Make Some Desert (Advent Meditation) …

If you cannot go into the desert, you must nonetheless ‘make some desert’ in your life, every now and then leaving men and looking for solitude to restore, in prolonged silence and prayer, the stuff of your soul. This is the meaning of ‘desert’ in your spiritual life. One has to be courageous not to let oneself be carried along by the world’s march; one needs faith and willpower…to stop, to be silent, to worship.
— Carlo Carretto from Letters from the Desert

Love is the synthesis of contemplation and action, the meeting-point between heaven and earth, between God and humanity.
— Carlo Carretto from Letters from the Desert

When we claim and constantly reclaim the truth of being the chosen ones, we soon discover within ourselves a deep desire to reveal to others their own chosenness. Instead of making us feel that we are better, more precious or valuable than others, our awareness of being chosen opens our eyes to the chosenness of others. That is the great joy of being chosen: the discovery that others are chosen as well. In the house of God there are many mansions. There is a place for everyone – a unique, special place. Once we deeply trust that we ourselves are precious in God’s eyes, we are able to recognize the preciousness of others and their unique places in God’s heart.
― Henri J.M. Nouwen from Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World

When you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have. When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.
― Lynne Twist from The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources

You are traveling a path that has led to clarity, peace and deep realization for many people over thousands of years. May their awakening support and inspire you. And may the sincerity of your practice heal and free your spirit.
— Tara Brach from True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.— Nelson Mandela, author of Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

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