December 2012 (Vol. XXV, No. 11)

Joyful greetings, dear friends! It is easy to feel the joy of this sacred time of year. But then we remember: All time is sacred, and joy is always with us! We are surrounded by it; it holds us in constant embrace. We cannot escape it: The joy in which we dwell is everywhere, as distant as the farthest star and as close as the depths of our own hearts. We have only to become aware and awake, accepting and attentive, to claim it. As Nan Merrill has written, "Awakening to our divine nature is a peace-filled, joy-filled, and creative way of being." As we rest in the Silence, may we come to know the Sacred joy that fills the universe around us.

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The beating heart of the universe is holy joy.

~ Martin Buber
Martin Buber joy

Joy has the power to open our hearts, remove fear, instill hope, and foster healing. Joy leads us to wisdom, because it connects us to all we are -- our mind, heart, power, and spirit. Joy stimulates our immune system, increases our energy, and gives us mental clarity. It helps us heighten our level of consciousness so we can more readily tap our inner wisdom. Instead of agonizing over decisions, we become more able to simply listen within and know what to do.

~ from FINDING JOY by Charlotte Davis Kasl
Charlotte Davis Kasl Finding Joy joy Buy on Amazon

Joy is a piercing desire, a mystical longing both painful and sweet: a kind of homesickness for a home we scarcely remember.

~ Deborah Smith Douglas, in Weavings XV:4
Deborah Smith Douglas Weavings joy

For this joy is close to you,
it is in you!
None of you has a spirit so heavy
nor an intelligence so feeble,
none of you is so far from God
not to be able to find this joy
in God.

~ Meister Eckhart
Meister Eckhart joy

"You sense the pure joy from her. And it's nice to touch that. Because we're all so skeptical -- I know I am. But even the skeptics begin to believe in God just because she's so happy. And it's not like she's preaching. This woman is just joy and happiness, period. . . . The first time you meet her, you think she's not real, not normal. But in twenty years I've never seen her change. There's an exuberance about her relationship with God, her relationship with people. Just joy, happiness, love. It's what we're born to be, and wish we could be."

~ Fr. Joe Carroll in THE PRISON ANGEL by Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan
Mary Jordan, Kevin Sullivan The Prison Angel joy Buy on Amazon

We know joy when we are happy to take from life what is given. When we experience the joy of the soul and higher states of consciousness, this joy is the essence of completion and fulfillment. There is nothing that can add to it or take away from it. Joy is our natural state.

~ from BODY OF TIME, SOUL OF ETERNITY by Jerry Thomas
Jerry Thomas Soul Of Eternity, Body Of Time joy Buy on Amazon

The only true joy on earth is to escape from the prison of our own fake self and enter by Love into union with the Life who dwells and sings with the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls.

~ Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton joy

Dance, my heart! Dance today with joy.
The strains of love fill the days and the
nights with music, and the world is
listening to its melodies.
Made with joy, life and death dance to
the rhythm of this music. The hills
and the sea and the earth dance.
The world of man dances in laughter and tears.
Why put on the robe of the monk, and
live aloof from the world in lonely pride?
Behold! My heart dances in the delight of
a hundred arts; and the Creator
is well pleased.

Kabir One Hundred Poems joy Buy on Amazon

I praise You in the silence
of my heart,
for your steadfast love,
O my Beloved;
I offer prayers of gratitude
O Holy One of the universe .
My heart leaps for joy, as
I whisper to You
in the night --
my soul also, which You
renew within me.

~ from PSALMS FOR PRAYING by Nan Merrill
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Joy is wisdom, time an endless song.

~ William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats joy

Barnaby was like a mood, a fragrance of the harmonious inner life, permeating everything with which he came into contact. He knew sorrow and he knew joy, and he held them in a delicate balance of serenity and peace. He knew how to respond equally joyfully to an invitation to walk or talk or sit together, which seems to me to be a particular kind of training in grace -- a willingness to respond easily and happily to even the most modest adventure together. Perhaps it could be said that within his framework of being a dog, he lived life as a spiritual exercise.

~ from MYSTICAL DOGS by Jean Houston
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Always, when we are still, we may hear the song of Life pouring joyously through our consciousness. We have only to listen, for it is always there. If we would catch the vision of the joy meant to be ours, we must dry our tears, lay aside our fears, and think from the inspirational center within us, which is nothing less than the Divine singing its song of life.

~ Earnest Holmes
Earnest Holmes joy

While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy
We see into the life of things.

~ William Wadsworth
William Wadsworth joy

Joy is the echo of God's life in us.

~ Columba Mormion
Columba Mormion joy

May you appreciate the unfolding of your creative joy as your imagination soars. May you leap for joy with faith in God's timing . . . May you let go of bitterness, and allow forgiveness to graciously fill your life. May you experience joy in the moment, and move forth with the word of God. May playfulness infuse the serious purpose of your life. And may you share the joy of that play and laughter so that others, too, might find happiness.

~ from JOY by Beverly Elaine Eanes
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November 2012 (Vol. XXV, No. 10)

"Is there enough silence for the Word to be heard?"

Greetings, dear Friends of Silence! As I write to you today, we’re receiving the blessing of gentle, much needed rain here in Texas; and the grateful earth is giving us a lovely, soft gray day in return. It feels natural and desirable on such a day to allow ourselves to be cradled in silence, to take a “time out” from our busy lives and sink into the warmth and comfort of quiet time spent in communion with the Divine Center we cherish deep within ourselves. May we all receive the gift of such days, when we can allow the Great Silence to wrap itself around us like a soft robe as candlelight warms our surroundings; and may these blessed days of silence leave us refreshed and strengthened to return to the world in tranquility and joy!

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Talking about connecting to a higher power: Whether we think of that higher power as God, or whether we think of that higher power as just our own inner wisdom, silence is absolutely imperative to get there...

That is where we always find our deepest wisdom.

Our activities in the world are really important. Being active helps us to gain skills and helps us to gain knowledge and build relationships.

But wisdom always comes out of silence. 

