James Finley: Reflections on the Spirituality of Silence (Part One)
May 8, 2019
Contemplative author, teacher, retreat leader, and psychologist James Finley returns to Encountering Silence.
Contemplative author, teacher, retreat leader, and psychologist James Finley returns to the Encountering Silence podcast this week. At James's suggestion, when we recorded this episode we began by giving him the opportunity to share his own reflections on the spirituality of silence. After he finished this presentation, we engaged in a time of shared dialogue in response to his reflections. This week's episode consists of James Finley's reflections; next week's episode includes our dialogue in response to his talk. Click here to listen to part two.
"The poet cannot make the poem happen, but the poet can assume the inner stance that offers the least resistance to the gift of the poem... lovers cannot force the oceanic oneness, but can assume the inner stance that offers the least resistance to the gift of that." — James Finley
To lead us into his reflections on silence, James offers different ways of understanding silence that he first learned from a Jesuit priest/Zen sensei; then takes us through a thoughtful commentary on the ancient monastic practice of lectio divina. He reflects on the importance of listening — both in the spiritual life as well as in ordinary human wellness.
If you'd like to hear James Finley's first episode with Encountering Silence, follow this link: Silence and Vulnerability.
"Can I become so silent that I can hear God speaking me into being, all things into being, the divinity or the holiness, the virginal newness of all things?" — James Finley
Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:
James Finley, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere
James Finley, The Contemplative Heart
James Finley, Christian Meditation
James Finley, Thomas Merton’s Path to the Palace of Nowhere
James Finley, Meister Eckhart’s Living Wisdom
Thomas Merton, Medieval Cistercian History
Guigo II, The Ladder of Monks & Twelve Meditations
T. S. Eliot, The Four Quartets
Teresa of Ávila, The Interior Castle
Rollo May, Love and Will
John Duns Scotus, Philosophical Writings
Thomas Aquinas, Selected Writings
Jean-Baptiste Chautard, The Soul of the Apostolate
Martin Heidegger, Being and Time
Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise
Mary Oliver, Devotions: The Selected Poems
"The mystic isn't someone who says 'listen to what I've experienced,' the mystic says 'look what love's done to me.'" — James Finley
Episode 62: Reflections on the Spirituality of Silence: A Talk by James Finley (Part One)
Hosted by: Cassidy Hall
With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson
Guest: James Finley
Date Recorded: April 18, 2019
"Our listening is an echo of God's eternal listening to us. We might say poetically, that God says to us, 'I created you to have someone to listen to, because I just love it when you talk to me like this. And my listening, I created in my heart an echo of my eternal listening to you, so that each unto each, the listening and the word, unites in a kind of union." — James Finley