Read in the monthly meeting for worship for the conduct of business, each group of queries would require self-examination first by each Friend and then as it fit the entire congregation. That is, the queries work first to invoke personal reflections. From there, they spread outward, so the faith community can ask what WE…
I am just 30 minutes into my silent retreat when it hits me: I hate the sound of my own voice. Sure, my lips aren’t moving, but I can hear me. My brain has gone into overdrive. There’s nothing I can do to make the damn thoughts in my head shut up. God, but I’m noisy.
What bothers me is that Quakers have refused to learn from experience – the experience of our own generation, repeated multiple times in numerous bodies. I’m not surprised that we don’t agree – I’m just surprised that we haven’t figured out that this disagreement is apparently normal
Over and over again, I have seen Quaker meetings approve witness testimonies and minutes of conscience that just barely represent our faith, or do not do so at all. All too often, they are mostly—or thoroughly—secular in nature and language. One often could read them and never know that a religious organization wrote them, let alone a Quaker one.
The early Quakers realized that not everyone lives true to that of God within them. They fully faced the dark side of human nature and believed a spiritual transformation was required before people could begin to live true to that of God within them. But they also audaciously believed that humans could reach a kind of perfection
The Quaker tradition recognizes that such unclarity arises, paradoxically, from the illuminating work of the spirit of love, that inward light which reveals what is normally hidden. The recommended response is to examine oneself and one’s actions in that light. When I do that, what do I see?