Encouragement for the Journey 14 / 10 / 2012

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Encouragement for the Journey 14 / 10 / 2012

Encouragement for the Journey

Greetings Fellow Traveller,

Today is our service of quiet and reflection. This service is very different from last week. One is not better than the other, just different. Of course we each have our preferences which are of course very important.

Being in a more reflective vein today, I thought I would offer you a few words from Thomas R Kelly (Quaker educator, writer and mystic who died in 1941)

‘Life is meant to be lived from a Centre … There is a divine Abyss within us all, a holy Infinite Centre, a Heart, a Life who speaks in us and through us to the world. We have all heard this holy Whisper at times. At times we have followed the Whisper, an amazing equilibrium of life, amazing effectiveness of living set in. But to many of us have heeded the Voice only at times…. We have not counted this Holy Thing within us to be the most precious thing in the world.’ 

In the busyness of our lives, rushing here and there, this automatically presses the mute button. We are no longer able to hear the faint sound of the holy Whisper.

But wait, if we become still, the mute button is released and the sounds of the gentle whisper may be heard once more deep in the inner recesses of the heart.

Another way of experiencing this holy whisper is offered in the ‘Cloud of Unknowing.’ The Cloud of Unknowing is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in the latter half of the 14th century. The text is a spiritual guide on contemplative prayer in the late Middle Ages. The underlying message of this work proposes that the only way to truly “know” God is to abandon all preconceived notions and beliefs or “knowledge” about God and be courageous enough to surrender your mind and ego to the realm of “unknowingness,” at which point, you begin to glimpse the true nature of God.

The Cloud of Unknowing calls this stirring within a ‘gentle stirring of love.’ This stirring will never condemn us, create guilt or shame. Rather, we will be assured of our worth, wonder, beauty and essential goodness. This to me is good news and a welcome refreshment to the busyness and frantic activity we engage in.

Meanwhile Peace in the stirring of Love

Alf