S: Marv and Nancy - Santa Sabina
BC: “I give you the end of a golden string; Only wind it into a ball. It will lead you in at Heaven’s gate, Build in Jerusalem’s wall.” “Follow...follow...follow...” Marv Hiles
FC: INTO THE SILENCE with Marv and Nancy Hiles
1: Santa Sabina Retreats with Marv and Nancy Hiles 1992 - 2013 Retreat Companions from Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church and many other places gathered for an annual journey into the Silence. This Book is a tribute to the leadership of two special friends who shared their lives with us - the highs and the lows - as we discovered together what it really means to be community, as Christ calls us to be.
2: IN THE BEGINNING... By Jackie McKinley | In Spring of 1977, a dear friend, Mary Dorothy Powers, introduced me to a publication called Daybook, published by Marv Hiles, a minister of a Presbyterian Church in Redwood City. I was excited when I saw he was promoting a “Quiet Day” at his church in a few weeks. My sister Betty and I attended this Quiet Day thirty-four years ago, and that started a long, wonderful, friendship with Marv and Nancy Hiles. One Sunday at LOPC, I was sitting next to Sue Gibbons in a class led by Marcus Borg. He started each session by guiding us to quiet down by sitting comfortably, hands loose in our lap, mind cleared, breathing softly. Just the kind of thing Marv would do! Sue remarked that she really liked this. I leaned over and said, “If you ever want a retreat with more of this, let me know.” I started formulating plans for a Retreat using Marv and Nancy as our leaders. Somehow, LOPC pastors went along with me and I soon had enough people to gather at Santa Sabina for the first LOPC Contemplative Retreat in February 1992. The rest, my friends, is history!
3: “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46: 10 - King James Bible | Welcome to Santa Sabina "All those who enter into the Great Silence will be renewed in body, mind, and spirit." "Welcome home, traveler."
4: I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and in thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patience with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world. - Lao-Tzu
5: "In the stillness, in the silence, in the center of my soul, something waits, in the circle..." | "O God of Light, we await you. Lead us from darkness to light. Lead us from the unreal to the real. Lead us from sleeping into waking. Lead us from confusion to clarity. Shine into all our being, Until we ourselves be light and clear."
6: Some Retreat Themes: "Goodness and Mercy All the Days of My Life" - 1993 "The Light at the Center of Light" - 1994 "Bird of Paradise" - 1995 “This Clay Jug, of Canyons and Pine Mountains” - 2002 “From the Rivers Beyond the Moon” - 2006 “Take Off Your Shoes ...you are standing on Holy Ground” – 2007 “Beside Still Waters” - 2008 “Wait For These Things” - 2009 “The Wonder of It All” - 2010 “When Trees Dream By the Waterside” - 2011 “Muddy Water... Let Stand... Clears” - 2012
7: "My life flows on in endless song, Above earth's lamentation. I hear the real, though far off hymn, that hails the new creation. Above the tumult and the strife, I hear its music ringing; It sounds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing?" - Marv Hiles
8: Sacred Moments at Santa Sabina Listening to Marv read to us in the Pillow Room and reliving many special moments of our own childhood through some else's life story. “The sea is so wide, my boat is so small. Oh God, be good to me” | Letting go of agendas, to-do lists, cell phones, and computer to be open to God’s presence in the world and in our life, as we step through the large wooden-framed doorway of Santa Sabina. Finding chocolate candy kisses and poems of inspiration on a white doily in our bedroom, placed there by an angel before we arrived. Gathering in the Conference Room to huddle like penguins in a winter storm, close and protective of each person on retreat. Tasting delicious meals in the Refectory and being nourished by the quiet and peace of this sacred place. Moving together in T’ai Chi Chih meditation in the early morning, when the quiet is fresh and the birds are singing their reveille before breakfast. Finding words of wisdom, comfort and inspiration in books and other texts that fill every room of the Center, waiting to be discovered and savored. Walking on the grounds and gardens surrounding Santa Sabina, discovering some small miracle of nature: a branch of flowering quince, a bird’s nest, a deer grazing, a rabbit nibbling clover at sundown. Sharing heart-felt stories of our life in the Pillow Room with others who truly listen.
