"Hearing with the soul" refers to perception with the spiritual senses, to an awakening of a new quality of perception. It is an inbreaking of a contemplative awareness that is capable of perceiving all reality as illumined and suffused by God, as graced with tremendous potential. ...The awakening of the spiritual senses can happen to all of us. We are all capable of "hearing with the soul."
A blessing of fear in these years is that it invites us to become the fullness of ourselves. It comes to us in the nighttime of the soul to tell us to rise to new selves in fresh and exciting ways—for our sake, of course, but for the sake of the rest of the world, as well.
To belong to a community is to begin to be about more than myself...No work is enough to satisfy the human soul. Only the satisfaction of having touched another life and been touched by one ourselves can possibly suffice. Whatever we do, however noble, however small, must be done for the sake of the other. Otherwise, we ourselves have no claim on the human race.
Faith is not about understanding the ways of God. It is not about maneuvering God into a position of human subjugation, making a God who is a benign deity who exists to see life as we do. Faith, in fact, is not about understanding at all. It is about awe in the face of the God of all. And it is awe that inspires an alleluia to the human soul.
Faith is about reverencing precisely what we do not understand—the mystery of the Life Force that generates life for us all. It is about grounding ourselves in a universe so intelligent, so logical, so clearly loving that only a God in love with life could possibly account for it completely.
When we grow radishes in a small container in a city apartment, we participate in creation. We sustain the globe. When we sweep the street in front of a house in the dirtiest city in the country, we bring new order to the universe. We tidy the Garden of Eden. We make God's world new again. When we repair what has been broken or paint what is old or give away what we have earned that is above and beyond our own sustenance, we stoop down and scoop up the earth and breathe into it new life again, as God did one morning in time only to watch it unfold, unfold, and unfold through the ages.
~ from THERE IS A SEASON by Joan Chittister, thanks to Liz Stewart
As Aldous Huxley wrote: "There isn't any formula or method. You learn by loving." But sometimes, if we're lucky, we live long enough to grow into it in such a way that because of it we come to recognize the value of life. . . . We learn enough about love to allow things to slip away and ourselves to melt into the God whose love made all of it possible. . . . Sometimes we live long enough to see the face of God in another. Then, in that case, we have loved.
~ from 40 STORIES TO STIR THE SOUL by Joan Chittister
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