Alfred Loisy, 1902:  “Jesus came preaching the Kingdom, and what arrived was the Church”

“The search for truth is not a trade by which a man can support himself; for a priest it is a supreme peril”  Alfred Loisy

“Christ, giver of new life, send us forth

With the assurance that our letting go

Is a holy act, an act of faith that lifts

Us into fuller life, as a seed lets go

And is carried aloft by gentle breezes

To a place where it finds fertile ground

To become a new flower.”

Author unknown, handed out during BTSR chapel service

“Human beings never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.”  Blaise Pascal

“We may be in a thorough mess, but at least we shall not mislead anyone into supposing that the power and wisdom of God depend on the smooth coherence of the Church’s workings”, nor that of theological education either.  (with apologies to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, for paraphrasing and applying his quote.)

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.  I do not see the road ahead of me.  I cannot know for certain where it will end.  Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.  But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.  And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.  I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.  And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.  Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.  I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”  Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

Christian Century, Feb. 22, 2003, Christian One-liners:

  • Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers.
  • It is easier to preach ten sermons than to live one.
  • People are funny:  they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road and the back of the church.
  • Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.
  • Quit griping about your church; if it were perfect, you couldn’t belong.
  • If your church wants a better pastor, pray for the one you have.

“In this crazy world, there’s an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy.  But in the eyes of God, they’re never separated.  Where there is pain, there is healing.  Where there is mourning, there is dancing.  Where there is poverty, there is the kingdom.”  Henri Nouwen

Then the soul says:  “Lord speak into me, that your eternal will may come about.”  Meister Eckhart, Teacher and Preacher, p. 343

“It is not as a child that I believe and confess Christ Jesus.  My ‘hosanna’ is born of a furnace of doubt.”  Dostoevsky, quoted in Lampart, Berdyaev and the New Middle Ages, p. 96

“…the sacrifice that is demanded of adult Christian men and women:  the realistic acceptance of imperfection and of deficiency in themselves, in others, and in their most cherished institutions.”  Thomas Merton, Life and Holiness, p. 57

“We too often forget that Christian faith is a principle of questioning and struggle before it becomes a principle of certitude and of peace.  One has to doubt and reject everything else in order to believe firmly in Christ, and after one has begun to believe, one’s faith itself must be tested and purified.  Christianity is not merely a set of foregone conclusions.”  Thomas Merton,Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, p. 70

“Love seeks not only to serve God but to know God, to commune with God in prayer, to abandon itself to God in contemplation.”  Thomas Merton, Life and Holiness, p. 62

“Living is not thinking.  …  Living is the constant adjustment of thought to life and life to thought in such a way that we are always growing, always experiencing new things in the old and old things in the new.  Thus life is always new.” Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude, p.28

“Every understanding of spiritual things (Geisteswissenschaft) is circular.”  Paul Tillich,Systematic Theology, vol. 1

“Faith is not the supposition that something might be true, but the assurance that someone is there.”  Bishop Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way

“Faith is not merely the acquiescence of the mind in certain truths, but it is the gift of our whole being to Truth itself, to the Word of God.”  Thomas Merton, Life and Holiness, p. 92

“There is nothing more evil than the determination to create good, no matter what the cost.”  Nicolai Berdyaev, Spirit and Caesar, p. 94

“The ‘wicked’ create hell for themselves, but the ‘good’ create hell for others.”  Nicolai Berdyaev, Destiny of Man, p. 272

“Life is thus a moment only,

Only a dissolving

Of ourselves in other selves

As a hearty gift.”

Boris Pasternak, The Poems of Dr. Zhivago, “The Wedding Party,” p. 30

“Why friendly feasts are testaments –

That the secret springs of suffering

May revive the freezing forms of life.”