9: Sacred Moments at Santa Sabina Savoring the fragrant aroma of hot vegetable soup, fresh sliced bread, a cheese board of Greek delicacies, and baked brownies for dessert. Settling down in the private comfort of our upstairs room, and drifting off to sleep with John of Dreams as our guide. Hearing the howl of wind in the eucalyptus grove near the Center, as a storm gathered force and spoke in tongues to each of us. “Sometimes Sun, Sometimes Shadow, Sometimes high, sometimes low” Being open to the moving of Spirit that guided our footsteps on Retreat for 20 years, leading us to the right space, the right book, the right chair to inhabit, the right path to place our feet. Hearing the snap of wood burning in the fireplace as we gather for a rainy morning in the Pillow Room. Remembering the moments in evening sharing in which laughter and humor burst forth from every mouth. Making Japanese Paper with Harriett in the Basement Art Room and finding joy in working with hands and heart. Creating folded boxes with Nancy Hiles and taking great care to fold each crease exactly so the box might hold some sacred object.
10: Sacred Moments at Santa Sabina Watching the video Into Great Silence, the silent documentary film about the monastic life of the Carthusian monks of the Grande Chartreuse in the French Alps, and feeling as if we ourselves were there in the chanting, the prayers, the work, and in the deep, penetrating silence. Being touched by wonderful loving hands of Massage therapists who know how to touch a body and awaken the sacred soul within. Enjoying the sweet reunion with our hosts, Sr. Suzannah and Harriett, who lived at Santa Sabina and welcomed us home each year, inviting us to explore the whole house. Sitting quietly in a room and letting the silence and grace of God penetrate into our heart and soul, giving each of us a sense of peace and purpose to our life. Watching the golden slant of sunlight shining in through the stained glass windows of the small chapel, where we gathered to sit together in meditation. Being inspired by the Selected Readings and sharing done by those who spoke into the quiet in the Chapel during Matins, Vespers, and Compline, as we experienced a resounding sense of community in the hearing of it. “When you see old Isle au Haut, shining in the sun, You will play in yellow fields, in the morning sun.”
11: Sacred Moments at Santa Sabina Participating in the Eucharist Service with Marv and Nancy in the Chapel, with all standing in a close circle to receive the elements with open hearts of gratitude and humility. Playing with art materials in the Art Space in the basement - water color, calligraphy brush, pen and paper, collage, origami and clay. Feeling the intimate connection with each retreat companion, seeing the dignity and beauty of each person's life, and watching how each one was shaped and changed by the Holy One. Pondering the word of God through the medium of selected music, scripture and sacred texts, quotes, poems, and the deep silence within each of us. Finding peace in the gentle sound of the fountain in the inner courtyard, the bell ringing us to chapel and meals, and the beautiful star-filled night sky as we left Compline each night. Feeling deep gratitude for the leadership of Marv and Nancy as they invited us to witness the Great Mystery and step onto a spiritual path together, as One. | We found love in every moment of our days... In Deep Gratitude to Marv and Nancy, Linda Braga
12: Santa Sabina restored to me the gift of silence. Out of this quiet home for the soul flows the peace of grace and a fellowship of the spirit I've not found elsewhere. Marv and Nancy: You've held this space for us year after year; a gift that I have no words to adequately express. Thank you. - Roberta Spalding
13: Marv and Nancy, For a third of my life, I have been coming to Santa Sabina to sit and to be and to learn to live the questions. What I have found are more questions, but also a sense of shared togetherness that binds us in our aloneness. The gratitude that I hold for each of you is immense and genuine. You have both nurtured, listened, sat, sang, breathed, moved, read and cared for me and others in ways that forever remain embedded in my heart. - Nancy Fitzmaurice | "During retreat, we stitch together, with the needle of silence, and the thread of stillness, our scattered sense of self and our fragmentary experience of God." Philip Zaleski, The Recollected Heart
14: Marv and Nancy Hiles' leadership at Santa Sabina over the years has impacted my life through: awakening, renewal of faith, coming home to who I truly am, fruit. Thank you both! In Christ's Love, Sue Gibbons