~ Catherine Torpey, New Morning Treasury, thanks to Liz Stewart
Catherine Torpey New Morning Treasury silence

The waves of mind
demand so much of Silence.
But She does not talk back
does not give answers nor arguments.
She is the hidden author of every thought
every feeling
every moment.
She speaks only one word.
And that word is this very existence.

~ from MY SECRET IS SILENCE: Poetry and Sayings of Adyashanti
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Silence is the training ground for the art of listening. Engaging the silence may be one of the most important and productive things you can do for spiritual deepening.

I know for us compulsive, productive, extroverted types, this is a tall order. The bottom line is -- it's worth it. But we have to believe that it really matters. In our culture, silence and stillness have been equated with wasting time, doing nothing, being lazy. NOT TRUE. Think of it this way -- the silence of meditation is not the silence of a graveyard; it is the silence of a garden growing.

Linda Douty Opening Yourself To The Guidance Of God silence
Silence speaks, the contemplatives say. But really, I think, silence sorts. An ordering instinct sends people into the hush where the voice can be heard.
~ from VIRGIN TIME by Patricia Hampl
Patricia Hampl Virgin Time silence Buy on Amazon

Silence before God has deep significance: in the quietness of the soul the individual sinks into the central fire of communion. In the circle of worship the most personal elemental chords of life receive their deepest stimulation... In the silent act of breathing and in the unspoken dialogue of the soul with God, solitary as these are, deep communion can be given.

~ Eberhard Arnold
Eberhard Arnold silence

All sound arises out of Silence and dissolves into Silence. All thought arises out of Silence and dissolves into Silence. The universe arises out of Silence and dissolves into Silence. Suffering arises out of Silence and dissolves into Silence. The unbounded spaciousness of Silence, filled with the clear light of Awareness, dissolves the roots of pain and sorrow. Take refuge in Silence and know unshakeable joy.

~ Kalidas (pen name of Lawrence Edwards)
Kalidas silence

Silence is a doorway
into the heart of reality;
to cultivate a silent heart
is to discover your deepest truth.

Nan Merrill Lumen Christi . . . Holy Wisdom silence Buy on Amazon

In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.

~ Howard Thurman
Howard Thurman silence

Let me seek, then, the gift of silence, and poverty, and solitude, where everything I touch is turned into a prayer: where the sky is my prayer, the birds are my prayer, the wind in the trees is my prayer, for God is all in all.

~ from THOUGHTS IN SOLITUDE by Thomas Merton, thanks to Gary O’Guinn
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But what is the point of silence? The point was, we learned, not mere silence, not silence to preserve some sort of order, but something much greater. In silence the idea was to recollect ourselves, to place ourselves more squarely in the presence of God than we would if people were talking to us all the time. We could pray, we could meditate, we could contemplate. . . . Silence was broken, of course, by people doing things they could not control -- coughing, sneezing, short periods of recreation, the sounds of work being done . . . But all of this merely emphasized the silence rather than disturbing it. Sounds could never absorb this silence; nothing could order it around. It concentrated itself, and from it all else flowed. Silence could never be silenced.

~ from THE TULIP AND THE POPE: A NUN’S STORY by Deborah Larsen
Deborah Larsen The Tulip And The Pope silence Buy on Amazon

There are two silences. One silence I choose to keep when I need to hear a word that will heal, instruct, or console. The other silence comes when I have heard something so powerful, so real, that words, spoken or written, would only diminish its power.

~ from ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE by Marv and Nancy Hiles
Marv and Nancy Hiles All The Days Of My Life silence Buy on Amazon
Silence is the tree that bears the fruit of peace.
~ Unknown, thanks to Susan Morrison
Unknown silence
Now, standing by the shore, I am as filled with awe and thankfulness as on that January afternoon. In this moment, I am sustained by a sense of wonder and peace, humbled by life, and respectful of it, connected to the planet and her people, and to something much greater than myself, an invisible essence for which I have no language. I live in its mystery, content to let it be revealed. I do not have to name it. It is enough to know its truth.
This is where silence has brought me.
~ from LISTENING BELOW THE NOISE by Anne D. LeClaire
Anne D. LeClaire Listening Below The Noise silence Buy on Amazon

October 2012 (Vol. XXV, No. 9)

Another month has rolled around, dear Friends of Silence, and how grateful I am for another opportunity to "visit” with all of you! It is good to be reminded occasionally to be consciously grateful for all our many blessings. How often do we really stop to think about them intentionally? We receive so many, large and small, obvious and subtle. We all "get” the big ones: when we or a loved one has a close call, for example, and comes through whole and healthy instead of hurt or ill. But what of those everyday, business-as-usual blessings? A shower after a long dry spell . . . having a free morning to relax and read . . . even finding our glasses when we've mislaid them! And what about the things that don't feel so positive when they happen? That's when we must recall that all is gift—sometimes, perhaps, even the more difficult moments. Let us strive be conscious of and grateful for all that is so freely given.

One day builds on another. Our lives accumulate in increments of moments, hours, and days. Everything depends on this present moment and our courage to turn aside in delight, wonder, and gratitude.

~ from ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE by Marv & Nancy Hiles
Marv and Nancy Hiles All The Days Of My Life gratitude Buy on Amazon

The gratitude that we encounter helps us believe in the goodness of the world, and strengthens us thereby to do what's good.

~ Albert Schweitzer, thanks to Liz Stewart
Albert Schweitzer gratitude

I'm thankful for a pair of shoes that feel really good on my feet; I like my shoes. I'm thankful for the birds; I feel like they're singing just for me when I get up in the morning… Saying, 'Good morning, John. You made it, John.' I'm thankful for the sea breeze that feels so good right now, and the scent of jasmine when the sun starts going down. I'm thankful . . .

~Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash gratitude

All great questions must be raised by great voices, and the greatest voice is the voice of the people - speaking out - in prose, or painting or poetry or music; speaking out - in homes and halls, streets and farms, courts and cafes - let that voice speak and the stillness you hear will be the gratitude of mankind.

~ Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy gratitude

The people who are successful are those who are grateful for everything they have . . . Giving thanks for what we have always opens the door for more to come, and ungratefulness always closes the door . . .