Boris Pasternak, The Poems of Dr. Zhivago, “The Earth,” p. 52

“Our destiny is to live out what we think, because unless we live what we know, we do not even know it.  It is only by making our knowledge part of ourselves, through action, that we enter into the reality that is signified by our concepts.”  Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude, p. 28

“It takes great heroism to devote one’s life to others in a situation which is frustrating and unsatisfactory, and in which one’s sacrifice may even be, in large measure, wasted.  But here above all, faith in God is necessary.  God sees our sacrifice, and God will make it fruitful, even though in our own eyes there is nothing apparent but futility and frustration.  When we accept this grace, our eyes are opened to see the real, unsuspected good in others, and to be truly grateful for our Christian vocation.”  Thomas Merton, Life and Holiness, p. 58

“Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified:  Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of Life and Peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Collect for Lent 3:  ASB

“There are no summits without abysses.”  Theilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man

“…married love, in its humble and more earthy way may in fact be, for the enlightened layperson, a more concrete and sensible approach to the great mystery.  He or she lays hold on their lost unity in that secret mystery of sorrow and ecstasy, humiliation and joy, triumph and death, which is their own peculiar participation in the mystery of Christ.”  Thomas Merton, “The Inner Experience”

Douglas Steere, Quaker:  “The real question of prayer is not ‘Did you get what you asked for?’ but ‘Did you yield?’”

Fr. Thomas Hopko, OCA:  “For the Christian the only authentic prayer we can pray, regardless of the words we use, is ‘Thy will be done.’”

“The ‘protestation against real affliction’ is the unmythological kernel of religion.”  Jürgen Moltmann, Religion, Revolution and the Future, p. 95

“First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.  Then  they came for the communists and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist.  Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.  Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.”  Pastor Niemoeller, victim of the Nazis

“We must learn to pass through situations like a fish, rather than carry them all with us like a snail.”  Simon Tugwell, Prayer

“Give to us open minds, O God, minds ready to receive and to welcome such new light of knowledge as it is Thy will to reveal.  Let not the past ever be so dear to us as to set a limit to the future.  Give us the courage to change our minds, when that is needed.  Let us be tolerant of the thoughts of others, for we never know in what voice you will speak.”  Peter Marshall, Prayers in the U. S. Senate, Feb. 28, 1947

“Teach me, O God, not to torture myself, not to make a martyr out of myself through stifling reflection, but rather teach me to breathe deeply in faith.”  The Prayers of Kierkegaard

“God will know how to draw glory even from our faults.  Not to be downcast after committing a fault is one of the marks of true sanctity.”  Dom Augustin Guillerand

“A moral system (cf. Boutroux) ceases to exist as soon as you remove from it its characteristic of pursuing an ideal, and reduce it to being a formula for ‘living happily and peacefully in society.’”  Teilhard de Chardin, Writings in Time of War

Thomas Merton, The Courage for Truth, “Letters to Boris Pasternak,” p. 88:  “It is true that a person always remains a person and utterly separate and apart from every other person.  But it is equally true that each person is destined to reach with others an understanding and a unity which transcend individuality, and Russian tradition describes this with a concept we do not fully possess in the west – sobornost.”

Thomas Merton, The Courage for Truth, “Letters to Boris Pasternak,” pp. 89-90:  “…No, the great business of our time is this:  for one man to find himself in another one who is on the other side of the world.  Only by such contacts can there be peace, can the sacredness of life be preserved and developed and the image of God manifest itself in the world.  …  Both works remind us to fight our way out of complacency and realize that all our work remains yet to be done, the work of transformation which is the work of love, and love alone.  I need not tell you that I also am one who has tried to learn deeply from Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor and I am passionately convinced that this is the most important of all lessons for our time.  …”

Thomas Merton, The Courage for Truth, “Letters to Boris Pasternak,” pp. 91-92:  “…  For what could be more blind and absurd than to make a political weapon, for one side or the other, out of a book that declares clearly the futility and malignity of tendencies on every side which seek to destroy man in his spiritual substance?  Perhaps it is the destiny of every free man to bring out, like a poultice, the folly and the putrescence of our world:  but such a vocation is not always pleasant.  …  May you find again within yourself the deep life-giving silence which is genuine truth and the source of truth:  for it is a fountain of life and a window into the abyss of eternity and God.  It is the wonderful silence of the winter night in which Yurii sat up in the sleeping house and wrote his poems while the wolves howled outside:  but it is an inviolable house of peace, a fortress in the depths of our being, the virginity of our soul where, like the Blessed Mary, we give our brave and humble answer to life, the “Yes” which brings Christ into the world.  …  I will feast with you spiritually in the light of the Child of God Who comes shyly and silently into the midst of our darkness and transforms the winter night into Paradise for those who, like the Shepherds and the humble Kings, come to find Him where no one thinks of looking:  in the obviousness and poverty of man’s ordinary everyday life.

