openness as stillness, silence and simplicity

[more from John Main:]

….[F]aith is not a matter of exertion but of openness.

We need to see faith in this way as openness, and to see it as a positive, creative, sensitive way of being – miles apart from mere passivity or quietism. The effectiveness of all doing depends on the quality of being we enjoy. And to be open implies certain other qualities: such as being still, because we cannot be open to what is here if we are always running after what we think is there; such as being silent, because we cannot listen or receive unless we give our whole attention; such as being simple, becauseĀ  what we are being open to is the wholeness, the integrity of God. This condition of openness as the blend of stillness, silence, and simplicity is the condition of prayer, our nature and our being in wholesome harmony with the being and nature of God in Jesus.

  • John Main, Selected Writings

openness and commitment

[Ariel Castle just found this quote as part of her Europe studies – I thought I would pass it on. Chaim Potok, speaking on what he hopes his work will spark in students:]

“An openness to discuss all sorts of ideas. The conviction that no idea should be foreign to us. A willingness to debate without fear of consequences. At the same time, an acknowledgment that, as a civilization, in the end there have to be limitations; there have to be borders; there has to be some measure of what most of us will agree is the deviant in our culture. There has to be some way of living a day-to-day life in spite of the fact that the discussion remains fluid.

I think that’s the fundamental purpose of the university: to teach the student how to create a balance between an ongoing, fluid discussion about the nature of a culture, and the reality that when the student wakes up Monday morning he or she has to commit himself or herself to something. It’s one thing to discuss; it’s another thing to live.”

– Chaim Potok