Advent Day 24: Joy Is Within Our Reach …

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
Epicurus

 

There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fount of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being, welcoming me tenderly, saluting me with indescribable humility. This is at once my own being, my own nature, and the Gift of my Creator’s Thought and Art within me …
— Thomas Merton from A Grateful Heart

 

All things in this creation exist within you, and all things in you exist in creation; there is no border between you and the closest things, and there is no distance between you and the farthest things, and all things, from the lowest to the loftiest, from the smallest to the greatest, are within you as equal things. In one atom are found all the elements of the earth; in one motion of the mind are found the motions of all the laws of existence; in one drop of water are found the secrets of all the endless oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence. Continue reading “Advent Day 24: Joy Is Within Our Reach …”

Advent Day 11: The Peace of the Wild Things …

We need to find God and God cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, flowers, grass—grow in silence; see the stars, the moon, the sun, how they move in silence. Is not our mission to give God to the poor in the slums? Not a dead God, but a living, loving God. The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. We need silence to be able to touch souls. The essential thing is not what we say, but what God says to us and through us. All our words will be useless unless they come from within—words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness. Continue reading “Advent Day 11: The Peace of the Wild Things …”

Magnificent Refuge (A Winter Reflection) …

In the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
— Kahlil Gibran from The Prophet

God is as available and accessible as the very thing we all do constantly—breathe.
― Richard Rohr from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics

It helps to realize that the sun never stops shining, no matter the variety and constancy of the clouds that drift and enclose us.
― Mark Nepo from The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be

There is a secret place. A radiant sanctuary. As real as your own kitchen. More real than that. Constructed of the purest elements. Overflowing with the ten thousand beautiful things. Worlds within worlds. Forests, rivers. Velvet coverlets thrown over featherbeds, fountains bubbling beneath a canopy of stars. Continue reading “Magnificent Refuge (A Winter Reflection) …”

There Is A Calmness To A Life Lived In Gratitude …

If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is “thank you,” that would suffice.
—  Meister Eckhart

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
— Epictetus

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.
— Charles Dickens

Gratitude is the highest form of acceptance. Like patience, it is one of the catalytic agents, one of the alchemist’s secrets, for turning dross to gold, hell to heaven, death to life. Where there is gratitude we get the teaching. Where there is resistance we discover only that it keeps us painfully ignorant.
—  Stephen Levine

There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.
— Ralph H. Blum

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.
— Friedrich Nietzsche

The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.
— Richard Bach

Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.
— Kahlil Gibran

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gratitude & Nature:
Watch “TEDxSF – Louie Schwartzberg – Gratitude

Pain: The Breaking Of The Shell That Encloses Your Understanding …

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

– Kahlil Gibran from The Prophet