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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Quips, Quotes & Questions 11-8-14

The older I get, the more complex and multi-layered my life becomes. No surprise there. But my desire to live with my eyes focused on the prize, Jesus, rather than on the circumstances in front of me, feels more idealistic and less realistic as times goes by. 

The deadly pull to live in crisis, in the "have-to's" has so much weight and gravity to it. To fight against that, to live with heavenly-mindedness, must be a daily discipline, though it seems very elusive and misty sometimes. The quotes from this week compelled me to press on in this daily tug-of-war. Set aside a few minutes to sit on these wise passages, and let them take you to where you want to live.

Life is meant to be lived from a Center, a divine Center. Each one of us can live such a life of amazing power and peace and serenity, of integration and confidence and simplified multiplicity, on one condition—that is, if we really want to. There is a divine Abyss within us all, a holy Infinite Center, a Heart, a Life who speaks in us and through us to the world.
Thomas Kelly

Christ did not come into the world to provide a bastion against suffering, disappointment and death. In his earthly life he experienced the full gamut of the world’s pain and suffering, and was not miraculously delivered from any of them…. The spiritual life is one of active participation in all aspects of earthly existence, vibrant yet terrifying in its glory and agony minute by minute.
Martin Israel

Such a follower of Christ lives in reverence of him and does not take the credit for a good life but, believing that all the good we do comes from the Lord, gives him the credit and thanksgiving for what his gift brings about in our hearts.
Benedict of Nursia, in his Rule for monastic communities

Like every human organization the Church is constantly in danger of corruption. As soon as power and wealth come to the Church, manipulation, exploitation, misuse of influence, and outright corruption are not far away.

How do we prevent corruption in the Church? The answer is clear: by focusing on the poor. The poor make the Church faithful to its vocation. When the Church is no longer a church for the poor, it loses its spiritual identity. It gets caught up in disagreements, jealousy, power games, and pettiness. Paul says, "God has composed the body so that greater dignity is given to the parts which were without it, and so that there may not be disagreements inside the body but each part may be equally concerned for all the others" (1 Corinthians 12:24-25). This is the true vision. The poor are given to the Church so that the Church as the body of Christ can be and remain a place of mutual concern, love, and peace. 
Henri Nouwen

When people attempt to live a double life spiritually, that is, to appear pure on the outside but are not pure in the heart, they are anything but blessed. Their conflicting loyalties make them wretched, confused, tense. Having to keep their eyes on two masters at once makes them cross-eyed, and their vision is so blurred that neither image is clear. But the eyes of the inwardly and outwardly pure are single, that is, focused upon one object, and their sight is not impaired. That’s why Jesus said, “For they shall see God."
Clarence Jordan

Do not think that saintliness comes from occupation; it depends rather on what one is. The kind of work we do does not make us holy, but we may make it holy.
Meister Eckhart, fourteenth-century mystic

Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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