Ordinary life lived on a heroic and life-giving level

Many of us would say that God knows all and sees all. Yet few of us act consistently with this apparent belief. It does not take particularly long, nor is it difficult to acquire the habit of stilling the mind and recognizing that the Presence of God is ever present to us. The initial effort requires a great spiritual struggle, but soon this habit of mind can be cultivated, developed. Then God takes over. It is as if God has seen that we are sincere in our efforts to live continually in the divine presence, and so when we have the human tendency to lapse, God assists us. But God does not initiate the attitude in us. We are allowed our freedom here, as in all other things. But when we choose the spiritual path of centering in the silence and of trying to be aware of God's divine presence in us at all times, ceaselessly, then we will receive the assistance that we need. We can imagine the tremendous, the significant effect such an ongoing experience will have on our lives.

~ from ENCOUNTERING MYSELF by Harry James Cargas

Wisdom and compassion must walk together

Wisdom and compassion must walk together. Having wisdom without compassion is like walking with one foot. You will fall down. If you have both wisdom and compassion, you can walk very well, step by step.

~ Step by Step: Meditations on Wisdom and Compassion by Maga Ghosananda

Its silence silences us

On this bright still silent November day, we walk through bare thickets toward the lake like a silver mirror; so calm, so glassy, it holds on its wide surface all the patterns of light and air above. Its silence silences us. Its stillness stops us in our tracks. As I bend to touch a stone, I hear a voice say, "Love the earth". I cock my ear and hear the echo, faint yet unmistakable as ocean sounding in a shell. When I try to summon it once more, only my words come. A great and terrible tenderness breaks over me. Each pebble, each shell, is filled with beauty; each, in this moment, articulate, a word spoken, and I imagine beyond the grasp of hearing the great murmuring of creation beneath my feet. I feel these patient stones lie like an eternal sacrifice, offering me the ground of their existence on which to grind and crunch the pathways of my life ... I haven't begun to love the earth. Does it take the awareness of our death to wake us up to life?

~ from A SLICE OF LIFE by Lee Sturgeon-Day

Adding your love and peace to the world

You can visualize God's light each day and send it to someone who needs help. Your divine nature can reach out and touch the divine nature of another. Within you is the light of the world, it is to be shared with the world. One way of prayer is to visualize a golden light within you and spread it out, first to those about you and then gradually to the world. Keep on visualizing God's golden light surrounding the earth. If you have a problem, take the matter to God in Silence, visualize it in God's hand. Then leave it, knowing it is in the best possible hands, and turn your attention to other things. Carry with you a constant prayer of gratitude. This will add your love and peace to the world.

~ from PEACE PILGRIM by Peace Pilgrim

Give me work to do

Give me work to do;
Give me health;
Give me joy in simple things.
Give me an eye for beauty,
A tongue for truth,
A heart that love,
A mind that reasons,
A sympathy that understands;
Give me neither malice nor envy,
But a true kindness
And a noble common sense.
At the close of each day
Give me a book,
And a friend with whom
I can be silent.

~ Unknown

Instant peace

All people carry in them thoughts that have the power to bring them instant peace.

~ Anthony de Mello

Contemplation and action

For the blessed souls who have entered the profound union of divine life: rest and activity, contemplation and action, silence and speaking, receiving the gift of God in love and returning love by waves of thanksgiving and praise, are the same thing.

~ From THOUGHTS by Edith Stein with thanks to Walter Reinsdorf

We are all one silence

SILENCE and HOPE ... they belong together. Only in the silence of hope can we find our deepest communion. 'We are all one silence', says Thomas Merton, 'and a diversity of voices'. How can we keep our ears attuned to the silence of our common hope when the divergent voices of our hopes distract us? How can we tune in to their ultimate harmony, audible only to the ears of our heart? Only by being still. Only by nurturing in our heart a stillness that grows big enough to embrace even contradictory hopes, a stillness strong enough to go beyond all hopes in hope ... Hope brings us to the core of contemplative transformation: GLORY. Glory is seed and harvest to hope, its initial spark and its ultimate blaze.

~ from GRATEFULNESS, THE HEART OF PRAYER by Br. David Steindl-Rast

Sometimes we talk too much

In the middle of a healing conference on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, a young Native American died of acute alcoholism. Unfortunately, it is not an unusual occurrence on Indian reservations to die of alcoholism. I was working with Matt and Dennis Linn who were in training on the reservation. We were invited to the wake that was to be held later that evening. The Linns told me what to do when we got to the tribal hall.

"When we go into the tribal hall tonight, the man will be in a casket in the front of the room with all of his grieving family around him, and nobody will be talking. The Indian people will be there. Go in, don't say a word, take the hand of each of the grieving relatives, shake it once, and sit down with the rest of the people who are there."

~ Anonymous

The deep things do not come suddenly

The deep things do not come suddenly. Let us be patient -- with ourselves. We may recognize many defects in our natures ... it can all be removed. Go on working silently. Silence and patience go together. Silence has wonderful creative power. Innovators conceive an idea but they do not go out and shout it before the world; they think silently and work quietly until they realize their ideal.

~ Swami Paramananda
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