~ Alan Cohen
Alan Cohen gratitude

Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of allreligions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art….It isa privilege to be alive in this time when we can choose to take part inthe self-healing of our world.

~ Joanna Macy
Joanna Macy gratitude

Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.

~ from UNCOMMON GRATITUDE by Joan Chittister
Joan Chittester Uncommon Gratitude gratitude Buy on Amazon

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain all! Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whomever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

~ Jalal ad-Din Rumi
Rumi gratitude

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand. Gratitude brings joy and laughter into your lives and into the lives of all those around you.

~ Eileen Caddy
Eileen Caddy gratitude

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy—because we will always want to have something else or something more.

~ Br David Steindl-Rast
Br. David Stendl-Rast gratitude

If others could tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness and perfection, they must tell you to make a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for every that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing . . .

~ William Law
William Law gratitude

As life becomes harder and more threatening, it also becomes richer, because the fewer expectations we have, the more good things of life become unexpected gifts that we accept with gratitude.

~ Etty Hillesum
Etty Hillsum gratitude

If the only prayer we say to God is "thank you,” that is enough.

~ Meister Eckhart, thanks to John Condon
Meister Eckhart gratitude

Our cup of sorrow and joy, when lifted for others to see and celebrate, becomes a cup to life . . . Mostly, we are willing to look back at our lives and say: "I am grateful for the good things that brought me to this place.” But when we lift our cup to life, we must dare to say: "I am grateful for all that has happened to me and led me to this moment. This gratitude which embraces all or our past is what makes our life a true gift for others, because this gratitude erases bitterness, resentments, regret, and revenge as well as all jealousies and rivalries. It transforms our past into a fruitful gift for the future, and makes our life, all of it, into a life that gives life.

~ from CAN YOU DRINK THE CUP by Henri J.M. Nouwen
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September 2012 (Vol XXV, No. 8)

September Greetings, Dear Friends of Silence! The summer vacations and holidays are about over now, and after a relaxing and renewing time for all of us, it's time now to return to our regular routines. As Kahlil Gibran says in The Prophet, "Work is love made visible.” Our work is our service to the world, our gift to the world. We are thankful for opportunities to make our love visible in this manner, grateful for work to which to return; and our prayerful thoughts and concern are with those in our midst who are not so fortunate. May all of us find our right work in the world, and may we perform it with gladness and love!

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Recall the kind of feeling you have when you succeed, when you have made it, when you get to the top, when you win a game or an argument.And contrast it with the kind of feeling you get when you really enjoy the job you are doing, you are absorbed in, the action you are currently engaged in. . . .Notice the qualitative difference between the worldly feeling and the soul feeling.. . .Now attempt to understand the true nature of worldly feelings—of self-promotion, self-glorification.They are not natural, they were invented by your society and your culture to make you productive and to make you controllable.These feelings do not produce the nourishment and happiness that is produced when one contemplates nature or enjoys the company of one's friends or one's work.They were meant to produce thrills, excitement—and emptiness.

~ from THE WAY TO LOVE by Anthony de Mello,thanks to Paula Brown
Anthony de Mello The Way To Love work Buy on Amazon

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief.Do justly, now.Love mercy, now.Walk humbly, now.You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

~ from The Talmud
The Talmud work

A spirituality of work is based on a heightened sense of sacramentality, of the idea that everything that is, is holy and that our hands consecrate it to the service of God. . . when we care for everything we touch and touch it reverently, we become the creators of a new universe. Then we sanctify our work and our work sanctifies us.

A spirituality of work puts us in touch with our own creativity. . . Work enables us to put our personal stamp of approval . . . the autograph of our souls on the development of the world. . .

A spirituality of work draws us out of ourselves and, at the same time, makes us more of what we are meant to be. Good work . . . develops qualities of compassion and character in me.

My work also develops everything around it. There is nothing I do that does not affect the world in which I live. In developing a spirituality of work, I learn to trust beyond reason that good work will gain good things for the world, even when I don't expect them and I can't see them.

~ Joan Chittister, in "Vision and Viewpoint,” an e-newsletter
Joan Chittester Vision And Viewpoint work

Pavarotti retains a kind of religious, mystical, commitment to his "work.”And he insists on referring to it as "work,” claiming: "You can always love your work; your profession, at best, you can exercise.”Few people realize that the joyful tenor, the man who is always smiling, is almost a cloistered monk . . .

~ from THE TENOR'S SON by Candido Bonvicini
Candido Bonvicini The Tenor's Son work

It puzzles people at first, to see how little the able leader actually does,
and yet how much gets done.
But the leader knows that is how things work.After all, Tao does nothing at all,
yet everything gets done.
When the leader gets too busy,
the time has come to return to
selfless silence.

Selflessness gives one center.
Center creates order.
When there is order, there is little to do.

~ "37. Doing Little” in THE TAO OF LEADERSHIP by John Heider
John Heider The Tao Of Leadership work

Your job in the scheme of things is unique and designed especially for you.Your job is something you will be happy doing . . . You can begin to do your job in life by doing all the good things you feel motivated toward, even though they are just little things. . . .

~ Peace Pilgrim
Peace Pilgrim work Buy on Amazon

It is not easy to distinguish between doing what we are called to do and doing what we want to do.Our many wants can easily distract us from our true action.True action leads us to the fulfillment of our vocation. . . . Actions that lead to overwork, exhaustion, and burnout can't praise and glory God.What God calls us to do we can do and do well.When we listen in silence to God's voice and speak with our friends in trust we will know what we are called to do.We will do it with a grateful heart.

~ from CAN YOU DRINK THE CUP by Henri J.M. Nouwen
Henri Nouwen Can You Drink The Cup work Buy on Amazon

I slept and dreamt that life was joy
I woke and saw that life was service
I acted and behold! service was joy.

~ Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore work

We can truly be successful only in the work to which we have been called.The work is not ours.It is God's, and we are privileged to be worked through by God . . .How foolish, then, for anyone to think and proclaim that he has a certain work to do for God.God may have a certain work to do through him, that is if he is sufficiently humble, but that is quite a different thing . . .

