“Somehow I feel sure that the most direct route to religious experience is to ask for the grace to give, to share, to console another, to bandage a hurting wound, to lift a fallen human spirit, to mend a quarrel, to search out a forgotten friend, to dismiss a suspicion and replace it with trust, to encourage someone who has lost faith, to let someone who feels helpless do a favor for me, to keep a promise, to bury an old grudge, to reduce my demands on others, to fight for a principle, to express gratitude, to overcome a fear, to appreciate the beauty of nature, to tell others I love them, and then to tell them again.”
– John Powell, S.J.
in Through Seasons of the Heart
Photo on Pinterest
And don’t we all, with fierce hunger, crave a cave of solitude,
a space of deep listening – full of quiet darkness and stars,
until finally we hear a syllable of God echoing in the
cave of our hearts? ~ Macrina Wiederkehr
Photo by frater M. Charles Brandt, erm.
~ ~ ~ slowly ~ ~ ~ and in silence the mist absorbs
the lakes and the hills . . . trees become indistinct
and distance vanishes . . . . . .
only the flowers and grasses nearby seem to be
on this earth ~ ~ ~ ~ birds fly out of nowhere and
back into nowhere again . . . . . . . .
There is intimacy in the soft air ~ ~ reverence ~
and peace . . . . . . . . the great peace of
a soul that knows that the sun still shines ~ ~ ~
~ ~ that the hills and lakes are just beyond ~
~ ~ ~ where they have always been ~ ~ ~ ~
and ~ knowing these things ~ ~ ~
finds loveliness in the mystic mist . . . . . . . .
~ Gwen Frostic
“To lie with my back flat on the fragrant ground is to receive a transfusion of the same power that makes the green blade rise. To remember that I am dirt and to dirt I shall return is to be given my life back again, if only for one present moment at a time.”
~Barbara Brown Taylor, from Leaving Church
Photo at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/543668986243647255/
I am thinking about you, thinking about all the good that you have done in this life, all the people you have helped, all the kindness you have shown to others. No, don’t shake your head. I know you will want to argue that you are far from saintly and have much to regret, but counting your mistakes is not my job. My calling is to celebrate the goodness within you, to honor you for who you are, to encourage you to keep going so you will discover the next miracle waiting for you around the corner of hope. You go do what you do now. I will be thinking about you, thinking how wonderful you are.
~ Bishop Charleston
Photo at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/543668986243725499/
Thank you to Bishop Charleston for his beautiful words today.
Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.” ~ Hermann Hesse
Photo at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/543668986244036369/
Listen. Listen to the quiet word walking your way on the evening air,
slipping in around the edges of your reason, speaking in whispers like the wind
lifting the curtains to come into your room. Listen carefully, listen intentionally,
be still and listen, for the voice of the Spirit speaks in stillness not in shouts,
calls to you in soft sounds not the clamor of the crowd. God knows your name.
God seeks you out, answering your prayers, offering you wisdom,
showing you where to turn. Listen to learn, to understand, for the holy is most eloquent
in silence. Someone is speaking to you, speaking in the quiet hours of your soul. Listen
~ Bishop Charleston
Photo at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/543668986242206364/
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
~ Khalil Gibran
Photo at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/543668986236836242/
Drop thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.
~ JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER
Photo at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/127648970664990767/
Believe me, you will find more lessons in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you what you cannot learn from masters.
~ St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Photo at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/543668986243647279/