spring

The sacred is not in heaven or far away

The sacred is not in heaven or far away. It is all around us, and small human rituals can connect us to its presence.
~ Alma Luz Villanueva
Gracias: New Poems
By Alma Luz Villanueva

God is playful

Too easily are we inclined to imagine that God created this world for a purpose. We are so caught up in purpose that we would feel more comfortable if God shared our preoccupation with work. But God plays. The birds in a single tree are sufficient proof that God did not set out with a divine no-nonsense attitude to make a creature that would perfectly achieve the purpose of a bird. What could that purpose be I wonder? There are titmice, juncos, and chickadees; woodpeckers, gold finches, starlings and crows. The only bird God never created is the no-nonsense bird. As we open our eyes and hearts to God's creation, we quickly perceive that God is playful, a God of leisure.
~ from GRATEFULNESS, THE HEART OF PRAYER by Br. David Steindl-Rast

Living with attention

Each age has its own task...Our hermitage is the act of living with attention in the midst of things: amid the rhythms of work, and love, the bath with the child, the endlessly growing paperwork, the ever-present likelihood of war, the necessity for taking action to help the world. For us, a good spiritual life is permeable and robust. It faces things squarely, knowing the smallest moments are all we have, and that even the smallest moment is full of happiness.
~ from THE LIGHT INSIDE THE DARK by John Tarrant

Holy Leisure

In our culture we are trained to be doers and makers, not dreamers and seers. So I make an appeal for "holy leisure," a leisure that makes us more human. Holy leisure involves contemplation...the personal pursuit of meaning. Leisure allows for the contemplation that will bring meaning and energy to our lives and room within ourselves for holy reading, gentle awareness, and deep reflection.
~ Keith Snow

Elected silence

Elected silence, sing to me
and beat upon my whorled ear,
pipe me to pastures still and be
the music I care to hear.
~ Gerald Manley Hopkins

Singleness of heart

I sense Lizzie's presence beckoning me away from the only socially acceptable addiction of our time: workaholism. She asks me to stop and look at what I am doing, at why I am so busy, at who I am and what it is that keeps me so mindlessly driven and competitive. It is not hard work that she questions, for she knows all too well the value of labor, but she invites me into awareness and honest self-scrutiny. Perhaps it is because I have chosen to live with a divided heart that the idolatry of being busy has claimed me. Perhaps it is Lizzie's faithful attention to what matters most – her focused, un-fussy attentiveness – that makes me think of her as I ponder the meaning of singleness of heart.
~ Elizabeth J. Canham in "Grandmother Wisdom," Weavings, Mar/Apr, 2003

Trust ourselves to the hidden

Hard work and drawing up plans are helpful, but not always. We do not build our souls as much as we find them along the way. We discover them by accident as much as by intention. There is a time to take our lives in hand, but there is also a time to take our hands off our lives, and to leave what seems apparent and trust ourselves to the hidden.

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

Allow life to evolve

Mystery is what happens to us when we allow life to evolve rather than having to make it happen all the time...There is something holy-making about simply presuming that what happens to us in any given day is sent to awaken our souls to something new: another smell, a different taste, a moment when we allow ourselves to lock eyes with a stranger, to smile a bit, to nod our heads in greeting.
~ from THE GIFT OF YEARS by Joan Chittister

Journeys bring power and love back into you

Journeys bring power and love
back into you. If you can't go somewhere,
move in the passageways of the self.
They are like shafts of light,
always changing and you change
when you explore them.
~ Rumi

The interior place where we experience God

The interior place where we experience God is the same kind of place, and as real, as the place where we experience music and poetry.
~ Karen Armstrong
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