Archive for December, 2007

Focusing on Possibility

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Lovers always focus away from negativity, to beauty, goodness, and joy.  Though they are aware of the dark side of life, they avoid gravitating to it.  Obsession with what is wrong with the world assures our blindness to what is good and right.  On the other hand, solutions become more visible in the light of possibilities.

Beauty and goodness are successful forces against ugliness and evil.  Negative people look for (and always find) confirmation for the negative, just as positive people look for and find the lightness of being.  Both exist.  Both are real and are always with us.  The difference is as basic as a decision, and as simple as opening our eyes.

— Leo Buscaglia, Born for Love, p. 225

Forgiving Yourself

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

To err is human, to forgive is a choice.

The third reason people have difficulty changing a tribal belief is one of the saddest but most firmly held beliefs I have encountered:  Mistakes, transgressions, or sins are not forgivable.

The worst part about this tribal belief is that because you think you can never be forgiven, you sever your relationship with God or your Higher Power and cut yourself off from receiving divine guidance and recognizing synchronicity at work in your life.

— Christel Nani, Sacred Choices, p. 228

Peaceful People

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

I am drawn to those who are able to simply meet people where they are, with no need to control or manage or make them do anything.  I enjoy being around them because they draw the best out in me without any manipulation whatsoever.

Richard J. Foster, Prayer, p. 174-175

Living in the Present

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

However we perceive the past, whether in a positive or a negative light, concentrating on it makes us unhappier in the present.  The past is past.

Through deliberate present-minded focus we can breathe in new life, new positive energy, letting go of the way things were in the past.  When we grow more mindful, we open our hearts to forgiveness and choose not to get bogged down in placing blame or getting even with others.  When we let go of the past, we gain in wisdom.  We feel lighter and brighter, inspired by what we’ve learned, ready to move on.

— Alexandra Stoddard, Choosing Happiness:  Keys to a Joyful Life, p. 14

Waiting as Prayer

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Waiting is part of ordinary time.  We discover God in our waiting:  waiting in checkout lines, waiting for the telephone to ring, waiting for graduation, waiting for a promotion, waiting to retire, waiting to die.  The waiting itself becomes prayer as we give our waiting to God.  In waiting we begin to get in touch with the rhythms of life — stillness and action, listening and decision.  They are the rhythms of God.  It is in the everyday and the commonplace that we learn patience, acceptance, and contentment.

— Richard J. Foster, Prayer, p. 174

Books and Movies

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Movies are pale shadows of great books, but some great movies have been made from second-rate books….

Masterpieces of the cinema are independent works with their own qualities — few of which overlap with those of great literature.

— Michael Gorman, Our Singular Strengths:  Meditations for Librarians, p. 79

Which Feels Better?

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

When I am flexible and forgiving, I am happy.

When I am rigid and righteous, I am unhappy.  It’s that simple.

— Hugh Prather, Spiritual Notes to Myself, p. 32

Our Vocation as Prayer

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

Our vocation is an asset to prayer because our work becomes prayer.  It is prayer in action.  The artist, the novelist, the surgeon, the plumber, the secretary, the lawyer, the homemaker, the farmer, the teacher — all are praying by offering their work up to God….

We do not need to have good feelings or a warm glow in order to do work for the glory of God.  All good work is pleasing to the Father.  Even the jobs that seem meaningless and mindless to us are highly valued in the order of the kingdom of God.  God values the ordinary.  If, for the glory of God, you are putting an endless supply of nuts on an endless line of bolts, your work is rising up as a sweet-smelling offering to the throne of God.  He is pleased with your labor.

— Richard J. Foster, Prayer, p. 171-173

The Secular and the Sacred

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

In the creation and the incarnation the great God of the universe intertwined the spiritual and the material, wedded the sacred and the secular, sanctified the common and the ordinary.  How astonishing!  How wonderful!

The discovery of God lies in the daily and the ordinary, not in the spectacular and the heroic.  If we cannot find God in the routines of home and shop, then we will not find him at all.  Ours is to be a symphonic piety in which all the activities of work and play and family and worship and sex and sleep are the holy habitats of the eternal.

— Richard J. Foster, Prayer, p. 171

Redemption

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

Love means the ability to identify with imperfection and to recognize the inadequacies, weaknesses, fears and confusion in ourselves and others.  Loving what is unlovable in them is always a challenge.  It’s so much easier to dismiss people for their failings than it is to stick by them.  I wonder why it is that we are more prone to finding fatal flaws than looking for redeeming qualities?

— Leo Buscaglia, Born for Love, p. 217