October 2012 (Vol. XXV, No. 9)

Another month has rolled around, dear Friends of Silence, and how grateful I am for another opportunity to "visit” with all of you! It is good to be reminded occasionally to be consciously grateful for all our many blessings. How often do we really stop to think about them intentionally? We receive so many, large and small, obvious and subtle. We all "get” the big ones: when we or a loved one has a close call, for example, and comes through whole and healthy instead of hurt or ill. But what of those everyday, business-as-usual blessings? A shower after a long dry spell . . . having a free morning to relax and read . . . even finding our glasses when we've mislaid them! And what about the things that don't feel so positive when they happen? That's when we must recall that all is gift—sometimes, perhaps, even the more difficult moments. Let us strive be conscious of and grateful for all that is so freely given.

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Our courage to turn aside in gratitude

One day builds on another. Our lives accumulate in increments of moments, hours, and days. Everything depends on this present moment and our courage to turn aside in delight, wonder, and gratitude.

~ from ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE by Marv & Nancy Hiles

The gratitude that we encounter helps us believe

The gratitude that we encounter helps us believe in the goodness of the world, and strengthens us thereby to do what's good.

~ Albert Schweitzer, thanks to Liz Stewart

I'm thankful

I'm thankful for a pair of shoes that feel really good on my feet; I like my shoes. I'm thankful for the birds; I feel like they're singing just for me when I get up in the morning… Saying, 'Good morning, John. You made it, John.' I'm thankful for the sea breeze that feels so good right now, and the scent of jasmine when the sun starts going down. I'm thankful . . .

~Johnny Cash

The stillness you hear will be the gratitude of mankind

All great questions must be raised by great voices, and the greatest voice is the voice of the people - speaking out - in prose, or painting or poetry or music; speaking out - in homes and halls, streets and farms, courts and cafes - let that voice speak and the stillness you hear will be the gratitude of mankind.

~ Robert F. Kennedy

Ungratefulness closes the door

The people who are successful are those who are grateful for everything they have . . . Giving thanks for what we have always opens the door for more to come, and ungratefulness always closes the door . . .
 

~ Alan Cohen

Gratitude is the hallmark of the mystic

Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art….It is a privilege to be alive in this time when we can choose to take part in the self-healing of our world.

~ Joanna Macy

Darkness deserves gratitude

Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.

~ from UNCOMMON GRATITUDE by Joan Chittister
Uncommon Gratitude: Alleluia for All That Is
By Joan Chittister OSB, Archbishop Rowan Williams

Be grateful for whomever comes

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain all! Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whomever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

~ Jalal ad-Din Rumi

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand. Gratitude brings joy and laughter into your lives and into the lives of all those around you.

~ Eileen Caddy

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy—because we will always want to have something else or something more.

~ Br David Steindl-Rast

How to turn calamity into blessing

If others could tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness and perfection, they must tell you to make a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for every that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing . . .

~ William Law

The unexpected gifts that we accept with gratitude

As life becomes harder and more threatening, it also becomes richer, because the fewer expectations we have, the more good things of life become unexpected gifts that we accept with gratitude.

~ Etty Hillesum

Thank you is enough

If the only prayer we say to God is "thank you,” that is enough.

~ Meister Eckhart, thanks to John Condon

Gratitude erases bitterness and transforms our past

Our cup of sorrow and joy, when lifted for others to see and celebrate, becomes a cup to life . . . Mostly, we are willing to look back at our lives and say: "I am grateful for the good things that brought me to this place.” But when we lift our cup to life, we must dare to say: "I am grateful for all that has happened to me and led me to this moment. This gratitude which embraces all or our past is what makes our life a true gift for others, because this gratitude erases bitterness, resentments, regret, and revenge as well as all jealousies and rivalries. It transforms our past into a fruitful gift for the future, and makes our life, all of it, into a life that gives life.

~ from CAN YOU DRINK THE CUP by Henri J.M. Nouwen
Can You Drink the Cup?
By Henri J. M. Nouwen