~ Harry T. Hamblin
Harry T. Hamblin work

Each of us has something within us that needs to be expressed.It may be the desire to play an instrument, paint landscapes, climb mountains, or grow prize-winning chrysanthemums.Whatever that desire is, it comes from our heart and reflects our own unique gifts and abilities. . . .

~ G. Jean Anderson
G. Jean Anderson work

Follow your heart-song: your work and life's joy will flow as one in the service of Love.

~ from LUMEN CHRISTI…HOLY WIDOM by Nan Merrill
Nan Merrill Lumen Christi . . . Holy Wisdom work Buy on Amazon

Let us ponder over this basic truth till we are steeped in it, till it becomes as familiar to us as our awareness of shapes or our reading of words: God, at the most vitally active and most incarnate, is not remote from us, wholly apart from the sphere of the tangible; on the contrary, at every moment God awaits us in the activity, the work to be done, which every moment brings.God is, in a sense, at the point of my pen, my pick, my paint-brush, my needle – and my heart and my thought.It is by carrying to its natural completion the stroke, the line, the stitch I am working on that I shall lay hold on that ultimate end towards which my will at its deepest levels tends. 

~ from HYMN OF THE UNIVERSE by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Teilhard de Chardin Hymn Of The Universe work Buy on Amazon

July/August 2012 (Vol. XXV, No. 7)

Summer Greetings, dear Friends! It is the season of vacation trips, bright summer colors, gardens in full growth preparing for a bountiful harvest, blue skies, sunshine, swimming and picnicking. In short, a busy, outward-oriented time of year. Where is there time for prayer in all this activity? We tend to think of prayer as a quiet, inward-looking pursuit, and it feels more natural to focus on it during deep winter months when nature herself draws inward into silence. But there are many ways to pray. As we eagerly look for new flowers in bloom, as we are stilled for a moment before a blazing sunset over the ocean, as we are humbled by the miracles of growth all around us . . . are these not prayers of gratitude?

The world is holy. We are holy. All life is holy. Daily prayers are delivered on the lips of breaking waves, the whisperings of grasses, the shimmering of leaves.

~ from TALKING TO GOD: PORTRAIT OF A WORLD AT PRAYER by Terry Tempest Williams, thanks to Liz Stewart
Terry Tempest Williams Talking To God prayer

Prayer leads you to see new paths and to hear new melodies in the air. Prayer is the breath of your life which gives you freedom to . . . find the many signs which point out the way to a new land. Praying is not simply some necessary compartment in the daily schedule of a Christian or a source of support in time of need, nor is it restricted to Sunday morning or as a frame to surround mealtimes. Praying is living.

~ from With Open Hands by Henri J.M. Nouwen
Henri Nouwen With Open Hands prayer Buy on Amazon

Prayer and meditation have an important part to play in opening up new ways and new horizons. If your prayer is the expression of a deep and grace-inspired desire for newness of life—and not the mere blind attachment to what has always been familiar and "safe"—God will act in us and to prepare what we cannot yet imagine or understand. In this way our prayer and faith today will be oriented toward the future which we ourselves may never see fully realized on earth.

Thomas Merton Contemplation In A World Of Action prayer Buy on Amazon

Prayer has a life of its own. If we could define it today, that definition would have moved and changed by tomorrow. Prayer is a living relationship that can never be pinned down and analyzed; prayer is a breath of the soul that has passed before we can seize hold of it; prayer is a reaching out of all that is deepest within us towards all that lies infinitely beyond and around us.

~ by Margaret Silf
Margaret Silf prayer

To pray is not to use special language; it is the sound of a cry or a laugh rising from ordinary days. Formal or official words can often be lifeless. To pray we need to return like children to an elemental language of soul, to something close to song, to chant, to playground singing.

~ from ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE by Marv and Nancy Hiles
Marv and Nancy Hiles All The Days Of My Life prayer Buy on Amazon

Prayer is not sending in an order and expecting it to be fulfilled. Prayer is attuning yourself to the life of the world, to love, the force that moves the sun and the moon and the stars.

~ from THE MUSIC OF SILENCE by Br. David Steindl-Rast
David Steindl-Rast The Music Of Silence prayer Buy on Amazon

I believe that God prays in us and through us, whether we are praying or not (and whether we believe in God or not). So, any prayer on my part is a conscious response to what God is already doing in my life.

~ by Malcolm Boyd
Malcolm Boyd prayer

Prayer is not a solo art form:
for, we never pray alone;
all prayers offered to the Beloved
by whatever Name, whatever form,
Meet in the Holy Tabernacle on high,
lifting the hearts, needs, and hopes
of myriad souls. . . .
United in prayer and purpose, individuals
from every nation
sowing sacred seeds of peace,
truth and love,
Create the power to usher in the New Dawn.
Let us move inexorably onward toward
the divinization of planet Earth.

~ from LUMEN CHRISTI...HOLY WISDOM by Nan Merrill
Nan Merrill Lumen Christi . . . Holy Wisdom prayer Buy on Amazon

You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.

~ from THE PROPHET by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran The Prophet prayer Buy on Amazon

Prayer is like lying awake at night, afraid, with your head under the cover, hearing only the beating of your own heart. It is like a bird that has blundered down the flue and is caught indoors and flutters at the window panes. . . . But sometimes a prayer comes that you have not thought to pray, yet suddenly there it is and you pray it. . . . Sometimes the bird finds that what looks like an opening is an opening, and it flies away.

~ from JAYBER CROW by Wendell Berry
Wendell Berry Jayber Crow prayer Buy on Amazon

Prayer is the art of presence. Where there is no wonder there is little depth of presence.

~ from ETERNAL ECHOES by John O'Donohue
John O'Donohue Eternal Echoes prayer Buy on Amazon

My son opened my eyes to the unceasing nature of prayer in joyfulmoments which sometimes lie dormant in our hearts. I learn from him eachday that God is in the little things — the things that can be found inthe ordinary, here and now of life. Look in the minutiae of daily lifein your everyday places, where Presence can be felt and where you can besubmerged in unceasing prayer.

