Monk in the World guest post: Trent Tanaro

Sharing a post from one who shares my deep appreciation for
the gift of silence and all of its benefits.
Thank you to Trent Tanaro and Abbey of the Arts:

Monk in the World guest post: Trent Tanaro

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

This week in our Monk in the World guest post series we have a reflection from fellow monk Trent Tanaro. Read on for his wisdom about the movements of his monastic journey:

It is an honor to share the journey with you in this guest post. We are all on a journey of some sort.  Our paths are very diverse in nature; no path is identical to the other, yet we share experiences in so many ways. The ability to share our experiences with others regardless of our ‘type’ of path is a blessing. When we learn to look at the paths of others with love and appreciation, we grow closer as a society. Sharing the journey is essential to life and its many seasons.

The expression of my particular journey is one of many movements. These movements have occurred over the expanse of many years. They are made up of many twists and turns, ups and downs, which have shaped me into who I am today.  I have learned how to process these many movements over the years. There are some various practices that have been tools for me in the midst of the journey.  Some of them I have weeded out and some I have tended to and watched them flourish into my daily life.

I would like to share a few of them with you in this moment of sharing the journey. These have taken years to develop and have been tried through failure, beginning again, success, joy, sadness, grief, life, death, darkness, light, and many other rhythms of life. These three have stood the test of time and fire. They have proved to be a fabric of my being on a daily basis. The strength that comes from Christ through these daily practices is what has carried me through the seasons.


“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.”  (Psalm 62:1, NRSV)

The thought of silence used to create great amounts of fear within me. I struggled with anxiety and depression in my early adult years. The thought of being in silence and alone was horror to me. I began to practice moments of silence in my day when I finally faced the fear and overcame it.  It took facing the fear repeatedly at night, that seemed to be when I had no choice but to face it, that I began to see its value.  God began to show up or is it that I began to actually listen instead of begging God to take it away? Silence became the very thing that I needed in order to move forward from the inner struggles. The very thing that I begged for peace from became one of the life sources for my walk with God.

Silence is now a part of my life and my daily routine. Silence is nothing to be afraid of, walk into it and you will see.  It is still difficult to explain, it is almost as if my fear of silence was triggering my inner problems. The inner struggles want a way out; they often find their way out by other means. Sometimes they are expressed in negative ways toward ourselves and those we care about. Silence is a healthy path for our personal struggles to travel through. God comes in when we allow him to work and fills the void with his relentless love and mercy.

Sacred Reading

As I have traveled through the rugged terrain of life here on earth, another valuable practice for my journey has been sacred reading. The reading of scripture is at the top of this one. The value and nutrition that comes from my daily readings of Psalms and the Gospels is unexplainable. I read continuously through much of the Jewish Bible and the Christian Bible (Old and New Testaments). The strength that comes from my times in silence will often flow over into my sacred reading time.  The texts that I read will take me into silent reflection and meditation from time to time. It varies from day to day; sometimes it is dry, empty, frustrating, or meaningless to me. The periods of desolation are often self inflicted or portrayed from the way I have allowed myself to be impacted by the actions of others. That is why the re-centering time in silence is so important. We all need to be re-centered; life just throws us off track once in a while.

I will also spend great amounts of time reading various other sacred texts from the patristic era of Christian history. The Monastics and the Saints tend to be my frequently visited authors. I find peace and connection to many of them, I know, it is hard to describe, but the connection is there. They expressively describe their lives as they lived through the fires of history. They also have spent much time in the scriptures and you can see that clearly in many of their writings. I find my self in their writings versus many of the modern evangelical texts of today. While I read a broad genre in today’s world of literature, I retreat to scripture and patristic writings often.


“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.”  (Mark 1:35, NRSV)

The practice of solitude is often confused with silence. While both have similarities, they are different in nature. Most places of solitude are indeed silent places. Silence often happens in solitude moments. Solitude is time spent alone with you and God.  God is there, whether we know it or not, he is there. It mostly involves the absence of others. Silence can be a state of mind in the midst of chaos. Solitude is a more secluded practice in nature. While my life consists of many people through most of the day, solitude is a practice that I try to participate in often. Life is people; life is made up of our journeys with others. People are a part of the meaning of our lives. A healthy balance in life involves the practice of breaking away for time with yourself and God. When it is time to return to the social scene, you will be better prepared for the circumstances ahead. Solitude is not for everyone, but it is a healthy practice for daily life.

My prayer today is that my journey with these three practices has encouraged you in some way. We are all on diverse paths in our lives and we need one another. Sharing the journey is vital to the good and growth of any society of people. When people come together in the purpose of sharing, the negatives and differences are often set aside. May God bless all of you as you travel your paths with passion and expression in the day ahead.  I am very thankful and it has been an honor to share a part of my journey with you.

Trent TanaroTrent Tanaro is from Spearman, TX where he is a Pastor. Trent and his wife Marlana have been married for 15 years. They have two boys; Timothy (11) and Tyler (7).  He have been in rural church ministry for 12 + years. They love God and their community.


Arms of Prayer

TH  TH  13439001_1110330929012922_2854576757581836559_n - Copy

Arms of Prayer,
Reaching out to bless the world in peace.
This my heart knows
as it silently recites the sacred whisper God bestows.
Hushed, in solemn splendour of an awe-filled realm,
the Spirit touches deep
to tell the soul of loveliest grace and mercy given onto thee.