Thomas Merton, The Courage for Truth, “Letters to Margaret Randall,” p. 219:  “…when a big fat people starts deciding everybody else’s destiny then it becomes alienated by its own abuse of power, ceases to be anything but its own image of itself.  … With Church people (officially Church people) there is still all the noise, all the arrogance, all the obsession with being eternally right:  the progressives and radicals are as bad as the conservatives:  all in their own little boxes surrounded with restrictions.  …”

Thomas Merton, The Courage for Truth, “Letters to Margaret Randall,” p. 221:  “We have our life’s work cut out for us just keeping real.  The tragedy is to suppose that a society, an institution, a cause, or even a Church, will do the job for us.”

Thomas Merton, The Courage for Truth, “Letter to Cintio Vitier,” p. 237:  “…all Christians are everywhere in a kind of exile and it is necessary for all to realize this.  The greatest danger is identification of the Church with a prosperous and established economic and cultural system, as if Christ and the world had finally settled down to be friends.  The Church needs Christians with independent and original thought, with new solutions and with the capacity to take risks.  …  No power on earth can keep you from loving God and from union with Him.  Nor need you depend on the devotionalism of the past.  The Lord is near to you and lives in you.  …  Rejoice in the truth and fear nothing.”

Thomas Merton, The Courage for Truth, “Letter to Lawrence Ferlinghetti,” p. 269:  “…What is vitally important is that you should be a Christian and as faithful to the truth as you can get.  This may mean anything but resembling some of the pious faithful.  …  But the mercy of God, unknown and caricatured and blasphemed by some of the most reputable squares, is the central reality out of which all the rest comes and into which all the rest returns.”

Raymond E. Brown, The Churches the Apostles Left Behind, p. 23, Footnote 25:  “…Frequently inner-Christian conflicts occur not because one group accepts a foundational document that the other rejects but because two groups interpret differently a document both accept.”

Raymond E. Brown, The Churches the Apostles Left Behind, p. 30:  “A sociological observation, already made by Max Weber, is that the problem of continuance and succession is inevitably raised with the disappearance of the original leaders of a movement.  The crisis is accentuated to the degree that those leaders have innovatively moved their followers away from the previous criteria of authority.  By the time of the death of the apostles, the churches were already breaking away or broken away from much of what previously constituted authority in Judaism; but then (as ever since) they have had to survive without the living tutorship of the great figures of the first generation.  The answers of their immediate successors were, I suggest, repeated throughout the ages – not in the sense that one church repeated one answer and another church repeated another answer, but in the sense that each church has repeated many of the answers.  A difference among modern churches lies in the proportionate arrangement of the answers.”

Raymond E. Brown, The Churches the Apostles Left Behind, pp. 149-150:  “A recognition of the range of NT ecclesiological diversity makes the claim of any church to be absolutely faithful to the Scriptures much more complex.  We are faithful but in our own specific way; and both ecumenics and biblical studies should make us aware that there are other ways of being faithful to which we do not do justice.  …  In short, a frank study of NT ecclesiologies should convince every Christian community that it is neglecting part of the NT witness.  …  I contend that in a divided Christianity, instead of reading the Bible to assure ourselves that we are right, we would do better to read it to discover where we have not been listening.  …  Then the Bible would be doing for us what Jesus did in his time, namely, convincing those who have ears to hear that all is not right, for God is asking of them more than they thought.  That could be themetanoia that would prepare the church for the kingdom.”

Hans Küng, Christianity:  Essence, History and Future, p. 50:  “Jesus nowhere said, ‘Say after me’, but rather ‘Follow me.’  That means that Jesus did not first require a confession of faith from disciples, men or women, but rather called them to utterly practical discipleship.”

