Sunday Quote: What keeps us going

“Grace is everywhere” were the final words of the priest in Bernanos’ book Journal d’un Curé de Campagne. Some weekends we see it easily in nature. Other times in the presence of a friend:

It is light that matters,
The light of understanding.
Who has ever reached it
Who has not met the furies again and again?
Who has reached it without
Those sudden acts of grace?

May Sarton, The Angels and the Furies

Not giving up on our dreams

We should never give up on our dreams or let them be blocked by the limitations of our own or others fears; but rather believe in that voice within and trust our capacity to achieve it.

Since the powers of nature in this dreamer, in that dreamer, and in the macrocosm of nature itself, are the same, only differently inflected,

the powers personified in a dream are those that move the world.

All the gods are within you

Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God

per Laura V, ritrovata dopo molti anni ma mai veramente andata dal cuore

The gift of presence

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Some reflections on love, for the day that is in it…

The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved.

It simply wants to be witnessed — to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is.

When we make that kind of deep bow to the soul of a suffering person, our respect reinforces the soul’s healing resources, the only resources that can help the sufferer make it through.

Parker Palmer, The Gift of Presence, The Perils of Advice

There is no way into presence except through a love exchange.

Rumi

photo Ian McKenzie

Taking people for granted

mad hatter3

Day and night,  gifts keep pelting down on us.

If we were aware of this, gratefulness would overwhelm us. But we go through life in a daze.

A power failure makes us aware of what a gift electricity is; a sprained ankle lets us appreciate walking as a gift, a sleepless night, sleep.

How much we are missing in life

by noticing gifts only when we are suddenly deprived of them.

David Steindal-Rast

photo: forS

Stubborn refusal

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The path of love is not the absence of fear. Real love is made possible through vulnerability. Vulnerability is the possibility of having one’s heart open enough to let love in, and also let pain in.  The path of love is not the avoiding of suffering, but the welcoming of joy and suffering alike, the way a gracious host would.

So no, the path of love is not being impervious to fear.

It is simply the stubborn refusal to let fear have the last word.

Omid Safi, We must Cling to Love

photo Eric kilby

A Generous spirit

mother duck

When we are stressed we have a tendency to close in on ourselves, to measure our time, fixate on our problems and not notice a lot that is happening around us. We think that this is the best way to protect our energy and our heart. Paradoxically, however, it seems that another strategy is more helpful,  going against the voice within us and turning outwards, noticing small details in the day and reaching out to others. An East African proverb reminds us You can share even if you have a little.  It may be just noticing how good the coffee tastes, a smile, a friendly phone call, a helping hand, making someone welcome.   This quotation from Cormac McCarthy reminds us to create little moments of generosity, of connection, of celebration, even when our life seems barren. There will be innumerable little moments in a day to be kind, even if our hearts do not feel like it.

When you’ve got nothing else, construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them.

Cormac McCarthy, The Road

A generous heart is never lonesome. A generous heart has luck. The lonesomeness of contemporary life is partly due to the failure of generosity. Increasingly we complete with each other for  goods, for image, and for status.

John O’Donoghue, Eternal Echoes