A friend once told me about the "home" he and his father had as refugees in Europe during World War II. He, his mother, and his younger brother moved constantly from place to place. . . . Each time they arrived in a new place, his mother would open the small suitcase that held all their belongings and bring out the lace tablecloth she had used for their Friday night meals in Poland, before they were forced to leave and begin their flight. In each place the ritual was exactly the same. She would place the suitcase on a table, carefully drape the tablecloth over the suitcase, light a candle, and in that moment, wherever it was became home. This ritual was their prayer.
Sue Bender in THE POWER OF PRAYER, ed. by Dale Salwak
Greetings, dear friends! In many parts of the country, this is the season we begin to see tiny miracles of creation becoming visible: little tips of green as the early spring bulbs push up through the ground, tender green buds bursting from bare branches of trees . . . and we begin to feel creative stirrings in our souls right along with nature. How do we experience those stirrings? What exactly is creativity? As we go into silence with the questions and feelings we may have, we remember that we are called to be co-creators with the Divine. We don't need to paint a masterpiece, or write a best-seller, though for some that happens. What we do need are ways to express our own, personal, unique creative yearnings. Listen carefully, dear friends: the answers will begin to flow, and we will begin to bloom right along with those spring flowers!
Unless we are creators, we are not fully alive . . . Remember, the root word of humble and human is the same: humus: earth. We are dust. We are created; it is God who made us and not we ourselves. But we were made to be co-creators with our maker.
Creativity is a spiritual force. The force that drives the green fuse through the flower, as Dylan Thomas defined his idea of the life force, is the same urge that drives us toward creation. There is a central will to create that is part of our human heritage and potential. Because creation is always an act of faith, and faith is a spiritual issue, so is creativity. As we strive for our highest selves, our spiritual selves, we cannot help but be more aware, more proactive, and more creative.
~ from THE ARTIST'S WAY MORNING PAGES JOURNAL by Julia Cameron
Just as God speaks to us through the words of scripture, so God speaks to us through the elements of creation. The cosmos is like a living sacred text that we can learn to read and interpret. Just as we prayerfully ponder the words of the Bible in Christian practice, and as other traditions study their sacred texts, so we are invited to listen to the life of creation as an ongoing, living utterance of God.
Every artistic creation is an attempt to recover something of the original sense of order, of right proportion. Our capacity for wonder, for awe, our sense of the magical and the sacred, has its source here—in what we can call a state of grace, equilibrium. I suppose that what we refer to as sacred is so because of some primal relation between ourselves and the world. We feel that a part of our being is hallowed or blessed by this, that some acts of ours enhance this feeling, while others violate it.
~ from "The Creative Spirit in Art and Literature" by John Haines, in THE NATURE OF NATURE, edited by William H Shore
With the word creative we stand under a mystery. And from time to time that mystery, as if it were a sun, sends down upon one head or another, a sudden shaft of light—by grace, one feels, rather than deserving, for it always is something given, free, unsought, unexpected. It is useless, possibly even profane, to ask for an explanation.
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