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Invitation to Photography: Thomas Merton on Silence

button-photographyWelcome to this month’s Abbey Photo Party!

select a theme and invite you to respond with images.

We began this month with a Community Lectio Divina practice with our reflection on Silence from Thomas Merton.

I invite you for this month’s Photo Party to hold these words in your heart as you go out in the world to receive images in response. As you walk be ready to see what is revealed to you as a visual expression of your prayer.

You can share images you already have which illuminate the theme, but I encourage you also to go for a walk with the theme in mind and see what you discover.

You are also welcome to post photos of any other art you create inspired by the theme.  See what stirs your imagination!

How to participate:

You can post your photo either in the comment section below* (there is now an option to upload a file with your comment – your file size must be smaller than 1MB – you can re-size your image for free here – choose the “small size” option and a maximum width of 500).

You can also join our Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group and post there. Feel free to share a few words about the process of receiving this image and how it speaks of the harvest for you.

*Note: If this is your first time posting, or includes a link, your comment will need to be moderated before it appears. This is to prevent spam and should be approved within 24 hours.

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14 Responses

  1. Praise and gratitude for the face of God reflected around us. Being there for the only ray of light to pierce the cloud on Christmas Eve …very softly

  2. Advent can be such a busy time of year, with all the preparations going on, I like to go into my favorite chapel (St. Ignatius on Seattle University campus) and just get into silence and take a deep breath or two. Sometimes, God surprises or challenges me if I manage to take the time to just look and listen to light and darkness. This is one of the images I captured last Sunday afternoon using a simple point and shoot camera. All is gift…

  3. I have been meditating on this photo for several moments and I am struck by the beauty of the stamen. It is the part of the flower most distinctly focused in the shot. Your photo captured the delicate, soft-pink frailty of the center of the flower, awash in singular light as if it is the prima ballerina in life’s play. Frail, yes, but these tiny tendrils hold life in their grasp, creative power for the beauty to come. Thank you for that. I am going to be watching for what frail, delicate spaces and folk around me might be holding equally powerful life in their tendrils….

  4. Let me seek, then, the gift of silence, and poverty, and solitude, where everything I touch is turned into prayer: where the sky is my prayer, the birds are my prayer, the wind in the trees is my prayer, for God is in all. — Thoughts in Solitude, Thomas Merton

    After a week away from our Meditation Room, I walked in yesterday and what I saw took my breath away… The Christmas cactus with a multitude of bright white buds had suddenly exploded into a glorious prayer of mother-of-pearl abalone pink blossoms. Not a single word was needed to say thanks to the Universe.

  5. Today Merton’s vocation merges with a new Sister I have discovered whose beautiful story is on her website Awakening to Truth. Amma takes one into her initiation as a Buddhist Nun through a near death experience in Nepal with a bear…and how at the center of this experience the Divine Om opened up for her and blessed her with Bliss to journey our of the injury and into the Divine Silence of Monastic life. Hers is like Merton’s… a vocation to “stand as a sentinel at the world’s frontier …listening for the far off drums of the Holy One… at the Stillpoint within her own being and call

  6. Solitude, stillness and being present to the moment have been my focus for 2014. Just last night, I was sitting in my car after a holiday gathering downtown and once again was struck by how the holy is everywhere. The neon lights of the city became jewels in the mist of my windows, rivulets casting shadow on the altar of my dashboard. Passing cars became the sounds of ocean waves as they processed down the wet streets. I became lost in the wonder of the moment, reflected in the ordinary. My heart is full.