~ bt Yvonne Martinez Ward
Yvonne Martinez Ward prayer

There is a way of beholding which is a form or prayer.

~ from ALCHEMY OF MIND by Diane Ackerman
Diane Ackerman Alchemy Of Mind prayer Buy on Amazon

Contemplative prayer reflects a long and noble lineage of Christians who have attempted to "put on the mind of Christ" ... through a radical transformation of consciousness that produces the Kingdom as its fruit. Applying Jesus' teaching that "a house divided against itself cannot stand," they have striven to heal their own divided and warring consciousnesses and bring their lives into an inner alignment through which it becomes possible to actually follow the teachings of Christ (which are in fact pitched to a level of consciousness higher than the egoic) and to live them into reality with integrity and grace. Ever since that first great contemplative "experiment" in the deserts of Egypt and Syria, the goal has been radical transformation of the human person in service of the Kingdom. It doesn't require an "introverted temperament"--only honesty, commitment, and a good sense of humor. From these three raw ingredients, great saints can be fashioned.

Cynthia Bourgeault Centering Prayer And Inner Awakening prayer Buy on Amazon

June 2012 (Vol. XXV, No. 6)

What does it mean to offer blessing to one another? In To Bless the Space Between Us, John O'Donohue writes that it would be very lonely to live in a world without blessing. We cannot exist alone; we need others, to talk with, walk with, to offer companionship, comfort and support at times, to laugh with, to cry with. All of us need intimacy, a sense of belonging, of being valued. A blessing can evoke all of those things. As O'Donohue so beautifully writes, a blessing "touches that tender membrane where the human heart cries out to its divine ground. . . . Regardless of our differences in religion, language, or concept, there is no heart that is without this inner divine reference." So offering a blessing brings us closer to the sacred in each other, and closer to the Divine Ground of our being. May we remember to offer and to be blessings to one another!

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Bless a thing and it will bless you. . . . If you bless a situation, it has no power to hurt you, and even if it is troublesome for a time, it will gradually fade out if you sincerely bless it.

~ by Emmett Fox
Emmett Fox blessing

God's blessing be yours,
And well may it befall you;
Christ's blessing be yours
And well be you entreated;
Spirit's blessing be yours,
And well spend you your lives,
Each day that you rise up,
Each night that you lie down.

~ Celtic Blessing from CARMENA GADELICA by Alexander Carmichael
Alexander Carmichael Carmena Gadelica blessing

The word blessing evokes a sense of warmth and protection; it suggests that no life is alone or unreachable. Each life is clothed in raiment of spirit that secretly links it to everything else. Though suffering and chaos befall us, they can never quench that inner light of providence. . . . A blessing is not a sentiment or a question; it is a gracious invocation where the human heart pleads with the divine heart. . . . When a blessing is invoked, it changes the atmosphere. Some of the plenitude flows into our hearts from the invisible neighborhood of loving kindness. In the light and reverence of blessing, a person or situation becomes illuminated in a completely new way. In a dead wall a new window opens, in dense darkness a path starts to glimmer, and into a broken heart healing falls like morning dew. It is ironic that so often we continue to live like paupers though our inheritance of spirit is so vast. The quiet eternal that dwells in our souls is silent and subtle; in the activity of blessing it emerges to embrace and nurture us. Let us begin to learn how to bless one another. Whenever you give a blessing, a blessing returns to enfold you.

John O'Donohue To Bless The Space Between Us blessing

Blessing is an attitude toward all of life, transcending and moving beyond words. When family and friends gather around a table to break bread together, this is a blessing. When we harden our hearts against anyone, this is a cursing.

~ from THE IRRATIONAL SEASON by Madeleine L'Engle
Madeleine L'Engle The Irrational Season blessing Buy on Amazon

O God,
creator of our land, . . .
You have also pulled other continents
out of the sea.
What a wonderful world you have made
out of wet mud,
and what beautiful men and women! . . .
The grace of your creation is like a cool day
between rainy seasons. . . .
Bless us.
Bless our land and people.
Bless our forests . . .
Bless our fields . . .
Bless the waters . . .
Be with us in our countries and in all Africa,
and in the whole world.
Prepare us for the service that we should render.

~ from Ashanti Prayer Blessing
Ashanti Prayer Blessing blessing

May the sun bring you new energy every day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world
and know its beauty all the days of your life.

~ from Apache Blessing
Apache Blessing blessing

May the blessings of love be upon you
May its peace abide with you
May its essence illuminate your heart
Now and forever more...

~ from Sufi Blessing of Love and Peace
Sufi Blessing Of Love And Peace blessing

Go under Mercy; Sleep under the Protection.

~ from LEWIS AND HIS FRIENDS by C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis Lewis And His Friends blessing

The more alert we become to the blessings that flow into us from everything we touch, the more our own touch will bring blessing.

~ by Br. David Stendl-Rast
Br. David Stendl-Rast blessing

Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.

~ by Og Mandino
Og Mandino blessing

May you always have work for your hands to do,
May your pockets hold always a coin or two,
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

~ Irish Blessing
Irish Blessing blessing

However many blessings we expect from God, God's infinite grace will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts.

~ by John Calvin
John Calvin blessing

There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. . . . It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility, and our hearts to love life. Without this subtle quickening our days would be empty and wearisome, and no horizon would ever awaken our longing. Our passion for life is quietly sustained from somewhere in us that is wedded to the energy and excitement of life. This shy inner light is what enables us to recognize and receive our very presence here as blessing. We enter the world as strangers who all at once become heirs to a harvest of memory, spirit, and dream that has long preceded us and will now enfold, nourish, and sustain us. The gift of the world is our first blessing.

John O'Donohue To Bless The Space Between Us blessing

May 2012 (Vol. XXV, No. 5)

Greetings and Beautiful Blessings, dear friends! It is easy to find beauty everywhere we look as the earth bursts forth with new growth and lovely blooms. Beauty makes no demands on us at such times except that we open our eyes and look about us. But in other seasons of our lives, more may be required of us. It can be necessary to first find beauty within ourselves in order to perceive it without; and sometimes our search is not easy. We may feel at times that we are filled with darkness, that there could not be anything but ugliness inside us. But beauty is there, too, and we will find it as we turn our gaze deeply inward and silently ask that the beautiful light of the sacred fill us and radiate outward in all directions. Once we know it within, we will find it everywhere we look; for, as Nan Merrill once said, “Beauty and love cut through illusion.”

