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by davesandel on December 17th, 2011

Practices from Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton

From Chaper 8, “Emptiness”

Inner silence depends on a continual seeking, a continual crying in the night, a repeated bending over the abyss … For He is found when He is sought, and when He is no longer sought, He escapes us. – Thomas Merton

All of us have places in our life that feel very empty; sometimes they exist simultaneously with places that are very full.  The empty places are the ones we usually try to avoid, yet God is waiting to meet us in the midst of our emptiness.  Where are the empty places in your life right now?  Are you willing to acknowledge them and walk into them as Elijah did?

During your time in silence, sit with your hands gently open on your lap as a way of expressing your willingness to be empty in God’s presence.  Sit in the place of emptiness in your life, and imagine that it is a receptacle for the very presence of God.  Remember that we cannot demand that God fill the emptiness on our terms.  Let it be enough to experience your emptiness in a new way – no longer as a scary, dark and barren place but as a place of openness, receptivity and spiritual possibility.

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