Friday, August 30, 2013

Change the Way you Think ~ Maya Angelou

“There were people who went to sleep last night, poor and rich and white and black, but they will never wake again. And those dead folks would give anything at all for just five minutes of this weather or ten minutes of plowing. So you watch yourself about complaining. What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it.”

~ Maya Angelou


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

Artwork by Eileen Mayo http://www.fulltable.com/vts/aoi/m/mayop/m.htm

Friday, August 23, 2013

Protect our Decisions ~ Paulo Coelho

"Lord, protect our doubts, because Doubt is a way of praying. It is Doubt that makes us grow because it forces us to look fearlessly at the many answers that exist to one question. And in order for this to be possible…

Lord, protect our decisions, because making Decisions is a way of praying. Give us the courage, after our doubts, to be able to choose between one road and another. May our YES always be a YES and our NO always be a NO. Once we have chosen our road, may we never look back nor allow our soul to be eaten away by remorse. And in order for this to be possible…

Lord, protect our actions, because Action is a way of praying. May our daily bread be the result of the very best that we carry within us. May we, through work and Action, share a little of the love we receive. And in order for this to be possible…

Lord, protect our dreams, because to Dream is a way of praying. Make sure that, regardless of our age or our circumstances, we are capable of keeping alight in our heart the sacred flame of hope and perseverance. And in order for this to be possible…

Lord, give us enthusiasm, because Enthusiasm is a way of praying. It is what binds us to the Heavens and to Earth, to grown-ups and to children, it is what tells us that our desires are important and deserve our best efforts. It is Enthusiasm that reaffirms to us that everything is possible, as long as we are totally committed to what we are doing. And in order for this to be possible…

Lord, protect us, because Life is the only way we have of making manifest Your miracle. May the earth continue to transform seeds into wheat, may we continue to transmute wheat into bread. And this is only possible if we have Love; therefore, do not leave us in solitude. Always give us Your company, and the company of men and women who have doubts, who act and dream and feel enthusiasm, and who live each day as if it were totally dedicated to Your glory."

~ Paulo Coelho


Artwork by Artemio Rodriguez  http://sacredartpilgrim.com/collection/view/90

Monday, August 19, 2013

Every Man is More than Just Himself ~ Hermann Hesse

“Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way, and never again. That is why every man's story is important, eternal, sacred; that is why every man, as long as he lives and fulfills the will of nature, is wondrous, and worthy of consideration. In each individual the spirit has become flesh, in each man the creation suffers, within each one a redeemer is nailed to the cross.”

~ Hermann Hesse




More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Hesse
Artwork by Micholine Anemine Christine Poulsen,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

We Listen Too Much ~ André Kostelanetz

"We listen too much to the telephone and we listen too little to nature. The wind is one of my sounds. A lonely sound, perhaps, but soothing. Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for—sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive, or quiet and calm... As a matter of fact, one of the greatest sounds of them all—and to me it is a sound—is utter, complete silence."

-André Kostelanetz




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

Artwork by Henri Meunier http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Meunier_(illustrator)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Extraordinary Courage~ Ellen M. Ross

"We often overlook the extraordinary courage that marks the lives of people who stand apart from the dominant culture’s endorsement of violence as a means of achieving the “good” longed for by so many. Courage is at the core of these people’s prophetic willingness to create a world of peace, and enables them to do the seemingly impossible, aware that suffering and even death may be likely outcomes of their roles in the cosmic struggle of good against evil.

In my research, I frequently encounter the seeming simplicity of the implacable commitments that lead believers to challenge the status quo in order to advocate on behalf of the oppressed, the poor and the hungry, and to protest against systemic oppression perpetrated by war, slavery, and greed. For many Christians, the history of war stands in contradiction with fundamental divine commandments: Thou shalt not kill. Love your enemies. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. History is a witness to how often these deceptively simple aphorisms are ignored, forgotten, dismissed as naïve, or overshadowed by a battery of detailed objections."



More at  http://www.friendsjournal.org/quakers-culture-and-the-transforming-power-of-love/

Artwork from Paul Peter Piech
 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-paul-peter-piech-1327233.html

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Find Yourself at Least Once ~ Primo Levi

"I read somewhere.... that the sea’s only gifts are harsh blows and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head."

~ Primo Levi



Artwork from Anna Firmin http://www.hannahfirmin.com/artwork-gallery.php

Monday, August 5, 2013

Not in Vain ~ Jane Austen

“Give us grace, Almighty Father, so to pray, as to deserve to be heard, to address thee with our Hearts, as with our lips.
Thou art every where present, from Thee no secrets can be hid.
May the knowledge of this, teach us to fix our Thoughts on Thee, with Reverence and Devotion that we pray not in vain.”

 ~ Jane Austen

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

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Silent Assemblies ~ Robert Barclay

“For, when I came into the silent assemblies of God’s people, I felt a secret power among them, which touched my heart; and as I gave way unto it I found the evil weakening in me and the good raised up; and so I became thus knit and united unto them, hungering more and more after the increase of this power and life whereby I might feel myself perfectly redeemed; and indeed this is the surest way to become a Christian; to whom afterwards the knowledge and understanding of principles will not be wanting, but will grow up so much as is needful as the natural fruit of this good root, and such a knowledge will not be barren nor unfruitful.”

~ Robert Barclay


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

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Morning Prayer of the Optina Elders

O Lord, grant that I may meet all that this coming day brings to me with spiritual tranquility. Grant that I may fully surrender myself to your holy will.
At every hour of this day, direct and support me in all things. Whatsoever news may reach me in the course of the day, teach me to accept it with a calm soul and the firm conviction that all is subject to your holy will.
Direct my thoughts and feelings in all my words and actions. In all unexpected occurrences, do not let me forget that all is under your care.
Grant that I may deal straightforwardly and wisely with every member of my family, neither embarrassing nor saddening anyone.
O Lord, grant me the strength to endure the fatigue of the coming day and all the events that take place during it. Direct my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to be patient, to forgive, and to love. Amen.



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

Artwork by Budko Viktor Spring a Russian artist about whom I can find no information.

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