Friday, June 28, 2013

This Kind of Hope ~ Elizabeth Berg

“I always think incipient miracles surround us, waiting only to see if our faith is strong enough. We won't have to understand it; it will just work, like a beating heart, like love. Really, no matter how frightened and discouraged I may become about the future, I look forward to it. In spite of everything I see all around me every day, I have a shaky assurance that everything will turn out fine. I don't think I'm the only one. Why else would the phrase "everything's all right" ease a deep and troubled place in so many of us? We just don't know, we never know so much, yet we have such faith. We hold our hands over our hurts and lean forward, full of yearning and forgiveness. It is how we keep on, this kind of hope.”

~ Elizabeth Berg



More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Berg_(author)

Artwork by John Nash http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Nash_(artist)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fear of Silence ~ Kathryn Damiano

"It almost seems as if it is impossible to speak and not commit "sins of the tongue" - the insensitive response, the unkind word, speaking badly about someone. The longer the conversation, the more likely it will turn to running someone down. There is a thin line between wanting to know about someone out of caring and discerning when it turns to gossip.

We are also subject to the stimulation of millions of words printed in books, magazines, newsletters, and announcements. We are told that we must keep up with changing ideas and paradigm shifts in order to be responsible citizens, to be competent in our field, and to be an intelligent, informed person. Verbalism is related to our society's understanding of power. Words are used to edify, persuade, control, and to compete with others. Yet, research indicates that we spend a lot of time repeating the words of others - what we've heard on t.v. or have read and that this reliance on other's words tends to atrophy our own thoughts. Is this kind of "freedom of speech" actually a type of mind control? How can we be in a position to critique the society if we are so caught up in its ways? In what ways does this habitual inner and outer chatter dim the prophetic witness we are called to as Friends?

Yet our culture seems to promote a fear of silence. Silence seems to lack boundaries, it can make us feel that we are not in control. Silence conveys emptiness so it is harder to accept as real and full in a society that commands us to be satisfied and fulfilled at every moment."

~ Kathryn Damiano


More at  http://www.quakerinfo.com/silence.shtml

Photograph of Charles Darwin by unknown (to me anyway) photographer.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Within Each Person ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

"The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil. It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person."

~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Sunday, June 23, 2013

If Children ~ Dorothy Law Nolte

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Dorothy Law Nolte

More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Nolte


Artwork by Abraham Lovegrove

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pied Beauty ~ Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:        
Praise him.

Gerard Manley Hopkins
More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_Manley_Hopkins

Artwork Beatrix Potter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrix_Potter

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mistaken for Truth ~ Charlotte Brontë

“Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.
These things and deeds are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them: they should not be confounded: appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ. There is – I repeat it – a difference; and it is a good, and not a bad action to mark broadly and clearly the line of separation between them.”

~ Charlotte Brontë

More at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Bront%C3%AB


Friday, June 14, 2013

We Sit in Uncomfortable Places ~ Alexie Torres-Fleming

"I’m not a theologian, but I learned about the theology of the incarnation. One of the beautiful things I read is that you cannot redeem what you will not assume. It says to me experience of God among us was God among the poorest of the poor—colonized, marginalized, suffering, oppressed people. If I want to redeem that, I have to be willing to assume that, to become one with that..... But what gives me courage is that model of “I cannot redeem what I am not at some level willing to assume or become like.” We sit in uncomfortable places when we heed God’s call."

Alexie Torres-Fleming 




More at http://www.fwccamericas.org/publications/wqf/2010_fall/Uncomfortable_places.shtml

Artwork by Angie  Lewin http://www.godfreyandwatt.co.uk/angie-lewin-christmas-2012.html

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The True Task ~ Jack Kornfield

"The true task of spiritual life is not found in faraway places or unusual states of consciousness. It is here in the present. It asks of us a welcoming spirit to greet all that life presents to us with a wise, respectful, and kindly heart.We can bow to both beauty and suffering, to our entanglements and confusion, to our fears and to the injustices of the world. Honoring the truth in this way is the path to freedom."

~ Jack Kornfield



More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kornfield
Artwork by Jan Matulka http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Matulka

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Matter of Temperament ~ Robertson Davies

"Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness."

 ~ Robertson Davies

More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robertson_Davies



Artwork by Deborah Klein http://www.deborahklein.net/

Sunday, June 9, 2013

First make Thieves ~ Thomas More

“For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.”

~ Thomas More

Elizabeth Fry speaking to the prisoners on a convict ship.





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