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Readings week of January 8th.

Daily Contemplative Pause Readings

Monday, January 8th with Heather

“There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness. This mysterious Unity and Integrity is Wisdom, the Mother of all, Natura naturans. There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fount of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being, welcoming me tenderly, salut. ing me with indescribable humility. This is at once my own being, my own nature, and the Gift of my Creator's Thought and Art within me, speaking as Hagia Sophia, speaking as my sister, Wisdom.

I am like all [human]kind awakening from all the dreams that ever were dreamed in all the nights of the world. It is like the One Christ awakening in all the separate selves that ever were separate and isolated and alone in all the lands of the earth. It is like all minds coming back together into awareness from all distractions, cross-purposes and confusions, into unity of love.”

— Thomas Merton, Hagia Sophia


Tuesday, January 9th with Heather

 “The Sun bums in the sky like the Face of God, but we do not know [God's] countenance as terrible. [God's] light is diffused in the air and the light of God is diffused by Hagia Sophia.

We do not see the Blinding One in black emptiness. [God] speaks to us gently in ten thousand things, in which [God's] light is one fulness and one Wisdom.

Thus [God] shines not on them but from within them. Such is the loving-kindness of Wisdom.”

— Thomas Merton, Hagia Sophia


Wednesday, January 10th with Heather

 “All the perfections of created things are also in God, and therefore [God] is at once Father and Mother. As Father [God] stands in solitary might surrounded by darkness, At Mother [God's] shining is diffused, embracing all [God's] creatures with merciful tenderness and light. The Diffuse Shining of God is Hagia Sophia. We call her [God's] "glory." In Sophia [God's] power is experienced only as mercy and as love.”

— Thomas Merton, Hagia Sophia


Thursday, January 11th with Heather

 “Perhaps in a certain very primitive aspect Sophia is the unknown, the dark, the nameless Ousia. Perhaps she is even the Divine Nature, One in Father, Son and Holy Ghost. And perhaps she is in infinite light unmanifest, not even waiting to be known as Light. This I do not know. Out of the silence Light is spoken. We do not hear it or see it until it is spoken. In the Nameless Beginning, without Beginning, was the Light.

We have not seen this Beginning. I do not know where she is, in this Beginning. I do not speak of her as a Beginning, but as a manifestation.

Now the Wisdom of God, Sophia, comes forth, reaching from "end to end mightily." She wills to be also the unseen pivot of all nature, the center and significance of all the light that is in all and for all. That which is poorest and humblest, that which is most hidden in all things is nevertheless most obvious in them, and quite manifest, for it is their own self that stands before us, naked and without care.”

— Thomas Merton, Hagia Sophia


Friday, January 12th with Catherine

'A Ritual to Read to Each Other' by William Stafford


If you don't know the kind of person I am,

and I don't know the kind of person you are

a pattern that others have made may prevail in the world,

and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.


For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,

a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break

sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood

storming out to play through the broken dyke.


And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,

but if one wanders, the circus won't find the park,

I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty

to know what occurs and not recognize the fact.


And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,

a remote, important region in all who talk:

though we could fool each other, we should consider -

lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.


For it is important that awake people be awake,

or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;

the signals we give - yes or no, or maybe -

should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.


Saturday, January 13th with Lacey

You are the future,

the red sky before sunrise

over the fields of time.


You are the cock’s crow when night is done,

you are the dew and the bells of matins,

maiden, stranger, mother, death.


You create yourself in ever-changing shapes

that rise from the stuff of our days –

unsung, unmourned, undescribed,

like a forest we never knew.


You are the deep innerness of all things,

the last word that can never be spoken.

To each of us you reveal yourself differently:

to the ship as coastline, to the shore as ship.

― Rainer Maria Rilke, II,2 Book of Hours



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