September 1997 (Vol. X, No. 8)

BLESSINGS of the Silence be with you, friends! In the rush and noise of life, pause, step within yourself and be still. Rest and wait upon God. This will enable you to flow through the day's affairs. Ask, what is my best Work.

The master in prayer to the guild's patron saint before turning to the work

Guild members, we are told, would begin their day with the master in prayer to the guild's patron saint before turning to the work, and prayers of one kind or another punctuated the whole day. ... Oh, for the ordered structure of the guild workshop! The strong clear voice "re-minding" me, in the real sense of that word, to return to the silence.

~ from "Working For a Living" by Jean K. Martine

The object of work is holiness

The object of leisure is work. The object of work is holiness ... meaning wholeness. Recreation is for the sake of work. Leisure time is for the sake of recreation in order that the labourer may the better return to work. Games are like sleep -- necessary for the health of body and mind -- a means to health, the health of the labourer, the one who prays, the contemplative. Leisure is secular, work is sacred. Holidays are the active life, the working life is the contemplative life.


There are times not to answer the door

There are times not to answer the door, not to answer the phone, not to do undone things, but to rest in silence from everything. The world can wait five minutes. In fact no matter how busy we are, no matter how well organized, no matter how little rest we allow ourselves, we will never do all that needs to be done. But to do well what we are called to do, it is essential to nurture a capacity for inner stillness. Such quiet, deep-down listening is itself prayer.

~ from PRAYING WITH ICONS by Jim Forest

The spiritual nature of work

Our age has its own particular mission or vocation: the creation of a civilization founded upon the spiritual nature of work.

~ Simone Weil

Your job in the divine plan

Communication with God is a deep inner knowing that God is within you and around you. God "speaks" through the still, small voice within. When you have constant communion with God, a constant receiving from within, there is never any doubt; you know your way. You become an instrument through which a job is done, therefore you have no feeling of self-achievement... The main things, if you are to find inner peace, are to bring your life into harmony with the laws which govern this universe (these are the same for all of us), and to find and fit into your special work in this world -- your job in the divine plan.

~ Peace Pilgrim in THE SPIRITUAL ATHLETE edited by Ray Berry

To see our work as prayer

To see our work as prayer and an opportunity to bring forth a flash of truth is a great gift. To know that even the busy world is a holy world is quite a change of heart.

~ Dhyani Ywahoo (Cherokee)

Things just happen in the right way

Any type of work can be meaningful. It is the spirit in which you do it that makes the difference.

Things just happen in the right way, at the right time. At least they do when you LET them, when you work WITH circumstances instead of saying, "This isn't supposed to be happening this way", and trying hard to make it happen some other way. If you're in tune with The Way Things Work, then they work the way they need to, no matter what you may think about it at the time. Later on, you can lookback and say, "Oh, now I understand. That had to happen so that THOSE could happen, and those had to happen in order for THIS to happen..." Then you realize that even if you'd tried to make it all turn out perfectly, you couldn't have done better, and if you'd REALLY tried, you would have made a mess of the whole thing.

~ from THE TAO OF POOH by Bejamin Hoff

May your work and heart's joy ever be as one

May your feet ever lead you to where your heart is...
May your work and your heart's joy ever be as one.

~ Nan Merrill

Art arises from a spiritual longing

Art arises from a spiritual longing that all people share: to make our mark on the world and to spend our life energy in a work that rises above the mundane, adding grace to existence. We respond to the light of the world around us by giving expression to our own inner light, and when the two are on the same wave-length, the world seems more brilliant and finely focused.

~ from THE SOULS OF ANIMALS by Gary Kowalski

All the stages of one's work have a poetic nature

"All the stages of one's work have a poetic nature," he continued. "No one gets paid for keeping their own tools cleaned. It is an act of real art; otherwise you don't have a rapport with the tool; then it becomes a rebellious servant, not respected, not properly handled."

One day I confided to Ruth that I felt her house was a living thing. She recalled returning to her home after being aways for four months. "I waxed and shined desks and chairs, and these dead objects returned to life. Their wood almost sprouted new leaves and blossoms. I no longer felt desolate in the house."

Tino's relationship with his tools, and Ruth's care and tending of the objects in her home speak of their attitude to all things. I had to go away, to a foreign land in America, before I could see that the qualities I was looking for were here, practically in my own backyard.

~ from PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Sue Bender

When you take a dirty floor

When you take a dirty floor ... and make it spotlessly clean, and this polish it until it shines, it radiates back to you the love which you poured into it; the divinity of that floor has been drawn forth.

~ Eileen Caddy

Good work that leaves the world softer and fuller and better

Good work that leaves the world softer and fuller and better than ever before is the stuff of which human satisfaction and spiritual value are made.

~ Joan Chittister

True service isn't an act, but an attitude

True service isn't an act, but an attitude. We can do things for other people with all kinds of self-serving motives. True service, however, stems from a feeling of humility, gratitude, and the essential recognition that we are in this together... Service is love in action -- as simple as a friendly smile or nod to a stranger -- or as all embracing as the life of Peace Pilgrim or Mother Teresa.

~ from NO ORDINARY MOMENTS by Dan Millman

Behind all the strange puzzles of life there is the secret working of God

In all our activities we may be seeking God: in our work, on our social occasions, as we walk along the road, even when we are so busy that we have not time to think of anything except what we are doing... God can deal with us under a thousand forms for our spiritual hallowing. Behind all the strange puzzles of life there is the secret working of God, creating life, creating character, accepting service -- all sorts of spiritual shaping going on.

~ from CHRIST THE COMPANION by S.D.C. Father Andrew

If the inward work is great

The outward work will never be puny if the inward work is great.
~ Meister Eckhart