Selah Quotes

Quotes tagged as "selah" (showing 1-30 of 35)
M. Robert Mulholland Jr.
“When we pray "Let your kingdom come," we aren't asking God to bring history to an end and whisk us to realms of glory, or to wave a magic wand and solve all the problems we face in our life. Rather, we are making a radical commitment to live our life in the world ("on earth") in such loving abandonment to God that the values and principles, the perspectives and dynamics of God's realm of life and wholeness become incarnate in and through our being and doing. Here too we are utterly incapable of actualizing the kingdom in this way. We can, however, through loving abandonment, allow God to incarnate kingdom life in and through us in the circumstances of our daily life.”
M. Robert Mulholland Jr., The Deeper Journey: The Spirituality of Discovering Your True Self

Thomas Merton
“Contemplation is also the response to a call: a call from Him who has no voice, and yet who speaks in everything that is, and who, most of all, speaks in the depths of our own being: for we ourselves are words of his. But we are words that are meant to respond to him, to answer to him, to echo him, and even in some way to contain him and signify him. Contemplation is this echo. It is a deep resonance in the inmost center of our spirit in which our very life loses its separate voice and re-sounds with the majesty and the mercy of the Hidden and Living One. He answers himself in us and this answer is divine life, divine creativity, making all things new. We ourselves become his echo and his answer. It is as if in creating us God asked a question, and in awakening us to contemplation he answered the question, so that the contemplative is at the same time, question and answer.”
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

William A. Barry
“Some of the most outstanding spiritual directors in Christian history - like Catherine of Siena and Ignatius of Loyola - either never had an office or orders, or did much of their work of direction before they held such an office. Generally speaking, effective spiritual directors are discovered by the Christian community; they do not put themselves forward without first having others seek their help. Because priests and ministers stand out publicly in the churches as spiritual leaders, most often it is they who have been sought out as spiritual directors. But ordination is not necessary (nor, as we shall see, sufficient) for effective spiritual direction.”
William A. Barry, The Practice of Spiritual Direction

William A. Barry
“The more conscious directors are of the life of the Christian community and the more knowledgeable they are about the experienced relationships of that community with God and with all reality, the more helpful they are likely to be to directees. But their authority arises basically from the fact that they share in the faith-life of the Christian community as it experiences its dialogue with God. This makes the director first of all a brother or a sister of the directee and provides the basic ingredient for the informal, nonhierarchic - "just two people talking" - but creative atmosphere that seems to characterize helpful direction today.”
William A. Barry, The Practice of Spiritual Direction

William A. Barry
“The kinds of men and women most likely to engender trust in others are those described in the same study as developed persons. They are not perfect, but they are relatively mature. They show signs of having engaged in life and with people. They are optimistic, but not naive, good-humored, but not glad-handers. They have suffered, but not been overcome by suffering. They have loved and been loved and know the struggle of trying to be a friend to another. They have friends for whom they care deeply. They have experienced failure and sinfulness - their own and others' - but seem at ease with themselves in a way that indicates an experience of being saved and freed by a power greater than the power of failure and sin. They are relatively unafraid of life with all its light and darkness, all its mystery.”
William A. Barry, The Practice of Spiritual Direction

William A. Barry
“It needs to be emphasized that directees are real people, and as such they are just as varied, just as ambivalent, just as attractive and unattractive as are, for example, directors themselves. Real people can be scintillating, and they can be boring, often within the same hour. They can be banal, and they can be inspired. They can be concerned about momentous and serious issues and about trivia. They can be sunny, and they can be gloomy. In their prayer life they will show all these dispositions and more. Spiritual directors who want to foster a relationship between such people and their God need to have a "surplus of warmth".”
William A. Barry, The Practice of Spiritual Direction

