left Quote      Johann Tauler

A great teacher has said: “The one who speaks best about God is the one who has recognised God’s inward riches and is silent.” Once a teacher was praising God in words, and another teacher said to him: “Be quiet: you are blaspheming.” Both of them were right.  It is fantastic that anyone should think it possible to find words to praise the ineffable goodness of God, which is inexpressibly far beyond the comprehension of angels, human beings and all created beings.  To praise God in silence is beyond all comparison the highest form of praise…. The soul praises God by being engulfed in God, losing itself in God, sinking down and melting into God.
           The Lord said: “My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink; those who feed on me remain in me, and I in them.”  With infinite humility he gives himself to us in a material and outward form, in the likeness of bread and wine which we can eat and drink as if it were any earthly food.  He does this so that he may come into us, sink into us, become a part of us, so closely and intimately that even the senses can grasp and understand it.  Had he wished, he could have done this in a much grander and more splendid way, illumining and transfiguring us.  (Indeed, St Hildegard wrote that this does happen every day, though invisibly.)

Jalaluddin Rumi

The full moon is inside your house.
My friends and I go running out into the street.
‘I’m in here,’ comes a voice from the house, but we aren’t listening.
We’re looking up at the sky.
My pet nightingale sobs like a drunk in the garden.
Ringdoves scatter with small cries, Where, Where?
It’s midnight. The whole neighbourhood is up and out
in the street thinking, ‘The cat burglar has come back.’
The actual thief is there too, saying out loud,
‘Yes, the cat burglar is somewhere in this crowd.’
No one pays attention.
‘Behold, I am with you always’ means when you look for God,
God is in the look of your eyes,
in the thought of looking, nearer to you than yourself,
or things that have happened to you
There’s no need to go outside.
Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.
A white flower grows in the quietness.
Let your tongue become that flower.


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In their many different idioms the classical spiritual writers have attempted to throw light on the eternal question of union with God. 
Every month we give you a brief passage from a spiritual classic.