“Lord, take me where You want me to go;

Let me meet who You want me to meet;

Tell me what You want me to say, and

Keep me out of Your way.”

Prayer by Mychal F. Judge, Franciscan friar, chaplain NYC Fire Department

“Take more time, cover less ground.”  Thomas Merton

“There is something very beautiful in work which is well and precisely done.  It is a participation in the activity of God, who makes all things well and wisely, beautiful to the last detail.”  Jean Vanier, Community & Growth, p. 194

“Most of all, though, God is in the worn, embattled, broken down layers because God always loves the poor and the weak.  This is where to look for God most in yourself – where you are broken and vulnerable.  Where you are scarred and need divine healing.  Look for God where your defense is weakest.  At the breach in the wall.  The crack in the earth.  The ground shifting out of control.  Go to the place called barren.  Stand in the place called empty.  And you will find God there.  …  God’s love grows where you crumble enough to give what God wants most – your earth.”  Joan Sauro, C.S.J., “The Whole Earth Meditation,” Weavings, Nov/Dec 1991

“Be of good courage, all is before you, and time passed in the difficult is never lost…What is required of us is that we love the difficult and learn to deal with it.  In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us.”  Rainier Maria Rilke

“Let no weariness prompt you to give up what you have begun, but go on in the hope of heaven’s help and in love of the blessed reward, to undertake what is good for you, that you have not yet attempted, and may you come, led by Christ, to the fellowship of the blessed saints.”  St. Anselm, Epistle 35, quoted in Thomas Merton, A Vow of Conversation, pp. 25-26

“I am silent and in tears and none takes me by the hand.  My God, who knowest the unknown, be merciful….  In the midst of the stormy waters come to my help, take me by the hand.”  Ancient Babylonian prayer

“Often the lonely and the empty have found their way into this pure silence only after many false starts.  They have taken many wrong roads, even roads that were totally alien to their character, and vocation.  They have repeatedly contradicted themselves and their own inmost truth.  Their very nature seems itself to be a contradiction.  They have perhaps few ‘clear signs’ of any vocation.  But they end up nevertheless alone.  Their way is to have no way.  Their destiny is poverty, emptiness, anonymity.”  Thomas Merton, Disputed Questions, p. 197

“Friends are people you make part of your life just because you feel like it.  Basically your friends are not your friends for any particular reason.  They are your friends for no particular reason.”  Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark

“Here we meet a great mystery, but one that is constantly confirmed by experience:  truth, even revealed truth, can be preserved only by being continually enlarged; or, if there are some minds that are excused that effort either because of their isolation or their exceptional simplicity, it is because others, close to them, take over in their place the task (indispensable even for believers if they wish to maintain their faith) of unremittingly clearing the road to thought and Life.”  Teilhard de Chardin, “The Mystical Milieu,” Writings in Time of War, p. 140

“It is quite incalculable what one single soul may accomplish when it is on fire with God.”  Mother Eva Mary C.T.

“However, my profit is diminished and my resources are lessened if I keep my wealth buried in my mind under constant guard or if I never share it with anyone.  But if I take what is in my mind and communicate it to everyone, if I let a large number of people partake and share in everything I know, my spiritual wealth will increase.”  John Chrysostom, Homily X, “Against the Anomoeans”

“O Lord make speed to save me; O Lord make haste to help me!”  prayer of the Desert Mothers and Fathers, combination of Ps. 40:13 & Ps. 70:1

“God is with us in our inmost soul, provided He find us within and not gone out on business with our five senses.”  Meister Eckhart quoted in Rufus Jones, The Flowering of Mysticism, p. 79

“Every attempt to love sinks endlessly away before the overwhelming miracle of it.” Meister Eckhart quoted in Rufus Jones, The Flowering of Mysticism, p. 80

“Up, then, noble soul, put on thy jumping shoes, which are intellect and love, and leap the workings of thy mental powers; leap thy own understanding and spring into the heart of God, into His hiddenness where thou art hidden from all creatures.” Meister Eckhart quoted in Rufus Jones, The Flowering of Mysticism, p. 82

