March 1995 (Vol. VIII, No. 3)

HEARTFELT GREETINGS and BLESSINGS, friends! May you ever be faithful to the truth that dwells within you. May you be ever guided and strengthened as you aspire to fulfill your purpose on Earth.

The movement of God's Spirit is very gentle

The movement of God's Spirit is very gentle, very soft -- and hidden. It does not seek attention. But that movement is also very persistent, strong and deep. It changes our hearts radically. The faithful discipline of prayers reveals to you that you are the blessed one and gives you the power to bless others.

~ from THE ESSENTIAL HENRI NOUWEN by Henri Nouwen and Robert A. Jonas

My faith is tested many times a day

I believe that Spirit is one and is everywhere present. That it never leaves me. That in my ignorance I may withdraw from it, but I can realize its presence the instant I return to my senses... My faith is tested many times a day, and more times than I'd like to confess, I'm unable to keep the banner for faith aloft... I begin to doubt God and God's love. I fall so miserably into the chasm of disbelief that I cry out in despair. Then the Spirit lifts me up again, and once more I am secured in faith. I don't know how it happens, save when I cry out earnestly I am answered immediately and am returned to faithfulness. I am once again filled with Spirit and firmly planted on solid ground.

~ from WOULDN'T TAKE NOTHING FOR MY JOURNEY NOW by Maya Angelou

Stand firm in what you yourself believe

Stand firm in what you yourself believe. Hold to your own conviction of the Truth above any other source... The truth that is YOUR truth is written on the scrolls of your heart, for there too abides the Living God. Seek only to LIVE that truth, to hold your own light high so that those who grope in darkness may see, and to tread the path that you believe your life has set before you. If you remain true to yourself, if you believe in the right, and if you place your hand into the hand of God, then no evil, no lasting sorrow, and no permanent pain will ever befall you.

~ from SEASONS OF THE SPIRIT by Hilarion

Open-eyed trust

To be in harmony does not mean that upheaval and upset don't occur, but that their very occurrence is used, fully used, as a gift of purification that leaves one in a deeper harmony with the dictates of one's core of being. Implicit in this is trust, open-eyed trust... True trust obeys no moral code, however archaistic. It is but the unexploitable, awakened faith of one who has left the promises of the mind for the already-present glory of their heartland. It is a joy, a fertile brilliance, a holy renewal, a yes that has room for every no, a yes both paradoxical and devastatingly simple, a yes wherein the elements dance and die, a yes aflame with the transcendence of blame, a yes already alive in you.

~ from THE WAY OF THE LOVER by Robert Augustus Masters

The knowledge of the holy

Only the Spirit of the Holy One can impart to the human spirit the knowledge of the holy. Yet as electric power flows only through a conductor, so the Spirit flows through Truth and must find some measure of Truth in the mind before It can illuminate the heart. Faith wakes at the voice of truth but responds to no other sound... Still, there must be humble penitence in the heart before Truth can produce faith.

~ from THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY by A. W. Tozer

Faith that comes from spiritual knowledge

Faith that comes from spiritual knowledge is rooted in the Silence of the heart.
~ Unknown

Faith is the prayer of words unsaid

Faith is the prayer of words unsaid,
The tear that falls upon the bed.
Faith is the hope of one "Amen",
The will that trusts and tries again.
Faith is the day made fresh and new
When evening draught absorbs the dew.
Faith is the thought that lifts to bless
The One beyond the arms' caress.
Faith is the sky that leaves its gray
To welcome in a sunny day.
Faith, in a moment, dares the thing
The heart petitions God to bring.

~ Roxie L. Smith

Agape is the love that consumes

Agape is the love that consumes ... in one form: enthusiasm. For the ancients, enthusiasm meant trance, or ecstasy -- a connection with God. Enthusiasm is agape directed at a particular idea or a specific thing. We have all experienced it. When we love and believe from the bottom of our heart, we feel ourselves to be stronger than anyone in the world, and we feel a serenity that is based on certainty that nothing can shake our faith. This unusual strength allows us always to make the right decision at the right time, and when we achieve our goal, we are amazed at our own capabilities... We blame the world for our boredom and for our losses, and we forget that it was we ourselves who allowed this enchanting power to diminish -- the manifestation of agape in the form of enthusiasm.

~ from THE DIARY OF A MAGUS by Paulo Coelho
The Diary of a Magus
By Paulo Coelho

No coward soul is mine

No coward soul is mine,
No trembles in the world's
storm-troubled sphere;
I see Heaven's glories shine,
And faith shines equal,
arming me from fear.

~ Emily Bronte

Annie

Becky and Ephraim's youngest child, Annie, was born with a severe physical handicap. "Annie ... Annie", they squealed as everyone in the family touched and hugged her, never treating her as a hothouse flower, always as a normal healthy child. It was a laying-on-of-hands, a healing going on every moment.

I wasn't sure I could have stayed focused on the joy, but Becky was also realistic, understanding that something could go wrong and "Annie might be taken away from us." For now, God has given them a gift. Annie was their Treasure, their miracle.

~ from PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Sue Bender

I nourish my spiritual life

I nourish my spiritual life, for therein lie my anchor. My understanding deepens; my faith that life has meaning grows.

~ Unknown