15: "Everyone has a story and it calls to be spoken, heard, and known. It is at the very center of our lives. It is our heart story and it can guide us. It arises from the imagination and deep memory, a real place, like a council that holds all the voices, including our ancestors and descendants." - Deena Metzger- author and poet | Gathering in the Pillow Room
16: Santa Sabina has been a life-changing experience for me. From the first retreat back in the early 90’s to the present day, it remains the highlight of my year. Marv and Nancy, you have done a marvelous job of weaving silence, music, mediation and heartfelt sharing into a tapestry of enlightenment, spiritual wonder and connection with the divine. My life has been forever changed and the memories of Santa Sabina and you both will reside within me forever. - Larry Rose
17: Santa Sabina Anticipation... Open hallowed door Blessed silence welcomes Brain clutter empties Senses awake... Home ground once again Breathe in holy spirit Mind gives way to soul. And pierced with shafts of light The veil of darkness lifts God is here in me And I in God Inspired guides give space For my faith to grow Every face, God's reflection Travelers on a sacred path Led by the divine Children of the Lord Mother house, sacred space Nurtures me in love Tending body, restoring faith Giving life anew Living water... I am transformed Santa Sabina resides in me In memory I return Every face remembered Each sacred space recalled Source of transformation God's blessed gift remains Nancy and Marv, Santa Sabina changed my life, My cup overflows with gratitude. - Kaaren Rose
18: RETREAT MEMORIES For 20 years the quiet centering you have taught and demonstrated has encouraged us on our personal spiritual journeys. | From Carole ... I love the beauty and wonder of coming home to Santa Sabina with you; Nancy’s flower arrangements in the dining room and chapel encourage a deep connection with others and with Creator God. You have influenced my piano teaching, where I now use the singing bowl to help my students focus. After we talk and share, the student rings the bowl, and we listen silently to the last vibration. Then, with a deep breath, we focus on piano! Their centering is very effective! With gratitude and love... I thank you! From Andy... When I was leading the team to define future LOPC facility needs and then to develop our Master Plan, I felt at home in the middle of complexity and competing demands. We had times of quiet centering to bring calm and clarity. Our small LOPC contemplative group has now become “mainstream”, with Judy Durff as our Spiritual Formation Pastor. Your teaching has enriched our entire LOPC community. We are profoundly thankful!
19: Psalm 93, translated by Stephen Mitchell, speaks profoundly of what we have experienced through the guidance of Marv and Nancy: “God acts within every moment and creates the world with each breath.He speaks from the center of the universe, in the silence beyond all thought. Mightier than the crash of a thunderstorm, mightier than the roar of the sea, is God’s voice silently speaking in the depths of the listening heart.”
20: Nancy, you are a gentle balm of peace and love Marv, you are a teacher who taught me how to listen to God. Through my cancer, divorce, challenges with kids, you offered the hermitage, the pillow room, tai chi, window panes, pink wispy flowers, crackling fires, birds, laughter, morning, evening, smells, song, prayer, words, silence, a “clay jug” and a “puppy brain.” After 21 years with you, I know that God is everywhere. You are both, now and forever, always in my heart. Love forever, Joan Rosselle | Life for me is a constantly changing experience. To fully enjoy this experience in a healthy way I needed to learn to stop and savor my own God given existence. In childhood and youth I existed in a structured, goal oriented reality. The goals and successes I strived for were set for me by my parents and the society I chose to be a part of. At some point in mature adulthood, I became aware that real, fulfilling life existed beyond my limited, unfulfilling reality of externally generated goals and successes. I looked into a terrifying void, avoided it as long as I could, and finally faced it directly. Santa Sabina helped me face my void and find new life. By “Santa Sabina,” I really mean Marv and Nancy Hiles. I have now moved on in my life, but I will never forget, and always be totally grateful for the Santa Sabina experience with Marv and Nancy. Bill Kreglow
21: “Unnameable God of every moment, My food, my drink, the sunlight, And the air I breathe, the ground I build upon, the beauty that makes me glad.” “I am come to the center of the Universe.”