“A life of rest and peace in God is good, a life of pain in patience is still better, but to have peace in a life of pain is best of all.” Meister Eckhart quoted in Rufus Jones, The Flowering of Mysticism, p. 83

“Some people want to see God with their own eyes, just as they see a cow; and they want to love God just as they love a cow.  You love a cow because of the milk and cheese and because of your own advantage.  This is how all these people act who love God because of external riches or because of internal consolation.  They do not love God rightly; rather they love their own advantage.  I say truly:  Everything which you make the object of your intention which is not God in himself (God’s self) – that can never be so good that it will not be an impediment to the highest truth.”  Meister Eckhart, “Sermon 16b, Sirach 50:10,” Meister Eckhart:  Teacher and Preacher, Classics of Western Spirituality, p. 278

“…people who abandon themselves to God and seek only his (God’s) will with all diligence – whatever God gives to such a person is the best.  You may be as certain of this as you are that God lives – that it must of necessity be the best thing of all, and that no other way could be better.  Even though something else might seem better, it would nevertheless not be good for you because God wants it this way and not a different way, and this way must of necessity be the best for you.” Meister Eckhart, “Sermon 4, James 1:17,” Meister Eckhart:  Teacher and Preacher, Classics of Western Spirituality, p. 247

“Those who interpret God’s word need both knowledge that illumines the intellect and grace or charity that enflames the power to love.  Both require instruction.” Meister Eckhart, “Sermon XLV, Ephesians 6:10-17,” Meister Eckhart:  Teacher and Preacher, Classics of Western Spirituality, p. 227

“There, where clinging to things ends, is where God begins to be.”  Meister Eckhart

“The measure of life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.”  Peter Marshall

“The world is before you, and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.”  James Baldwin

“The conduct of God, who disposes all things kindly, is to put religion into the mind by reason, and into the heart by grace.  But to will to put it into the mind and heart by force and threats is not to put religion there, but terror.”  Blaise Pascal, Pensees, p. 185

“It is not power that corrupts but fear.  Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it, and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”  Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Far Eastern Economic Review

“Lord, Lord I want no signs from you nor am I looking for intense feelings to accompany your love.  I would rather flee those feelings as I do the devil.  They get in the way of Pure Love – for under the guise of Pure Love it is those emotional feelings to which the soul becomes attached.  Love must be naked.  I beseech you, therefore, to grant me no such additional feelings, for I do not care for them.  …  Pure Love does not attach itself to pleasure or feeling, bodily or spiritual.  In the same way a spiritual attachment that seems good is dangerous:  It can mislead the Soul into attaching itself not to God but to those pleasurable sentiments.  He (the one) who seeks the naked love of God must flee these sentiments.  …  Spiritual pleasures, however, are something of a poison against pure love of God.  They are more difficult to eradicate once we become attached to them.  Not to understand this is to be barred from the one perfect good – God pure and naked.” Catherine of Genoa, “The Spiritual Dialogue,” Classics of Western Spirituality, p.122-124

“Serving God with our little is the way to make it more; and we must never think that wasted with which God is honored or people are blest.”  Henrietta Mears

“We can still choose between the way of Job and the way of Job’s friends, and we have to have the sense (I say sense, not courage) to choose the way of Job:  It takes far more than courage to start out on a way that obviously leads to the far end of nothing, and to walk over the abyss of our own absurdity in order to be found and saved by God, who has called us to walk that way.  It takes sense to see that if [God] calls us, it is the only way.  As to courage, [God] will provide:  and of course [God] will provide it more in the form of hope than as plain fortitude.  We must not expect to glance at ourselves and see “courage”, and take comfort from this.  Christ alone, on the cross and in darkness, but already victorious, is our comfort.”  Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, p. 164

“The merciful Lord will give you freedom from cares, and where this freedom prevails everything is done in its own time, and nothing is a worry or a burden.  Seek, ask – and it will be given.”  Theophan the Recluse, The Art of Prayer, p. 237

