Friday, August 21, 2015

A short break

I will be spending the next two months on pilgrimage in Spain, and will not be updating this blog until mid-October. If you wish to follow the journey, I will be blogging here.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Hope Makes a Difference

Hope looks for the good in people instead of harping on the worst in them.
Hope opens doors where despair closes them.
Hope discovers what can be done instead of grumbling about what cannot be done.
Hope draws its power from a deep trust in God and the basic goodness of mankind.
Hope ‘lights a candle’ ‘instead of cursing the darkness’.
Hope regards problems, large or small, as opportunities.
Hope cherishes no illusions, nor does it yield to cynicism.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ignatius of Loyola...

The sixteenth century mystic, Ignatius of Loyola, said that at the time of his conversion he had no one to turn to for guidance, so the Lord himself taught him the way a schoolmaster teaches a child. He once declared that even if all the scriptures were destroyed, he would hold on to what they revealed because of what the Lord had taught him personally.
I have, unfortunately, had a surfeit of people to guide me. They badgered me with their persistent teachings till I could barely hear you through the din. I never thought I could have you for my teacher, for they said, "We are all the teachers you have; he who listens to us, listens to Him."
But I am wrong to blame them or deplore their presence in my life. It is I who am to blame. For I lacked the firmness to silence them; the courage to find out for myself; the patience to wait for your appointed time; and the trust that someday. somewhere, you would break your silence and reveal yourself to me.
from Anthony de Mello The Song of the Bird, pp 196-197

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Psalm 23: Antithesis

The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest.
It makes me lie down only when exhausted.
It leads me to deep depression.
It hounds my soul.
It leads me in circles of frenzy for activity's sake.
Even though I run frantically from task to task,
I will never get it all done.
For my "ideal" is with me.
Deadlines and my need for approval, they drive me.
They demand performance from me, beyond the limits of my schedule.
They anoint my head with migraines.
My in-basket overflows.
Surely fatigue and time pressure shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the bonds of frustration forever
source unknown

Friday, August 14, 2015

An untapped treasure

No one has yet fully realised the wealth of sympathy, kindness, and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.
- Emma Goldman

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Into the new

Getting outside of the box can not only be fun, it is sometimes necessary for our survival. That is what survival training is all about. It disrupts our inner programming, the mentality of going through life on 'auto-pilot' so that we can readily see bright new possibilities heading our way.
- Gail Pursell Elliott

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The better outcome

If knowing answers to life's questions is absolutely necessary to you, then forget the journey. You will never make it, for this is a journey of unknowables - of unanswered questions, enigmas, incomprehensibles, and most of all, things unfair.
- Madame Jeanne Guyon

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

True Religion

It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.
- Mohandas K. Gandhi

Monday, August 10, 2015

Live in Hope

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.
- Barbara Kingsolver

Sunday, August 09, 2015

The paradox of our time

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers;
wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints;
we spend more, but have less;
we buy more, but enjoy it less;
We have bigger houses and smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time;
we have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgement;
more experts, but more problems;
more medicine, but less wellbeing
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life;
We've added years to life, not life to years.
We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.
We've conquered outer space, but not inner space;
we've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul;
we've split the atom, but not our prejudice;
we have higher incomes, but lower morals;
we've become long on quantity, but short on quality.
These are the times of tall men/women, and short character, steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are the days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to make a difference, or just read and continue on as you were..
source unknown

Saturday, August 08, 2015

How To Be Unhappy

• Make little things bother you. Don't just let them, MAKE them.
• Lose your perspective on things and keep it lost: don't put first things first.
• Get yourself a good worry, one about which you cannot do anything.
• Be a perfectionist, which means not that you work hard to do your best, but that you condemn yourself and others for not achieving perfection.
• Be right. Be always right. Be the only one who is always right, and be rigid in your rightness.
• Don't trust or believe people, or accept them at anything but their worst and weakest.
• Be suspicious. Insist that others always have hidden motives.
• Always compare yourself unfavourably to others. This guarantees instant misery.
• Take personally everything that happens to you.
• Don't give yourself whole-heartily to anyone or anything
Source unknown

Friday, August 07, 2015

And God said ‘No’

I asked God to take away my pride,
And God said, "No." He said it was not for Him to take away,
But for me to give up.
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole,
and God said "No." He said her spirit is whole,
Her body is only temporary.
I asked God to grant me patience,
And God said "No." He said that patience is a byproduct of tribulation,
It isn't granted, it's earned.
I asked God to give me happiness,
And God said "No." He said He gives blessings,
Happiness is up to me.
I asked God to spare me pain,
And God said, "No." He said "Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to Me."
I asked God to make my spirit grow
And God said, "No." He said I must grow on my own.
But he will prune me to make me fruitful.
I asked God to help me love others,
As much as He loves me,
And God said "Ah, finally, you have the idea."
By Claudia Miden Weisz

Thursday, August 06, 2015

The Cracked Pot

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologise to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.
But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologised to the bearer for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, God will use our flaws... In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste. So as God calls each one of us, don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and allow Him to take advantage of them, and you, too, can be the cause of beauty in His pathway. Go out boldly, knowing that in our weakness we find His strength.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Feel Like Giving Up?

This poem was written by Mother Teresa and is engraved on the wall of her home for children in Calcutta.
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centred. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give the world the best you've got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.