, and unspeakable wholeness to be discovered along the contemplative path. The paradox, however, is that this healing is revealed when we discover that our wound and the wound of God are one wound.”
Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation

“Union with God is not something we acquire by a technique but the grounding truth of our lives that engenders the very search for God. Because God is the ground of our being, the relationship between creature and Creator is such that, by sheer grace, separation is not possible. God does not know how to be absent. The fact that most of us experience throughout most of our lives a sense of absence or distance from God is the great illusion that we are caught up in; it is the human condition. The sense of separation from God is real, but the meeting of stillness reveals that this perceived separation does not have the last word.

This illusion of separation is generated by the mind and is sustained by the riveting of our attention to the interior soap opera, the constant chatter of the cocktail party going on in our heads. For most of us this is what normal is, and we are good at coming up with ways of coping with this perceived separation (our consumer-driven entertainment culture takes care of much of it). But some of us are not so good at coping, and so we drink ourselves into oblivion or cut or burn ourselves “so that the pain will be in a different place and on the outside.”

The grace of salvation, the grace of Christian wholeness that flowers in silence, dispels this illusion of separation. For when the mind is brought to stillness, and all our strategies of acquisition have dropped, a deeper truth presents itself: we are and have always been one with God and we are all one in God (Jn 17:21).”
Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation

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