William A. Barry
“How does this "surplus of warmth," this love for people as they are, show itself in spiritual direction? It appears in three attitudes: commitment, effort to understand, and spontaneity. Commitment is the willingness of spiritual directors to help directees grow in union with God and to commit their time, their resources, and themselves to that end. Effort to understand means that spiritual directors try to maintain a contemplative attitude toward directees, try to perceive how the directees are experiencing God and life. Spontaneity means that spiritual directors are themselves, not controlled and inhibited by their role as spiritual directors, but able to express their own feelings, thoughts, and hopes when expressing them will be helpful to directees. Without spontaneity, "commitment and effort to understand will appear cold, impersonal, and stereotyped.”
William A. Barry, The Practice of Spiritual Direction

William A. Barry
“Some knowledge of the diversity of Christian religious experience and a sympathetic awareness of of non-Christian religious experience can help directors transcend their personal absolutes and open them to a greater sense of wonder toward the manifold experience of people with God.”
William A. Barry, The Practice of Spiritual Direction

William A. Barry
“The Mystery we call God is just that - mystery; not mystery in the sense of an unknown, but eventually knowable, stranger, but mystery in the sense that God is too rich, too deep, and too loving to be knowable and is, therefore, God. Spiritual directors can be only helping companions to those who travel the way of such a God.”
William A. Barry, The Practice of Spiritual Direction

William A. Barry
“Spiritual direction, therefore, explicitly acknowledges what is often only implicit in other forms of pastoral care: that the directees' desire for more life, more integration, more union with God is grounded in the indwelling Spirit and that God is an active Other in the relationship. The working alliance is thus grounded in mystery and explicitly acknowledges that the way, too, is mystery.”
William A. Barry, The Practice of Spiritual Direction

“Unitive experiences often occur spontaneously, and often outside of obviously religious contexts. Many times they are quickly repressed or denied. Still, they constitute the basic form of spiritual experience,...

It is possible to increase one's openness, receptivity, and responsiveness to unitive experiences, but it is not possible to make them happen.

An experience of union, of course, does not imply that an individual is really any more at one than before or after the experience. Rather, it must be understood that the experience constitutes a realization (in the literal sense) of an aspect of life that is constantly true but that goes unrecognized most of the time. In this regard, unitive experiences can be seen as one kind of contemplative state. In classic language they are a form of "infused" contemplation, that which comes solely as a gift, as compared to "acquired" contemplation, that which comes partly from personal effort and intention....

In practice one can examine the self-losing aspect of unitive experience by asking What was your sense of yourself during the experience? In the true experience, there will be no sense of self; self will be forgotten.”
Gerald G. May, Care of Mind/Care of Spirit: A Psychiatrist Explores Spirtual Direction

“Excessive preoccupation with psyche and evil - either from supportive or antagonistic standpoints - fosters a degree of self-consciousness and self-importance that is very likely to eclipse the ever-present mystery of God's truth. Discernments are essential, but it is not at all necessary or helpful to become attached to making them. If possible, it is best to see psychological phenomena such as dreams, fantasies, images, and thoughts as manifestations of God's potential in the same way that nature, art, relationships, and all other phenomena are. Gazing into an empty, blue sky, kneeling in prayer in a cathedral, and recalling memories associated with a dream can all be worthwhile spiritual explorations. The can also all be distractions from spiritual exploration. The beauty of the sky or the cathedral can create an absorption with sensate experience, just as dream analysis can create ego-absorption.”
Gerald G. May, Care of Mind/Care of Spirit: A Psychiatrist Explores Spirtual Direction

“The importance of experiences lies not so much in their precise nature as in one's response to them. In part this represents a harkening back to an old principle of discernment...of evaluating an experience in relation to its fruits. More deeply, however, we are speaking of remaining attentive to the mystery and reality of God behind> all phenomena, refusing to allow superficial appearances to distract us from this central concern. We do a disservice to ourselves and others when we allow our interest in the nature of a phenomenon to obscure the mysterious wonder of the very existence of that phenomenon.
Gerald G. May, Care of Mind/Care of Spirit: A Psychiatrist Explores Spirtual Direction

