September 2002 (Vol. XV, No. 8)

EVERY GOOD WISH, dear friends! Our world cries out for our Work to beome prayer and love made visible. May we listen attentively in the silence for clear, creative guidance of how we can most life-givingly offer our selves in Service. And, as you work, may your grain of sand become a beautiful pearl.

To bless the marketplace with a contemplative presence

It is not an easy task, but a most rewarding one, to bless the marketplace with a contemplative presence. It seems to me that the life of work and prayer is not only possible, but greatly enhanced by standing firm in the real world with one's being anchored solidly in the Ultimate Reality. It is the harmony of the universe that echoes in the heart of the "new monk" who works and prays, lives and loves, re-creates and recreates in the center of the present world. The mystical monastery is the whole of society; the marketplace is one of its cloisters. The Holy Rule of the New Monk is the solid perspective of the spiritual practice embraced.

~ by Theresa Mancuso in "A New Monastic Life"

The changing of work into play

The changing of work into play is effected as a consequence of the presence of a "zone of perpetual silence," where one draws from a sort of secret and intimate respiration, whose sweetness and freshness accomplishes the anointing of work and transforms it into play. For the "zone of silence" not only dignifies the soul at rest; there is contact with the heavenly or spiritual world, which works together with the soul. Those who find silence in the solitude of meditation without effort are never alone.

~ Anonymous

We work to give value to time

We work not only to produce ...
we work to give value to time.

~ by Eugene Delacroix

Work is not your enemy

Work is not your enemy but your friend. How you work, not what you do, determines the course of your life. You may work grudgingly or you may work gratefully; you may work as a human or you may work as a robot. There is no work so rude that you may not exalt in it; no work so demeaning that you cannot breathe soul into it; no work so dull that you may not enliven it. Never be tempted to diminish your efforts; always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.

~ from THE GREATEST SUCCESS IN THE WORLD by Og Mandino

How terribly the rice suffers under the pestle!

How terribly the rice suffers under the pestle!
But it emerges polished, as white as cotton.
The same process tempers the human spirit:
Hard trials shape us into polished diamonds.

~ from A PRISON DIARY by Ho Chi Minh in AFTER SORROW by Lady Borton

When you are gifted at something, you have to do it

When you love to do something, that means you have a gift for it. And when you are gifted at something, you have to do it. You don't have to quit your job and mortgage your house, but you do have to give your gift a careful look. If you don't pay attention to what you love, you could overlook your greatest gifts!

~ from LIVE THE LIFE YOU LOVE by Barbara Sher

Yes there is more

The earth needs people who can say, "Yes there is more." Not just more in the way of knowledge or inventions or wisdom or revelations, but more compassion, more gentleness and sweetness, more caring, more love, more valuing of one another. That is your mission, and it is of the highest, for it is nothing other that the mission of manifesting the spirit of the Beloved in your life.

~ from THE CALL by David Spangler
The Call
By David Spangler

Our daily work

Give Thy blessing, we pray Thee, to our daily work, that we may do it in faith, and heartily.
~ by Thomas Arnold - l7th C.

What is my work?

What is my work?

To let the mind fall silent
that I may hear the Invisible calling.

~ by Nikos Kazantzakis

Thus do we know what we are to do

Our eyes are
the eyes of the universe
reflecting upon itself...

We look at the stars,
they look back at themselves
through us...

Lisen to the universe,
stir the deep memory ...
thus do we know
what we are to do.

~ by Nan Merrill

Work is one of the great human gateways to the eternal

To have a firm persuasion in our work -- to feel that what we do is right for ourselves and good for the world at exactly the same time — is one of the great triumphs of human existence... To have a firm persuasion, to set out boldly in our work, is to make a pilgrimage of our labors, to understand that the consummation of work lies not only in what we have done, but who we have become while accomplishing the task... Work, at its best, is one of the great human gateways to the eternal and the timeless.

~ from CROSSING THE UNKNOWN SEA by David Whyte

Knowing that our work is a blessing

Spiritual self-esteem is gained from knowing that our work is a contribution and a blessing. Then we perform for the love of God with no thought of personal recognition... When our motivatlon for work is valid, the work will be spontaneous and creative.

~ from RIGHT USEFULNESS by Thomas Hora
Right Usefulness
By Thomas Hora

Hands that moved in magical ways

Moses' motions were like a dancer's ... sliding, circling, turning — his movements finding balance and his eyes finding voice ... a bark of delight when he saw a true shot, a rasp of laughter as he found the right angle, the click of his tongue when he snapped the perfect picture.

And the camera which Novalee had thought old-fashioned and unwieldly, looked small and delicate in Moses' hands, hands that moved in magical ways, fingers that found their own rhythm and knew, without knowing, when is was right.

~ from WHERE THE HEART IS by Billie Letts
Where the Heart Is
By Billie Letts

The time of busyness

The time of busyness does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while serving persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees in prayer.

~ from THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD by Brother Lawrence

Hands to work

Hands to work ...
Heart to God.

~ by Ann Lee

Find joy in your work

Find joy in your work ...
Discover fulfillment and peace ...
Silence will guide you on the way.

~ Anonymous

The strain of tasks beyond our strength

In the face of the strain of tasks beyond our strength, we must turn inward to the Source of strength. If we measure our human strength against the work we see immediately ahead, we shall feel hopeless, and if we tackle it in that strength, we shall be frustrated... There is no healthier lesson we can learn than our own limitations, provided this is accompanied by the resignation of our own strength and reliance on the strength of God. The wheel of life will fly apart unless it is spoked to the Center ... wherever we go rushing onward without taking time to turn inward.

~ from SEEKING PEACE by Johann Christopher Arnold thanks to Steve Launer