winter

Faith, optimism, and hope

One becomes an active participant in the world when he or she believes in something. Faith, optimism, and hope—we have to have those things as human beings; otherwise, life is unbearable because there is nothing that we can see beyond ourselves.

~ Gabriel Byrne

Simple faith

I have over the years dismissed simple faith, viewing it as either ignorant or stagnant. Only lately have I begun to recognize a profound quality of simple faith and the dynamism and struggle involved. It is easy to complicate one's faith. The real challenge is to maintain faith in all its simplicity! Simple faith clearly is a leap across the chasm of unanswered questions. That is the beauty of it.

~ from "The Gift of Simple Faith" by Richard B. Patterson in Spiritual Life, Spring '98

Real faith is rooted in a basic unknowing

Real faith is rooted in a basic unknowing about ultimate things, and religion helps us to be in relation to that mystery. This kind of unknowing can offer calm or create anxiety, depending on a person's faith. Often people fill in this emptiness by insisting that they possess the truth. The fragility of their faith is betrayed by their strident insistence on being right and by their efforts to force their views on others. They seem afraid of the very things that define religion: mystery and trust.

~ from THE SOUL'S RELIGION by Thomas More

Faith is only found when needed

Faith is only found when needed,
only real when used.
Until then it is a seed
waiting to burst forth into
living hope.

~ Judith A. Hartley

Our spiritual food

...Consider this then: That there is a level of truth, vitally important to human beings, which lies beyond the explainable, demonstrable natural world. In fact, this truth is often more important and sustaining to human beings because it is an eternal truth, not changeable, never at the mercy of different historical theories, or the whims of the scientist, or the observer of heavenly bodies. This truth, in a sense, is our spiritual food.

~ from THE MESSIAH STONES by Irving Benig
The Messiah Stones
By Irving Benig

Take the first step in faith

Take the first step in faith, you don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

The great truth

The small truth has words that are clear; the great truth has great silence.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore: An Anthology
By Rabindranath Tagore

The function of fatih

The function of faith is not to reduce mystery to rational clarity, but to integrate the unknown and the known together in a living whole, in which we are more and more able to transcend the limitations of our external self.

~ from NEW SEEDS OF CONTEMPLATION by Thomas Merton
New Seeds of Contemplation
By Thomas Merton

A listening heart

A listening heart is always open, sensitive to the joy and pain of others, offering a space within itself for the other to enter. It gives each person what is so badly needed—an affirmation of their place in this world.

~ Eliezer Shore

Capacity for hearing

The discipline of silence was leading me not only to a keener attention to language but to an improved capacity for hearing. On silent Mondays, I began to listen differently—to myself, to others, and to the world around me. It was a listening I would call both active and without an agenda...I began to observe that when there was no expectation for me to respond, acknowledge, analyze...I listened differently. My ego relaxed... In silence I was hearing others more keenly and witnessing my own thoughts, too, and seeing how they served to separate or to connect me. I was learning not to turn away from the parts of myself that were difficult.

~ from LISTENING BELOW THE NOISE by Anne D. LeClaire
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