22: Stan and Sally Morner Santa Sabina: haiku, return to childhood, one steady song vibrating through songs and individuals, bell, book, candle, key, house haunted by memories, confessional, security blanket, and so much more... Marv’s baritone voice keyed the song and his mind proclaimed the ever-comforting liturgy. Nancy held the memory jar and was both bell and garden. Marv and Nancy lived Santa Sabina’s essence all through the years of their lives. Leaving it open: The door of the hermitage To let the universe in
23: Marv and Nancy Though only attending Santa Sabina for five years, the memories will last a lifetime... Sailors Promised rain by heaven' mean Each drop joining, now a stream Flowing, the convergences grow Until rest where rivers flow Sail we must upon the Sea Deeper than eternity Guided by the heaven's might Onward to horizon's Light Best Wishes, Jeff Spires “Your words, your music, your inspiration opened the doors to our faith; the same as Santa Sabina opened her doors to the beauty of God’s world. God Bless You both. Our love will always be with you.” Love and Prayers, Tricia Spires
24: The year is 1991. A disastrous fire swept the East Bay hills wiping out approximately 3,000 homes. In despair over losing my home and experiencing the disintegration of my world as I knew it, I struggled to make sense of “my new world disorder." I heard about a contemplative retreat to be held at Santa Sabina led by Marv and Nancy Hiles. At that first retreat in 1992, I began thinking of my life "as a spiritual journey.” God bless both of you for providing the inspiration, guidance, and spiritual direction I needed. Attending the retreats over the years has indeed changed my life. Mary Rathbun | Santa Sabina gives me the freedom to choose solitude within community wherein annual reassessment of my spiritual practices is possible and encouraged. I am grateful for a place and space in which experiencing the infinite fullness of the eternal void is considered a natural expression of What we are and Who it is we represent here. In loving gratitude, - Donna McLaughlin-Endress
25: "‘Tis the gift to be simple, ‘tis the gift to be free, ‘tis the gift to come down where you ought to be. And when we find ourselves in the place just right, it will be in the valley of love and delight."
26: I think with gratitude of Santa Sabina, the Hiles, and my retreat companions. We are so close, and we are still. I remember words from the Pillow Room. I think of the beautiful windows. i think of the peace I feel once I have entered that door covered with blue flowered vines. Lynette Perkins | Marv and Nancy, After many years of searching earnestly for enlightenment, understanding and deep faith, I learned one day in the silence of my first Santa Sabina Retreat that I needed to stop looking, struggling, and efforting. I needed only to sit in the quiet and just listen! Thus began my true spiritual journey. How can I find the words to express the magnitude of my gratitude for your inspiring teachings? Thanks you, Thank you, With love always, Vi Egli
27: Dear Marv and Nancy, When I think of you, a smile comes to my face, and to my heart. You have touched my heart in so many ways. It has been touched by your openness to us and for always receiving us with loving warmth. I remember how ofter we have laughed together. My Dad said about you, "They are the real deal, you know!" I think what he meant is how amazing it is that you live your teachings. Your depth of experience with spiritual practices and teachings comes through, and has touched me and helped me. I have been moved and reassured by your wisdom, honesty and love. You have helped me find "the way through" again and again. I am grateful for your wise guidance, for sharing your personal struggles with us, and remaining ever human. Love and well wishes for a beautiful retirement. Ann Hudson | Santa Sabina was always like coming home, to Tom and me. Such a lovely holy place. Then to have Marv and Nancy for our leaders was definitely a huge bonus. I wish you both the very best always in your retirement years. You will really be missed. I love you both. Lorna Hudson (and Tom) Shalom
