“We don’t have to go far to find the treasure we are seeking. There is beauty and goodness right where we are. And only when we can see the beauty and goodness that are close by can we recognize beauty and goodness on our travels far and wide. There are trees and flowers to enjoy, paintings and sculptures to admire; most of all there are people who smile, play, and show kindness and gentleness. They are all around us, to be recognized as free gifts to receive in gratitude.
Our temptation is to collect all the beauty and goodness surrounding us as helpful information we can use for our projects. But then we cannot enjoy it, and we soon find that we need a vacation to restore ourselves. Let’s try to see the beauty and goodness in front of us before we go elsewhere to look for it.”
– Henri Nouwen The Return of the Prodigal Son
After the seas are all cross’d, (as they seem already cross’d,)
After the great captains and engineers have accomplish’d their work,
After the noble inventors, after the scientists, the chemist, the
Finally shall come the poet worthy that name,
The true son of God shall come singing his songs.
– Walt Whitman, Passage to India
….I wrote these words…
May gratitude walk beside you
May kindness swarm about your head
May wonder be your inner child
May transcendence visit often
May joy dance upon your shoulders
May love be your closest friend
May peace remain beyond its welcome
May laughter keep your cheeks in shape
May sun shine while you’re in shade
May clouds paint your sky with fun
May rain fall once you’ve returned home
May night send you pleasant dreams
May color startle you
May smell remind you
May touch warm you
May words encourage you
May music inspire you
And so may God be kind to you
The two disciples whom Jesus joined on the road to Emmaus recognised him in the breaking of the bread. What is a more common, ordinary gesture than breaking bread? It may be the most human of all human gestures: a gesture of hospitality, friendship, care, and the desire to be together. Taking a loaf of bread, blessing it, breaking it, and giving it to those seated around the table signifies unity, community, and peace. When Jesus does this he does the most ordinary as well as the most extraordinary. It is the most human as well as the most divine gesture.
The great mystery is that this daily and most human gesture is the way we recognise the presence of Christ among us. God becomes most present when we are most human.
– Henri Nouwen
We sit down before a picture in order to have something done to us, not that we may do things with it. The first demand any work of art makes upon us is surrender. Look. Listen. Receive.
– C. S. Lewis
“Spirituality is not to be learned in flight from the world, by fleeing from things to a place of solitude; rather we must learn to maintain an inner solitude regardless of where we are or who we are with. We must learn to penetrate things, and find God there.”
– Meister Eckhart (from – On Detachment and Possessing God)
“Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message”
– Malcolm Muggeridge
“…as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday, far into the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
(thanks, Kim, for sending us this amazing quote)