September 1994 (Vol. VII, No. 8)

BLESSINGS BE WITHIN YOU, friends, in the Silence of your lives!

It is not right to acquiesce in the notion that our lives are divided

It is not right to acquiesce in the notion that our lives are divided into the time we spend on our work and the time we spend in serving God. We must be able to serve the Divine Plan, and the work itself must be accepted and respected as the medium of divine creation... Every maker and worker is called to serve God in their profession or trade -- not outside it.

~ from CREED OR CHAOS? by Dorothy L. Sayers
Creed or Chaos?
By Dorothy L. Sayers

Waiting in prayer is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts

Another will is greater, wiser and more intelligent than my own. So I wait. Waiting means that there is Another whom I trust and from whom I receive. My will, important and essential as it is, finds a Will that is more important, more essential. .. In prayer we are aware that God is in action and that when the circumstances are ready, when others are in the right place and when my heart is prepared, I will be called into action. Waiting in prayer is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts. Waiting is our participation in the process that results in the "time fulfilled".

~ from EARTH & ALTAR by Eugene H. Peterson

A vision and a task

A vision without a task is but a dream,
A task without a vision is drudgery,
And a vision and a task is the hope of the world.

~ from a church in Sussex, England (c. 1730)

How I like things to be done quietly and without fuss

How I like things to be done quietly and without fuss... Let truth be done in silence "till it is forced to speak," and then should it only whisper, all those whom it may concern will hear.

~ from THE JOURNALS OF CAROLINE FOX (1843)

ou do not need to stop working, but you need to strive for a new relationship with your work

To create from joy, to create from wonder, demands a continual discipline, a great compassion. It demands a severity of mind towards all vanity and posturing of the ego that loves its suffering, and clings to its despairs and depressions and fears; it demands a continual objectivity of spirit, a continual looking out at, and beyond, the world created by the senses, towards a spiritual reality, whose lineaments only emerge slowly, after years of experience and meditation. You do not need to stop working, but you need to strive for a new relationship with your work... With time and sincerity you will discover a way to work that does not harm you spiritually, does not tempt you to vanity, that is the deepest expression of your spirituality.

~ from A JOURNEY IN LADAKH by Andrew Harvey

We lose ourselves in our love of the task before us

Responsible work is an embodiment of love, and love is the only discipline that will serve in shaping the personality, the only discipline that makes the mind whole and constant for a lifetime of effort.  There hovers about a true vocation that paradox of all significant self-knowledge -- our capacity to find ourselves by losing ourselves.  We lose ourselves in our love of the task before us and, in that moment, we learn an identity that lives both within and beyond us.

~ Theodore Roszak

The ultimate work is an engagement with soul

Nicholas of Cusa described human creativity as a participation in the act of God creating the cosmos. God creates the cosmos, we create the microcosmos, the "human world". As we do our daily work, make our homes and marriages, raise our children, and fabricate a culture, we are all being creative... The ultimate work is an engagement with soul, responding to the demands of fate and tending the details of life as it presents itself. We may get to a point where our external labors and the OPUS of the soul are one and the same, inseparable. Then the satisfactions of our work will be deep and long lasting, undone neither by failures nor by flashes of success.

~ from CARE OF THE SOUL by Thomas Moore

Act without doing

Act without doing,
work without effort.
Think of the small as large
and the few as many.
Confront the difficult
while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.

The master never reaches for the great
thus she achieves greatness.
When she runs into a difficulty,
she stops and gives herself to it.
She doesn't cling to her own comfort;
thus problems are no problem for her.

~ from TAO TE CHING ed. by Stephen Mitchell

Contemplation is an excellent practice for integrating our meditations into everyday life

Contemplation is an excellent practice for integrating our meditations into everyday life... Simply reading one line of something inspirational each morning can provide excellent material for contemplation if we design a practice that helps to encourage contemplative moments throughout the day... For people in a busy, active environment, it is perhaps the most accessible spiritual practice. A few moments of contemplation can be accomplished even in the middle of a business meeting. This experience is not like a passing daydream, but affects the quality of life, deepening our spiritual connections, drawing us into reflection and constant realization of the soul's quest to be at one with its divine source at all times and in all places.

~ from SILENCE, SIMPLICITY AND SOLITUDE by David A. Cooper

It's the doing itself that is contemplation

Contemplation is not something that is done alongside or before and after our everyday action. It's the doing itself that is contemplation because you yourself are so united with God that you are simply living the divine life; you are God living and doing you in the world. You are God's manifestation ... a movement of consciousness from God, with God, in God, as God, out in the world, a movement in which the divine conscious and my conscious, flowing together, stream out in love and in creative, healing, beautifying energy to create the world and to make it ever better.

~ from RADICAL OPTIMISM by Bernice Bruteau

To work is to pray

A story of three brick masons illustrates the great difference our attitude toward our work makes:

The first person, when asked what he was building, replied gruffly, without even looking up, "I'm laying bricks."

The second person answered, "I'm building a wall."

But the third person said enthusiastically and with obvious pride and wonder, "I'm building a cathedral."

TO WORK IS TO PRAY

The work you do out of love without a thought of reward is the work of God.

~ Tolstoy

Work is what we do for love

A job is what we do for money;
Work is what we do for love.

~ Marysarah Quinn