28: Daily silence experienced in humility and fervor is an indispensable exercise in spiritual nourishment that gradually creates within us a permanent state of silence. The soul discovers in such a silence unsuspected possibilities. It realizes that life can be lived at different levels. Pierre Lacout, God is Silence
29: The Retreats at Santa Sabina with Marv and Nancy have been a touchstone for me. Every year I have felt I looked forward to and back fondly to each experience in the silence. Marv and Nancy's loving presence and guidance in the silence have helped me grow spiritually in so many ways. Being a part of the loving atmosphere they have created is something I will always treasure. Many heartfelt wishes for a long and happy retirement. With Love, Nancy la Torre | Blessings to you both as we remember your gracious leading of our retreats at Santa Sabina. I enjoyed my opportunity to give healing touch of massage during afternoon free time for the past 8 years or so, and to be an active participant in the retreat. I loved the music you brought each year, and I am amazed at Nancy's ability to synthesize our comments from the pillow room. The flower/nature arrangements in the chapel brought such beauty and calm to our times there. Thank you for giving of yourselves to help us learn to listen, breathe, and be quiet in contemplation in that lovely environment of Santa Sabina. Be well and go with God into well-earned retirement. Love, Linda Giddings, the soothing touch
30: "Night is the promise of morning, night holds the key to the dawn, Hope is a moment embedded with stars that shines when courage is gone, that shines when courage is gone." - Marv Hiles | "Bright morning stars are rising, Bright morning stars are rising, Bright morning stars are rising, and day is breaking in my soul."
31: With Marv and Nancy as our guides, we moved from "doing" into "being." Through simple activities, our soul discovered home ground, a place where we all could be authentically ourself. Huddling like penguins Prayer and Meditation in the Chapel Attentively listening to the silence within Sharing the Eucharist of bread and wine Opening to God's Presence Moving softly with T'ai Chi Chih Sharing meals in silence ...or with music Meditating Japanese-style in the Rose Room Listening to guitar... piano ...and drum Cozy time in the Book Room and Library Wandering and sitting in the Gardens Readings with Marv at 4 pm Spirit Clay and Japanese Paper-Making Discovering the Art Room in the basement Becoming one with the rain and wind Receiving massage and Breema Body Work Journaling and poetry - expressions of gratitude Photography and sketching as meditations on Nature Viewing "Into Great Silence" Living the questions of our life This.... and so much more... served to make us open and ready to be spiritually formed by the Holy Spirit, in relationship with God.
32: One word, one melody, one question: gifts beyond measure. My grateful thanks for the chance to grow and change... to become... in the light and love shared by two blessed souls in a reverberating field of souls. My thanks for the first breath of realization and the continuing chance to breathe backward from 50, until the last breath that brings me home. Suzanne Roberts
33: Santa Sabina Memories: Cooking with Nancy , listening to Marv reading Dakota and Doris Kearnes, opening to creative and spiritual natures, hearing silence. Thank you for being with us along the way. Rollin and Clarice Odell | "I heard a wild bird sing, sound of a tiny wing, An empty well, A distant bell, Oh my soul!"
