Obedience through fear is reluctant and resentful. Obedience through gratitude is joyful, instant, and spontaneous. Gratitude is like an overflowing stream, positive, outgoing. It is a powerful antiseptic, that kills the germs of bitterness. Gratitude is the glue that binds and unites you to your neighbor. It is the salt that flavors all inspired relationships. ~Daw Nyein Tha: Joyful Revolutionary
For a long time, I sought safety and security among the wise and clever, hardly aware that the things of the kingdom were revealed to “little children”; that God has chosen “those who by human standards are fools to shame the wise.” But when I experienced the warm, unpretentious reception of those who have nothing to boast about, and experienced a loving embrace from people who didn’t ask any questions, I began to discover that a true spiritual homecoming means a return to the poor in spirit to whom the kingdom of heaven belongs. ~Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son
It is not love in the abstract that counts. We have loved the workers, the poor, the oppressed, but we have not loved “personally.” It is hard to love. It is the hardest thing in the world, naturally speaking. Have you ever read Tolstoy’s Resurrection? He tells of political prisoners in a long prison train, enduring chains and persecution for the love of their brothers, ignoring those same brothers on the long trek to Siberia. It is never the brothers right next to us, but the brothers in the abstract that are easy to love. ~Dorothy Day, as quoted in Escape Routes
The agonizing pain and loneliness Christ must have felt as he hung on the cross is too fearful to imagine; yet even then he cried out, “Father, into thy hands I give my spirit.” Here we find the crowning of faith. Even the most intense suffering and feelings of God-forsakenness could not sway his faith in his and our Father: he gave his spirit into God’s hands. If we want to be healed of the wounds made by Satan’s tricks and arrows, we must find this same unyielding trust in God, so that even if we feel nothing yet, we are able to give ourselves absolutely and without reserve to him with all we are and have. Ultimately, all we have is our sin. But if we lay it before him like children, he will give us forgiveness, cleansing, and peace of heart; and these lead to a love that cannot be described. ~J. Heinrich Arnold, Freedom from Sinful Thoughts
Theology is a wonderful science so long as we don’t make a god of it. Because we do not know God through theology, even though the meeting of the word Theo-logy is the knowledge of God. No. The only way that we know God is on our knees, our mind completely empty and put into our hearts, our mouth closed. When we are like that, a mystery can slowly, slowly unfold. This requires silence, solitude and so many other things that Our Lady can teach us. ~Catherine Doherty, Bogoroditza: She who gave birth to God.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). These words mean the breaking of my own independence with my own hand and surrendering to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus. No one can do this for me, I must do it myself. God may bring me up to the point three hundred and sixty-five times a year, but he cannot put me through it. It means breaking the husk of my individual independence of God, and the emancipating of my personality into oneness with himself, not for my own ideas, but for absolute loyalty to Jesus. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
“What wings are to a bird, and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul.” ~Corrie ten Boom