Sermon quotes on presence
David G. Benner
Presence requires inner space, and talk about presence requires the same.
I still believe that all spiritual life consists of practicing God’s presence, and that anyone who practices correctly will soon attain spiritual fulfillment…. There is no sweeter manner of living in the world than continuous communion with God.
If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heartbeat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded, with, stupidity.
From theophanies to erotic closeness, presence feels the same, even if the personalities are not the same.”
How, then, shall we lay hold of that Life and Power, and live the life of prayer without ceasing? By quiet, persistent practice in turning all of our being, day and night, in prayer and inward worship and surrender, toward him who calls in the deeps of our souls.
He’s what we really need. If your friend is sick and dying, the most important thing he wants is not an explanation but for you to sit with him. He’s terrified of being alone more than anything else. So God has not left us alone.
Ursula K. Le Guin
The living human community that language creates involves living human bodies. We need to talk together, speaker and hearer here, now. We know that. We feel it. We feel the absence of it. Speech connects us so immediately and vitally because it is a physical, bodily process, to begin with.
May you know that absence is alive with hidden presence, that nothing is ever hidden or forgotten. May the absences in your life grow full of eternal echo. May you sense around you the secret Elsewhere where the presences that have left you dwell.
The skills have been lost of being present for and in another, and what remains is mistrust and violence.
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