34: We join you in a precious remembrance of sacred moments with you at Santa Sabina in retreats led so lovingly and brilliantly by Nancy and Marv Hiles. These times were deep, spacious - opening us to the mystery of God's Presence in our midst, here and now. We are forever grateful for your hospitality in allowing us who live on the East Coast to come and to to be a part of your LOPC Contemplative Community. Nancy and Marv have a special gift of providing a free, open, and safe place for lovers and seekers of God to discover Home Ground. Their blessing endures. With all of you always, Nina Frost and Robert Close
35: "On Retreat, I will follow the rhythm of the hours .. and yield myself up to God." | All things find their road. The heart cannot forget its way back home. Why then must I fret and stir with fear I’ve lost the road that leads to her! * What brings us back: Ikebana arrangements Penguin walks Pillow Room Readings Chapel Singing Paper boxes Sharings Music Selections Sensory Memories Merwyn & Roberta Powell *Excerpts from the poem PUZZLE by Sydney Cooksley for November 25 in AN ALMNAC FOR THE SOUL by Marv and Nancy Hiles
36: Linda Braga and Phil Reagan Editors of this book of tributes and memories . | IN GRATITUDE to all those who did the behind the scenes work for years, and held the sacred space so that we could gather for retreat each year in the Mother House. Thanks especially to our Retreat Coordinators for years - Larry and Kaaren Rose To all those who wrote articles for FOCUS, who hosted the Contemplative Ministry table on the patio of LOPC, who held planning meetings, envisioned new program ideas for the retreats, made arrangements for new guests have a special welcome at the retreats, who took the photos used in this book, who made homemade cookies for retreat participants, and who hosted the June Garden Retreats....our heartfelt thanks and blessing.
37: How grateful we are for the retreats at Santa Sabina, and for Marv and Nancy. Each time we attended, it's as if life's busy pace paused for a moment in time. The soul work during each retreat brought new gifts and insights that helped nurture and sustain our spiritual energy. Yes, Marv and Nancy have made a real difference in our lives over the years. We've changed in so many ways and those changes have had an impact on the way we relate not to the people around us,but to the things as well. What a gift Marv and Nancy's ministry has been and we thank God for their presence in our lives. Jeanne and Dale Kemppainen
39: Deep Within Us Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continually return. Eternity is at our hearts, pressing our time-torn lives, warming us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling us home to Itself. Yielding to these persuasions, in body and soul, utterly and completely, to the Light Within, is the beginning of true life." Thomas R. Kelly - Quaker Mystic
40: Experiencing the freedom of silence and non self -disclosure at Santa Sabina has been a turning point for me. Walking, sleeping, listening in an atmosphere of acceptance helped me to put balance in my life. | Marv and Nancy's thoughtful theme planning, Nancy's candle light and flowers, the singing bowl, and the lovely music helped me to truly relax. I loved Marv's unique singing, and the stories that went with the songs were like old friends each year. | Over the years, I have internalized the quiet sanctuary of the courtyard, the hills, the hikes, and T'ai Chi Chih. On a wakeful night, I can imagine the path to the straw bale house or hear Marv's voice doing guided imagery... and I go off to sleep. | These graceful retreats, lead so serenely by Marv and Nancy, have allowed me to think about my personal faith and spirituality. I am grateful to them for showing me the way to the joy and peace of contemplative living. Marnie Peterson
41: "Peace be with you. And also with you." "We go in silence...." | "I thank you, my God for having in a thousand different ways led my eyes to discover the immense simplicity of things..." Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Hymn of the Universe
42: Marv and Nancy Thank you for all the wonderful, soulful, spiritual retreats. And especially for 2012 where Kathy and I were able to attend together. Love and best wishes always, Phil Reagan and Kathy Gray | It has been a deep spiritual pleasure to walk with you . . .