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God's beauty is expressed whenever we of earth so desire to seek for it. It shall not be difficult for us to behold beauty, when we behold the beauty of God within our own consciousness. . . . Beauty is everywhere to those who would behold it. When God reigns supreme in the consciousness of humankind, the tiniest blade of grass speaks of God's beauty.

~ by Frater Achad
Frater Achad beauty

To wonder at beauty,
Stand guard over truth,
Look up to the noble,
Resolve on the good.
This leadeth us truly
To purpose in living,
To right in our doing,
To peace in our feeling,
To light in our thinking.
And teaches us trust,
In the working of God,
In all that there is,
In the width of the world,
In the depth of the soul.

~ by Rudolph Steiner
Rudolph Steiner beauty

The Navaho word hozho, translated into English as "beauty," also means harmony, wholeness, goodness. One story that suggests the dynamic way that beauty comes alive between us concerns a contemporary Navajo weaver. A man ordered a rug of an especially complex pattern on two separate occasions from the same weaver. Both rugs came out perfectly and the weaver remarked to her brother that there must have been something special about the owner. It was understood that the outcome of the rugs was dependent not on the weaver's skill and ability but upon the hozho in the owner's life. The hozho of his life evoked the beauty in the rugs. In the Navaho world view, beauty exists not simply in the object, or in the artist who made the object; it is expressed in relationships.

~ from NOTES ON THE NEED FOR BEAUTY, by J. Ruth Gendler
J. Ruth Gendler Notes On The Need For Beauty beauty

Straight is the line of duty;
Curved is the line of beauty;
Follow the straight line,
thou shalt see
The curved line ever follow thee.

~ by William McCall
William McCall beauty

Who walks with beauty has no need of fear;
The sun and moon and stars keep pace . . .
Invisible hands restore the ruined year,
And time, itself, grows beautifully dim.

~ by David Morton in "Heron Dance" # 38, May 2003
David Morton Heron Dance beauty

In all ranks of life the human heart yearns for the beautiful; and the beautiful things that God makes are God's gift to all alike.

~ by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe beauty

The surfaces of the world are aesthetically uneven. You come around a bend in the road and the world suddenly falls open. When we come upon beautiful things . . . they act like small tears in the surface of the world that pull us through to some vaster space.

~ from ON BEAUTY AND BEING JUST by Elaine Scarry
Elaine Scarry On Beauty And Being Just beauty

But of beauty, I repeat again that we saw her there shining in company with the celestial forms; and coming to earth, we find her here, too, shining in clearness through the clearest aperture of sense.

~ by Plato
Plato beauty

We ourselves possess Beauty when
we are true to our own being; ugliness
is in going to another order;
knowing ourselves, we are beautiful;
in self-ignorance, we are ugly.

~ by Plotinus
Plotinus beauty

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting — a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.

~ by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson beauty

. . . Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her
unless she herself be your way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her
except she be the weaver of your speech . . .
beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

~ from THE PROPHET by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran beauty

Guided by my heritage of a love of beauty and respect for strength, in search of my mother's garden, I found my own.

~ by Alice Walker
Alice Walker beauty

Beauty transforms the beholder.

~ by Br. David Stendl-Rast, thanks to Liz Stewart
Br. David Stendl-Rast beauty

April 2012 (Vol. XXV, No. 4)

Warm, spring greetings, dear friends! The earth is waking around us and the sweet notes of birdsong return to our early morning silence. What better time to recall Nan Merrill's beautiful words in the April 2008 FOS:  "To spend time in Nature's tapestry of Life is like opening an amazing gift: an instruction book of Love and Life given to us by the Creator, Source of All Being. Here we can see how we participate in the seasons of our lives, the interplay and interconnectedness of all things that sustain our lives, the beauty and wisdom of unity in diversity, and the intricate patterns of every form of life. Celebrating, honoring, and learning from this Divine Gift is in a very real sense to reverence our own lives and the life of the planet, which depend on Nature's abundant bounty. May we share and care for Nature's gifts with equity and gratitude.

We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understanding and our hearts . . .

~ by William Hazlitt
William Hazlitt nature

The grand show is eternal.
It is always sunrise somewhere;
the dew is never dried all at once;
a shower is forever falling;
vapor is ever rising.
Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming,
on sea and continents and islands,
each in its turn,
as the round earth rolls.

~ by John Muir
John Muir nature

Every spring Nature writes a fresh, new chapter in the Book of Genesis.

~ Anonymous
Anonymous nature

What we are looking for on earth and in earth and in our lives is the process that can unlock for us the mystery of meaningfulness in our daily lives. It has been the best-kept secret down through the ages because it is so simple. Truly, the last place it would ever occur to most of us to find the sacred would be in the commonplace of our everyday lives and all about us in nature and in simple things.


~ From THE DOVE IN THE STONE by Alice O. Howell
Alice O. Howell The Dove In The Stone nature

If you only sit and reflect on the wonders of nature, you will gradually begin to feel that everything happens by divine will and power.

~ by Papa Ramdas
Papa Ramdas nature

Spring can be the most difficult season of the year catching us between the rising tide of life and the damp caverns of memory that lie among the sleepy roots of our being. It is time to attend the soil that has lain fallow for many months -- we are, after all, animated ground. April can be an agitating month, leaving us to ride out this new, insistent life from places inside us never before reached. Kites, in the driven skies, tug at thin strings that tether them to earth, just as our souls tug at our bodies. Swallows and purple martins dive heart-stoppingly into the emptiness. Something light and lithe in us responds. . . . We are, after all, much more than rational beings.

~ from AN ALMANAC FOR THE SOUL by Marv and Nancy Hiles
Marv and Nancy Hiles nature

Summer evenings –
Walking this garden path
Through bird-song
And fireflys
Into silence.