“The most basic premise for giving love is knowing the person one loves.  Before there can be any real love, one must find out what the other person is like.  One has to become aware, conscious of that person’s true being, in order to love that very person and not some image of one’s own that one projects upon the other….  It is altogether too easy to believe that I really love someone when all I am doing is enjoying my own ideal of that I would like that person to be.  And probably the surest way of finding out the difference is by listening to the other person, allowing oneself to be open and sensitive to that person’s real reactions.”  Morton T. Kelsey, The Other Side of Silence, p. 65

“We cannot change anything unless we accept it.  Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.  I am the oppressor of the person I condemn, not [their] friend and fellow sufferer.”  Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, quoted in Morton T. Kelsey, The Other Side of Silence, p. 205

“We are each of us angels with only one wing.  And we can only fly embracing each other.”  Luciano DeCrescenzo

“…I had a sort of conviction that it was my duty to make this fresh effort, to show my fidelity to what God asks of me….  In any event, I feel that I am reaching a turning point in my life, and it is precisely in order not to miss the turning that I have accepted this present journey.”  Teilhard de Chardin, Letters from a Traveller, p. 193

“The most important, the most real, and lasting work of the Christian is accomplished in the depths of his or her own soul.  It cannot be seen by anyone, even by yourself.  It is known only to God.”  Thomas Merton, Life and Holiness, p. 68

“Fanaticism shackles the mind; faith gives it the wings of freedom.  This freedom is apparent in a quiet firmness, unruffled by any circumstances, fortunate or unfortunate.  The sword that cuts us free of shackles is the purified mind; the mind that has learned to discern the true, the secret, the mysterious cause and purpose of every occurrence.  Purification of the mind is gained through frequently pondering on our utter insignificance; but this pondering should always be veiled in a throbbing, living prayer:  for God’s protection and God’s help.”  Macarius, Starets of Optino, Russian Letters of Direction, 1834-1860, p. 42

Learned this from reading Teilhard de Chardin although I can no longer find the direct reference:  Beginnings by their very nature are fragile and fugitive.  By the time something has emerged to the point it is visible it is no longer at its beginning.

Now I know all my Teilhard de Chardin books are missing.  That’s what moving reveals. L This is the best I remember of Teilhard from the Divine Milieu:  We are not called to swoon at the foot of the cross, but to rise in the light of it. Re-bought the book, re-read it!  How wonderful – even better than when I read it the first time!  Direct quote, p. 104:  “The Christian is not asked to swoon in the shadow, but to climb in the light, of the Cross.”

“Solitude has its own special work:  a deepening of awareness that the world needs.”  Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, p. 19

“There is a time to listen, in the active life as everywhere else, and the better part of action is waiting, not knowing what next, and not having a glib answer.” Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, p. 173

“The rose is without why, it flowers because it flowers, it pays no heed to itself, asks not if it is seen.”  Angelus Silesius, quoted in Eckhart’s Way, p. 106

“I have smiled too many smiles and cried too many tears to let my dreams become burnt-out songs.”  Author Unknown

“We read to know we are not alone.”  In a movie about C. S. Lewis & Joy Davidman one of Lewis’ students quotes his father saying this to him when he was a little boy.

“In this crazy world, there’s an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy.  But in the eyes of God, they’re never separated.  Where there is pain, there is healing.  Where there is mourning, there is dancing.  Where there is poverty, there is the kingdom.”  Henri Nouwen

“I don’t preach a social gospel; I preach the gospel, period.  The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person.  When people were hungry, Jesus didn’t say, ‘Now is that political or social?’  He said, ‘I feed you.’  Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.”  Desmond Tutu, Retired Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa

“We try to pray through out work by doing it with Jesus, for Jesus, to Jesus.  That helps us put our whole heart and soul into doing it.  The dying, the crippled, the mentally ill, the unwanted, the unloved – they are Jesus in disguise.”  Mother Teresa

What I remember from watching a film of Thomas Merton instructing novices; has stuck with me all these many years because in my experience it is soooo true:  In the spiritual life there is much uncertainty.  However, of one thing you can be certain – if you can watch yourself being spiritual, then you’re not.

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