43: Dear Marv and Nancy, We deeply appreciate the over twenty years you've led our LOPC Retreats. You've set the tone and lead us to a deep place of inspiration and healing each year. We love all the elements of the retreat----the music, the readings, the morning T'ai Chi Chih, the quiet halls, the guidance in meditation, the time of sharing in the Pillow Room, the time in nature and especially the Chapel times. Always we come home rested and renewed with practical ideas to deepen our contact with God. "Muddy water----let stand, clears" has stayed with us all this year and helped us immensely. Most of all we appreciate you both as beautiful and remarkable human beings, with a deep intuitive sense and love of life. Thank you for sharing of yourselves so generously and for providing a sanctuary for these transformative "times away". Love and Blessings, Wayne and Mary Smith
44: My introduction to the contemplative life and group at LOPC came at your retreat in 2006. What a joy it was after being at LOPC only three weeks to "come away with you all." Marv and Nancy, thank you for welcoming me and for all the ground you plowed before me, to make it possible for my ministry here, to come to be. May you be blessed with new paths to travel and stories to tell, as you continue your faithful journey. Rest assured that together we will continue to plow and walk the way you have prepared. Judy Durff LOPC MInister of Spiritual Formation
45: Theme for 2013 Retreat | The Avowal As swimmers dare to lie face to the sky and water bears them, as hawks rest upon air and air sustains them, so would I learn to attain freefall, and float into Creator Spirit's deep embrace, knowing no effort earns that all-surrounding grace. Denise Levertov, Oblique Prayers | "NOW I LAY ME DOWN"
46: The Fruits of being spiritually formed by the Holy Spirit at Santa Sabina continue to manifest in stunning ways in each person's life.... The Day Book, An Almanac for the Soul, The Way Through, Recording of Retreat Songs Commitment to Service at LOPC and beyond: Contemplative Ministry A Quiet Place and Advent Gatherings Mission trips to Africa, Israel and Palestine Katrina Disaster work teams Guatemala Water Project Becoming Deacons and Elders Monday Prayer Group Class in T''ai Chi Chih Leadership with Youth Groups Thursday Fellowship for Elders Choral Groups and Choir Spiritual Counseling Help for the Homeless with Warm Winter Nights Santa Sabina Retreats Garden Retreat in June Weavers Classes and Taize Service Labyrinth Walk Interfaith Dialogue
47: We are all in search of our soul. It is something that we do alone, far from the glaring lights and the noise of crowds, and where in the end, we must kneel and kindle our own little lights in the Great Darkness. Marv Hiles
48: "Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis, all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace..." Then and Now, by Frederick Buechner | The Beloved Chapel
49: Prayer "O You who clothe the lilies Who feed the birds of the sky Who lead the lambs to pasture And the deer to the waterside Who multiplied loaves and fishes And changed the water to wine Do come to our table as giver And as our guest to dine." Santa Sabina -1992
50: "The Lord is my Shepherd, No want shall I know, He leads me to pastures, Where clear waters flow..." | Deep gratitude to Marv and Nancy who held the sacred space of Contemplative life ... and invited others to join them in a journey of personal discovery of God, spiritual enrichment of their life, and Grace. "Our gratitude is beyond measure... we will always hold the Santa Sabina gatherings close to our hearts, now and forever." | Mary Dorothy and Max Powers Pat and Paul Underhill Lori Aoun Kimberly Crossley Genia Simpson Stephanie Heywood Bill Sautter and Karlene Paufler John and Alicia Thomas ..and many others
51: Contemplation written at Santa Sabina An iridescent Mandala of spider web is stretched across a peak of archway in the inner court. Rainbow splashed with sunshine, the fragile threads aquiver in the breeze. A testament to patient perseverance which, free of ego, works its artistry, while hidden strengths within each strand of silver bear witness to all possibility. Yet if a careless hand or tidy impulse should dash it from its stuccoed hold to fall without resistance, sloth, resentment or self pity, the work begins again on that same wall. God grant me grace, when all my work seems futile and wilderness extends 'til all seems vain, in silence and simplicity to listen and at your call, take off my shoes, and humbly start again. By Pat Underhill
52: “It is my firm belief that as we sit down, quiet ourselves, grow still and attentive, and listen with our full presence that we are planting seeds of transformation that will in time alter the very shape of society." "So, let us stay in our chairs as long as we dare, breathing gently until another rhythm takes over. Let us risk inaction, become receptive, give our thoughts to the blank wall, let our layers be peeled back, accept our dreams as true even if we must wait and wait, trusting that all human life is part of an intricate unfolding of the One Reality.” Marv Hiles | The Value of a Contemplative Life
53: (c) February 2013 Lafayette~Orinda Presbyterian Church Lafayette, California Printed in the U.S.A.