“It was the recommendation of John of the Cross (in a manner similar to that of Gamaliel) that one should not pay particular attention to any phenomena or experiences. If an experience were truly and directly of God, he felt, its truth would become evident naturally in one's life. If it were of something "else," it would certainly not be worthy of attention. Therefore, no special attention was necessary.”
Gerald G. May, Care of Mind/Care of Spirit: A Psychiatrist Explores Spirtual Direction

“In spiritual direction, however, there has to be an ongoing awareness that anything can happen; that the Holy Spirit is already affecting the person; and that one must participate in this work through careful discernment and support. here again, it is necessary to walk the fierce path of free will and dependence. We must always claim the freedom we have been given; to do otherwise would devalue our humanity. But at the same time, we will increasingly recognize the extreme inadequacy of personal will and knowledge in figuring out what life is or how we should live it. As we grow in wisdom, we also grow in the realization of our utter dependence upon the Lord in all things. it seems to me, then, that in its purest human form spiritual direction is a journey towards more freely and deeply choosing to surrender to God.”
Gerald G. May, Care of Mind/Care of Spirit: A Psychiatrist Explores Spirtual Direction

“Not only do I need friends who share in my desires and convictions, and not only do I need mentors who can support, encourage and advise me as I journey to God, but I also need a community with whom I can participate in the proclamation of the Word and the celebration of all that the Words means to me. Like the baby Jesus, I need a "holy family" to belong to. I need to belong to something bigger than myself. If I don't, then I run the risk of developing a sort of God-and-me spirituality with no support systems to hold me up when I am weak, no prophets to challenge me when I am wrong and no party-mates with whom I may celebrate the Lord's goodness in my life.”
Mark E. Thibodeaux, Armchair Mystic: Easing Into Contemplative Prayer

Thomas Merton
“The life of contemplation implies two levels of awareness: first, awareness of the question, and, second, awareness of the answer. Though these are two distinct and enormously different levels, yet they are in fact an awareness of the same thing. The question is, itself, the answer. And we ourselves are both. But we cannot know this until we have moved into the second kind of awareness. We awaken, not to find an answer absolutely distinct from the question, but to realize that the question is its own answer. And all is summed up in one awareness - not a proposition, but an experience: "I AM".”
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Thomas Merton
“We do not see God in contemplation - we know Him by love: for his pure love and when we taste the experience of loving God for his own sake alone, we know by experience who and what he is.”
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Thomas Merton
“God does not give his joy to us for ourselves alone, and if we could possess him for ourselves alone we would not possess him at all. Any joy that does not overflow from our souls and help other men to rejoice in God does not come to us form God. (But do not think that you have to see how it overflows into the souls of others. In the economy of his grace, you may be sharing his gifts with someone you will never know until you get to heaven.)”
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Thomas Merton
“At the same time [the contemplative] most earnestly wants everybody else to share his peace and his joy. His contemplation gives him a new outlook on the world of men. He looks about him with a secret and tranquil surmise which he perhaps admits to no one; hoping to find in the faces of other men or to hear in their voices some sign of vocation and potentiality for the same deep happiness and wisdom. He finds himself speaking of God to the men in whom he hopes he has recognized the light of his own peace, the awakening of his own secret: or if he cannot speak to them, he writes for them, and his contemplative life is still imperfect without sharing, without companionship, without communion.”
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Thomas Merton
“...as soon as you think of yourself as teaching contemplation to others, you make another mistake. No one teaches contemplation except God, who gives it. The best you can do is write something that will serve as an occasion for someone else to realize what God wants of him.”
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

M. Robert Mulholland Jr.
“It must be emphasized here that this movement of detachment and centeredness is not a flight from the world. Such a false asceticism is merely another means by which our religious false self identifies us over against the world. The detachment and centeredness is at the heart of a life of loving union with God is never a world-denying spirituality. It is only the detachment from our manipulative and possessive abuse of the world that enables the world to be the place of life with God, and our centering enables our lives to be in the world all that god has created them to be.”
M. Robert Mulholland Jr., The Deeper Journey: The Spirituality of Discovering Your True Self