~ by Ronald Willis
Ronald Willis nature

Nature has some perfections, to show us that she is the image of God; and some imperfections to show us that she is only God's image. . . .

~ by Blaise Pascal
Blaise Pascal nature

in the world
is usual today.
This is
the first morning.

Come quickly -- as soon as
these blossoms open,
they fall.
This world exists
as a sheen of dew on flowers.

~ by Izumi Shikibu (Japan, b 974?), thanks to Maureen Flannery
Izumi Shikibu nature

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.

~ by Anne Frank
Anne Frank nature

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.

~ by Anne Frank
Anne Frank nature

I know of no sculpture, painting or music that exceeds the compelling spiritual command of the soaring shape of granite cliff and dome, of patina of light on rock and forest, and of the thunder and whispering of the falling, flowing waters.

~ by Ansel Adams
Ansel Adams nature

I think joy and sweetness and affection are a spiritual path. We're here to know God, to love and serve God, and to be blown away by the beauty and miracle of nature. You just have to get rid of so much baggage to be light enough to dance, to sing, to play. You don't have time to carry grudges; you don't have time to cling to the need to be right.

~ by Anne Lamott, quoted in "The Washington Times," thanks to Liz Stewart
Anne Lamott nature

To the dull mind nature is leaden. To the illumined mind
the whole world burns and sparkles with light.

~ by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson nature

Nature is the signature of God.

~ by Coqosh Auh-Ho-Oh
Coqosh Auh-Ho-Oh nature

I know the thrill of the grasses when the rain pours over them.
I know the trembling of the leaves when the winds sweep through them.
I know what the white clover felt as it held a drop of dew pressed close in its beauteousness.
I know the quivering of the fragrant petals at the touch of the pollen-legged bees.
I know what the stream said to the dipping willows, and what the moon said to the sweet lavender.
I know what the stars said when they came stealthily down and crept fondly into the tops of the trees.

~ by Muriel Strode, "Creation Songs"
Muriel Strode Creation Songs nature

March 2012 (Vol. XXV, No. 3)

Early spring blessings, dear friends! Up north our slumbering earth is gradually beginning to shake itself awake, while further south we already see signs of the mystery of growth and transformation. That which has been sleeping awakens, and the mysterious cycle of life begins again. In this age of what has been called "information overload," we are nurtured by the mysteries of life. While reams of information are available to us at any moment and our minds are constantly busy, always expanding our stores of knowledge, at the same time our souls are starving, yearning for time and space to rest in the Great Mystery. We can build bridges between our minds' knowledge and our  souls' longing in the deep silence that is always available to hold us in loving embrace.

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Mystery is to be embraced, not avoided. It is the place where the great secrets of the universe are told. In the center of mystery there sits, like an ancient treasure chest hidden long ago, wonder and awe. Swirling around the edges of mystery is learning, the kind that leads to wisdom. Mystery is the magic dust that transforms the mundane into a life glittering with significance. Once you have found the courage to enter the mystery, you are less likely to be overwhelmed with fear ever again.

~ from DANCE OF THE DOLPHIN by Karyn D. Kedar
Karyn D. Kedar The Dance Of The Dolphin mystery Buy on Amazon

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.

~ by Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde mystery

I have a friend who speaks of knowledge as an island in a sea of mystery. . . . We dredge up soil from the bed of mystery and build ourselves room to grow. And still the mystery surrounds us. It laps at our shores. It permeates the land. Scratch the surface of knowledge and mystery bubbles up like a spring.

~ from HONEY FROM STONE by Chet Raymo
Chet Raymo Honey From Stone mystery

A sense of Mystery can take us beyond disappointment and judgment to a place of expectancy. It opens in us an attitude of listening and respect. If everyone has in them the dimension of the unknown, possibility is present at all times. . . . Knowing this enables us to listen to life from the place in us that is Mystery also. Mystery requires that we relinquish an endless search for answers and become willing to not understand. . . . Perhaps real wisdom lies in not seeking answers at all. Any answer we find will not be true for long. An answer is a place where we can fall asleep as life moves past us to its next question. After all these years, I have begun to wonder if the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.

~ from MY GRANDFATHER'S BLESSINGS by Rachel Naomi Remen
Rachel Naomi Remen My Grandfather's Blessings mystery Buy on Amazon

It is important to have a secret, a premonition of things unknown. It fills life with something impersonal, a numinosum. One who has never experienced that has missed something important. We must sense that we live in a world which in some respects is mysterious; that things happen and can be experienced which remain inexplicable; that not everything which happens can be anticipated. The unexpected and the incredible belong in this world. Only then is life whole. For me the world has from the beginning been infinite and ungraspable.

C.G. Jung Memories, Dreams, Reflections mystery

The Creative Process is a process of Surrender, not control. Mystery is at the heart of Creativity.

~ from THE ARTIST'S WAY by Julia Cameron, thanks to Brigid O'Connor
Julia Cameron The Artist's Way mystery

Love all the earth, every ray of God's light, every grain of sand or blade of grass, every living thing. If you love the Earth enough, you will know the divine mystery.

~ from THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Fyodor Dostoevsky The Brothers Karamazov mystery

Our planet is awash in the gentle light and shadow of an impenetrable Mystery; it is time, in spite of all our vaunted learning and might, to kneel at the rim of the abyss of our profound unknowing.

~ from ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, by Marv and Nancy Hiles
Marv and Nancy Hiles All The Days Of My Life mystery Buy on Amazon

Taking on the mystery is yielding to grace, letting go of all explanations, analyses, ideologies, self-images, images of God, agendas, expectations. Taking on the mystery is undergoing the finitude of years, hallowing diminishments, and living into the solitude of our own integrity. Taking on the mystery is undergoing the pain of learning that there are no empires favored by the Holy One: not the Roman, or the British, or the Soviet, or the American. Taking on the mystery is undergoing the grief of understanding that there are no theologies favored by the Holy One: not communism or capitalism, not Islam, Judaism, or Christianity. Taking on the mystery is acknowledging that we cannot name the mystery, though we try; we cannot claim the mystery, though we do. The mystery names and claim us, inviting us to take it upon ourselves as if we were God's spies.

