The Springs of Spiritual Refreshment

. . . And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water . . . — Isaiah 35:7 (KJV)

The elements of spiritual discernment are internal, inaudible and invisible. As they coalesce over time, they gather strength to nourish the forces of wholeness in the visible, tangible world. Each element makes an essential contribution:

• "Silence creates space for us to get in touch with God at our center.

• "Centering in God connects us with the source of love and truth.

• "As love and truth find a home in us, humility begins to move in, which helps us recognize our need for other people, expose the thoughts of our hearts to them, respect what they have to say, and be willing to learn from them.

• "Humility invites detachment, which enables us to become non-combative. The more we create an atmosphere that is non-aggressive, the safer it is for us to let down our defenses.

• "Stripping away our defenses frees us to fully engage our thoughts, feelings, senses, intuition, and imagination, thus opening the way to wholeness.

"When these elements move together, they carve out channels of honesty and compassion that allow sacred inner currents to break through to the surface.

"Spiritual discernment entails recurring patterns of withdrawal and return. By immersing ourselves in the interior world, we slowly discover the ground of our being. As the waters of the Spirit within us converge, they turn into springs that release the life-giving power of God into the world, to refresh and renew all creation."

You cut openings for springs and torrents; you dried up ever-flowing streams . . . — Psalm 74:15