On Patience …

Only bad things happen quickly. . . virtually all the happiness-producing processes in our lives take time, usually a long time: learning new things, changing old behaviors, building satisfying relationships, raising children. This is why patience and determination are among life’s primary virtues.
— Gordon Livingston from Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now

The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.
— Paulo Coelho from Veronika Decides to Die: A Novel of Redemption

Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.
— Mother Teresa

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves… live everything. Live the question now. Perhaps then, some day far in the future, you will gradually without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
— Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet

Waiting is also active. Most of us think of waiting as something very passive, a hopeless state determined by events totally out of our hands. The bus is late. You cannot do anything about it, so you have to sit there and just wait. It is not difficult to understand the irritation people feel when somebody says, “Just wait.” …  The secret of waiting is the faith that the seed has been planted, that something has begun. Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening. A waiting person is a patient person. The word “patience” means the willingness to stay where we are and life the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere. The moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there.
— Henri Nouwen from Watch for the Light

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I Am …

I was regretting the past and fearing the future.
Suddenly my Lord was speaking.
“My name is I am”
He paused. I waited. He continued.
“When you live in the past with its mistakes and regrets, it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WAS.
When you live in the future, with its problems and fears, it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WILL BE.
When you live in this moment it is not hard. I am here.
My name is I AM.
— Helen Mallicoat

The God of Welcomes …

De Mello contrasted this Judgement God with what he called the God of Welcomes. I can still remember him describing God getting excited like a child because you are coming to pray, ‘God has all these angels with golden trumpets. They are to get ready to welcome you. God has this infinite, red carpet: roll it out, he says to another group of angels.’ And de Mello ended by challenging his audience. ‘You think my pictures are silly and childish. I tell you, they are much, more true than the images you may have, especially if you have some picture in the back of your head of a distant and bored and sulky God. Perhaps even after years of theology studies, false pictures of God can still lurk in our imaginations, so that we too become false. We put on prayer masks. We do our religious duty. We try to bargain  with this Boss or placate this judge. We have forgotten that the Lord takes delight in people. In more ordinary language, God is thrilled’ to see us. So get yourselves ready  patiently. But remember the true God of love to whom you come. Then, some days at least, those ten minutes of yours can flow naturally and easily, and most importantly of all, leave you strengthened for a life of love.

— from Letters on Prayer by Michael Paul Gallagher

Anthony de Mello was an Indian Jesuit who achieved international fame for his writings and spiritual retreats.

Prayer for Openness …

Dear Lord,
Help me to recognize You
in the gifts that surround me.
Allow me to respond with
courage and charity.
I ask your forgiveness for
the occasions where I have
made myself blind to you.
Help me to grow in the
confidence of your saving
grace.  Amen.

By Mike Cherney
Creighton University Online Ministries

The Nature of Love …

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height
and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire,
that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you
that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness
and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh,
but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say,
“God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love,
if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

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 from The Prophet

Love and Go On …

You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
— David Harkins

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
— Annie (The Movie)

Miracles …

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle.
But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air,
but to walk on earth.
Every day we are engaged in a miracle
which we don’t even recognize:
a blue sky,
white clouds,
green leaves,
the black, curious eyes of a child —
our own two eyes.
All is a miracle.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature. — C. S. Lewis