There is no sorrow now among this distant sea
where white wings send the breath prayers back to God.
This altar of Divine bliss sweetens any darker thought
into a song;
In praise the temple of this space resounds.

O Holy Soul that might be given such depth
of majesty to behold;
Stand in the shadow for too much is Light:
The Radiance streameth on,
and you are kept upon the earth
to wonder at its brilliant sight.

~ Anna Lin

Timeline photo

Merciful Love


Merciful Love

Anna Lin,
One of Grace and Beauty,
dweller in Merciful Love ~ ~ ~

This Rose I give to you
as essence of the love you’re meant to be,
Gift of the sorrow that has ruled your pain.
Now meant to open as the flower of Love,
Fragrance of myrrh that wise ones
through you bring . . .
mingled with grief of all that you have been.

Know this,
that now the petals bloom,
show forth this Beauty . . . Love and Grace unfold.
Take now the story of your toil,
raise it to life,
so others too may heal.

Wonderful mercy of a gentle flower,
abundant blessing given
amidst the thorns.
Nourish compassion in the way of peace,
Fervently follow the way of Christ, your Lord.

There is such Love,
poured out upon you now . . .
Anointing the remembrance
of broken hearted dreams.

No longer shall the fears infest your soul
for you are raised to triumph as a King’s
most cherished being.

~ Anna Lin
(October 5, 2000)

Tinged with age, but still calls me forth to new life ~ ~ ~


Listen ~ Look ~ Breathe

Listen for the sounds unleashed in the silence.
Listen for the voices of stone that cry out to the glory of God.
Look for the sights unveiled by the rising sun.

Look for the blossoms shimmering in morning light,
singing God’s praise.
Breathe in the gift of faithful promises.
Breathe in the hope of a future world, now but not yet,
where freedom triumphs, peace and abundance reign.

(Christine Sine –

Photos on Pinterest




Returning To Love

Lent 974206878a65ae3b10658aa0aacaff23

For many churches in the Christian tradition, today is Ash Wednesday.
The common scripture passage is from Joel 2: 1-13 with words that say:

But now, now, says the LORD,
Come back to me with all your heart. . .
Return to the LORD, your God,
for he is all tenderness and compassion,
slow to anger, and rich in steadfast love.

We need to know this ~ not just on this one day of the year ~
but on every day ~ at every moment of our lives.
Whenever we feel separate from the Divine Source ~
it is not God who has left us ~ but we who have strayed
from our source of love and compassion.
Our God is earnestly inviting us to come back into a
full relationship in order that we might be deeply loved, cherished,
and provided for our every need.

Even as whole nations we can wander off the path of truth and life.
Let us hear the voice of gracious Love that calls to us today.
“Come back to me with all your heart, dear people.”

This is worth remembering always.

~ Anna Lin

Gracious Wisdom

HSS 12494974_923772817743500_5879237351094376467_n

“Somehow I feel sure that the most direct route to religious experience is to ask for the grace to give, to share, to console another, to bandage a hurting wound, to lift a fallen human spirit, to mend a quarrel, to search out a forgotten friend, to dismiss a suspicion and replace it with trust, to encourage someone who has lost faith, to let someone who feels helpless do a favor for me, to keep a promise, to bury an old grudge, to reduce my demands on others, to fight for a principle, to express gratitude, to overcome a fear, to appreciate the beauty of nature, to tell others I love them, and then to tell them again.”

– John Powell, S.J.
in Through Seasons of the Heart

Photo on Pinterest

Camas Lilies

m pr c1360492e749024122eb370f0a745ac0

Consider the lilies of the field,
the blue banks of camas
opening into acres of sky along the road.
Would the longing to lie down
and be washed by that beauty
abate if you knew their usefulness,
how the natives ground their bulbs
for flour, how the settlers’ hogs
uprooted them, grunting in gleeful
oblivion as the flowers fell?

And you — what of your rushed
and useful life? Imagine setting it all down —
papers, plans, appointments, everything —
leaving only a note: “Gone
to the fields to be lovely. Be back
when I’m through with blooming.”

Even now, unneeded and uneaten,
the camas lilies gaze out above the grass
from their tender blue eyes.
Even in sleep your life will shine.
Make no mistake. Of course
your work will always matter.
Yet Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.

~ Lynn Ungar

Photo on Pinterest

Each Day We Begin Again

HSS  7d42c57204c2410d6644f9f3651af593

On this day I am remembering Francis de Sales, the patron saint of
authors, journalists and writers. His story reminds me that even the
most saintly people have struggles just like the rest of us.

Francis de Sales took seriously the words of Christ, “Learn of me for I am
meek and humble of heart. (also part of my own ordination passage)

He tell us: “The person who possesses Christian meekness is affectionate and tender towards everyone: he is disposed to forgive and excuse the frailties of others; the goodness of his heart appears in a sweet affability that influences his words and actions, presents every object to his view in the most charitable and pleasing light.”

And yet, as he himself once said, it took him 20 years to overcome his quick temper. Still no one ever suspected he had such a problem, as his usual manner of acting was so overflowing with good nature and kindness.

. . . and so. . . each day. . . we begin again.
~ Anna Lin

Photo on Pinterest