Robert Raines A Time To Live: Seven Tasks Of Creative Aging mystery Buy on Amazon

Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery.

~ by Annie Dillard
Annie Dillard mystery

The divine mystery is not a collection of problems. As the mystics keep chanting, it is a light so bright that it blinds us, that we are bound to experience it as darkness. To become intimate with it, we have to "unknow" worldly knowledge. We have to give up our tendency to assault it as we would a problem, learning to wait patiently for it to reveal itself as an intimate, at times even shy and vulnerable, lover. . . . The mystery never fails to nourish and heal me. I know that my spirit has been made to contemplate it, to love it as the central reality and treasure of my being. It is my lever for moving the world.

~ from HOW TO HANDLE TROUBLE by John Carmody
undefined How To Handle Trouble mystery

February 2012 (Vol. XXV, No. 2)

Greetings from the heart, dear Friends of Silence! In contemplating the nature of love, we find it hard to pin down to any one definition. Love is all-encompassing, ever flowing. Love knows no walls, it permeates everything and is visible in everything to those with eyes to see. The nature of God is love, and the nature of all God's creation is love. Our own deepest nature is of that same divine love. It is our task to find that love in ourselves, be open to it, remain in constant contact with it, and allow it to guide and direct our lives. In the silence, it is possible to rest there for a time and then to return to our busy lives with greater awareness of and ability to bring love to all our actions and interactions. May it be so!

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For a few minutes we sat there petting the kittens, saying nothing. But every so often I glanced at Demetrios. His big, thick, wrinkled hands cradled the animal lovingly as he stroked its fur in repetitive waves from the neck on down. Then he looked up and sighed.

"Touch everything this way."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Try to love everything. Everything wants love, just like these ghatakia (kittens). Let your love flow--let it be constant, like the seasons. . . . We are called to love people, birds, beasts, trees, seas, stars . . . all the universe wants to be cherished!"

~ from THE ISLE OF MONTE CRISTO by S T Georgiou
S T Georgiou The Isle Of Monte Christo love

Be a sweet melody in the great orchestration,
instead of a discordant note.
The medicine this sick world needs is love.
Hatred must be replaced by love,
and fear by faith that love will prevail.

~ from Peace Pilgrim, thanks to Liz Stewart
Peace Pilgrim love Buy on Amazon

I have never met a person whose greatest need was anything other than real, unconditional love. You can find it in a simple act of kindness toward someone who needs help. There is no mistaking love. You feel it in your heart. It is the common fiber of life, the flame that heats our soul, energizes our spirit and supplies passion to our lives. It is our connection to God and to each other.

~ by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross love

An act of love that fails is just as much a part of the divine life as an act of love that succeeds, for love is measured by its own fullness, not by its reception.

~ by Harold Loukes
Harold Loukes love

I was recently rereading the writings of Martin Luther King, Jr., and I understood once again that the whole movement was based on love--love that doesn't exclude anybody. . . when you take that view and you begin to live by it, something begins to shift very dramatically and you begin to see things in a different way. You begin to have the clarity to see injustice happening, but you can also see that injustice, by its very definition, is harming everybody involved. It's harming the people who are being oppressed or abused, and it's harming those who are oppressing and abusing.

~ by Pema Chodron
Pema Chodron love

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

~ from A Course in Miracles
A Course In Miracles love Buy on Amazon

Loving Lord God,
help me to be aware of your loving presence
regardless of where I am
or what I am doing.
Lead me into the center of your heart of love,
The Holy of Holies
where peace and joy abide.
Let me live in your presence always.

~ from THERE IS NOTHING IN GOD BUT LOVE by Maryanne Lacy
Maryanne Lacy There Is Nothing In God But Love love

Love is the Conductor of our lives
be like members of a fine orchestra
with all eyes seeing as One.
Keep your inner eye single, focused
only on Love; thus
will the Great Conductor inspire
and guide the music
of your life.

~ from LUMEN CHRISTI...HOLY WISDOM by Nan Merrill
Nan Merrill Lumen Christi . . . Holy Wisdom love Buy on Amazon

In a world so torn apart by rivalry, anger, and hatred, we have the privileged vocation to be living signs of a love that can bridge all divisions and heal all wounds.

~ by Henri Nouwen
Henri Nouwen love

Try to radiate your love equally to all people instead of just a few. Try to feel that the whole world is your Self, your God. Try to see the Self in all people. Spread your love in all directions as an act of worship and surrender, because everything in the world is a manifestation of God.

~ by Annamalia Swami
Annamalia Swami love

As Aldous Huxley wrote: "There isn't any formula or method. You learn by loving." But sometimes, if we're lucky, we live long enough to grow into it in such a way that because of it we come to recognize the value of life. . . . We learn enough about love to allow things to slip away and ourselves to melt into the God whose love made all of it possible. . . . Sometimes we live long enough to see the face of God in another. Then, in that case, we have loved.

~ from 40 STORIES TO STIR THE SOUL by Joan Chittister
Joan Chittister 40 Stories To Stir The Soul love Buy on Amazon

There is love like a small lamp, which goes out when the oil is consumed; or like a stream which dries up when it doesn't rain. But there is a love like a mighty spring gushing up out of the earth; it keeps flowing forever, and is inexhaustible . . .

~ by Isaac of Nineveh
Isaac of Nineveh love

Love is an endless mystery, for it has nothing else to explain it.

~ by Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore love

No separation between God and humans . . . a complete, mutual indwelling: I am in God, God is in you, you are in God, we are in each other. "I am the vine; you are the branches. Abide in me as I in you." . . . There is no separation between humans and God because of this mutual interabiding which expresses the indivisible reality of divine love. We flow into God--and Go into us--because it is the nature of love to flow. . . . The whole and the part live together in mutual, loving reciprocity, each belonging to the other and dependent on the other to show forth the fullness of love.

~ from THE WISDOM JESUS by Cynthia Bourgeault
Cynthia Bourgeault The Wisom Jesus love Buy on Amazon