Thomas Kelly
“We are torn loose from earthly attachments and ambitions - contemptus mundi. And we are quickened to a divine but painful concern for the world - amor mundi. He plucks the world out of our hearts, loosening the chains of the attachment. And He hurls the world into our hearts, where we and He together can carry it in infinitely tender love.”
Thomas Kelly

Prayer is for listening; review of prayer is for discerning. It is important that I resist the temptation to analyze what is going on. During prayer, I will be tempted to play the sports commentator, reviewing every move with instant replay. I will be tempted to ask myself if the prayer is going well, if it is really God speaking or merely my imagination, if I'm handling this conversation well and so on. This ongoing analysis will only distract me from listening for God with my full attention....I may miss God's voice because I am too preoccupied with evaluating the prayer then and there. During the prayer itself, I must simply be present and listen attentively to whatever is said by whomever. There will be plenty of time to sort it all out later.”
Mark E. Thibodeaux, Armchair Mystic: Easing Into Contemplative Prayer

“Spiritual direction is a way of companioning people as they seek to look closely, through the eyes of their hearts, at the guidance and transforming work of God in their lives. It's a practice that began in the early years of Christianity when people followed the desert mothers and fathers out to the wilderness to ask them how to know God. Over the years, spiritual direction has appeared in many faith traditions. It was kept alive in the Christian faith mainly through the Roman Catholic Church, but today the Protestant church is rediscovering it. People throughout the Christian church, including those of an evangelical orientation, are experiencing again the gifts that God gives to his people through the loving listening and the gentle guidance of spiritual directors. This gift is usually offered in the context of individual spiritual direction, but the potential for spiritual direction in small groups is a growing and promising expression of the ministry of spiritual companionship.”
Alice Fryling, Seeking God Together: An Introduction to Group Spiritual Direction

“When I heard about spiritual direction, I felt as if I was seeing an old friend I had never met. Spiritual direction (this new old friend) led me deeper into the love of God. Spiritual direction helped me experience more intimately the God of love. And spiritual direction equipped me to be in relationship with others where I could love as I was loved.”
Alice Fryling, Seeking God Together: An Introduction to Group Spiritual Direction

“The environment of spiritual direction, then, is affirming and encouraging, but it is also a place of authenticity. In spiritual direction we look at the truth of our present situation and experience. The question asked is not "What should be happening in my life?" but "What is happening in my life?" We look for God here, now, because the place where we are in our lives is the place where we find God. Our souls, our lives, are the dwelling place of God. We are God's temple (2 Corinthians 6:16). God names himself the "I AM" (Exodus 3:14) - not the I-will-be, the I-was, the I-could-be, but the I-am. The present moment, the present set of circumstances, the present relationships in our lives - this is where God lives. This is where God meets us and gives us life. This is where spiritual direction occurs.”
Alice Fryling, Seeking God Together: An Introduction to Group Spiritual Direction

“The purpose of spiritual direction groups is formation. Spiritual formation is "a process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others." The intentional goal of group spiritual direction is to help each participant become more aware of God in their lives, for the sake of others.
Alice Fryling, Seeking God Together: An Introduction to Group Spiritual Direction

“The temptation to pretend we know God's plan is a strong one. All of us have succumbed to it in one way or another. The point is not whether or not we are rightl we may be. The point to remember is that it is God's job, not ours, to speak inner truth to our friends. In our companionship of those who are suffering we can say we love, "We don't understand why you are experiencing this difficult situation, but we are here for you. God is faithful. We will support you as you try to believe, even when that seems impossible.”
Alice Fryling, Seeking God Together: An Introduction to Group Spiritual Direction

“...good listeners have a humble perspective. Humility in listening means that we let go of preconceived opinions, we let go of the need to be right, we let go of our own insecurities, and we let go of the need to appear wise, good or spiritual. In short, we let go of ourselves in order to be present to the other. This is a high calling and a commitment we will need to return to again and again.”
Alice Fryling, Seeking God Together: An Introduction to Group Spiritual Direction

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