Those whom God has set beside us today – Jean Vanier

We shouldn’t seek the ideal community.
It is a question of loving those whom God has set beside us today.
They are signs of God.
We might have chosen different people, people who were more cheerful and intelligent.
But these are the ones God has given us, the ones he has chosen for us.
It is with them that we are called to create unity and live a covenant

Prophets climb mountains – Paulo Coelho

The Lord often has his prophets climb mountains to converse with Him.
I always wondered why
He did that, and now I know the answer: when we are on high, we can see everything else as small
. Our glory and sadness lose their importance.
Whatever we conquered or lost remains there below.
From the heights of the mountain, you see how large the world is, and how wide its horizons.

God has created me to do Him some definite service – John Henry Newman

God has created me to do Him some definite service;
He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission – I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.
Yet I have a part in this great work: I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for naught.
I shall do good,
I shall do His work;
I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.

Prayer in the 21st Century, Laurence Freeman OSB

Silence is not only the absence of noise, physical noise, as there will always be some noise around you even if it is just your tummy rumbling.
The real essence of silence is attention, paying attention.
What do we pay attention to?
Most of the time we are paying attention, more or less, to what is going on in our heads.
To a stream of thoughts, imagination, fantasy, anxiety, that is just flowing through our minds in a constant stream of consciousness.
Because we are so deeply in the habit of paying attention just to that stream of mental activity it seems to us that that is what prayer is all about – paying attention to nice thoughts, good thoughts, thoughts about God, or nice words.
What the contemplative tradition tells us is that there are perfectly valid forms and good forms of prayer that we can do at that level of consciousness, with our minds – thinking, reading, and speaking – but they point to something deeper, the prayer of the heart in which we lay aside thoughts, words, and images.

A man planting a tree – The Jewish Midrash


A wise rabbi was walking along a road when he saw a man planting a tree.
The rabbi asked him, “How many years will it take for this tree to bear fruit?”
The man answered that it would take seventy years.
The rabbi asked, “Are you so fit and strong that you expect to live that long and eat its fruit?”
The man answered, “I found a fruitful world because my forefathers planted for me.
So I will do the same for my children.”
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