words from spiritual mentors

i have been encouraged & inspired by many others who been on the journey before me. may they offer good manna for you as well.

GOD will not fail you. He cannot fail you. He is LOVE. Because this is truth, then we must change our understanding of whatever happens in our life. It is this positive outlook which is the fruit of faith. Ask God for a deeper faith.  ~Brother René

We rarely think of the air we breathe, yet it is in us and around us all the time. In similar fashion, the presence of God penetrates us, is all around us, is always embracing us. – Thomas Keating

You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves… The world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things. – Mary Oliver

Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.  — When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron

In the midst of depression I once asked my spiritual director how I could be feeling such despair when not long before the depression hit I had been feeling so close to God? ‘Simple,’ she said. ‘The closer you get to light, the closer you get to darkness.’ The deepest things in life come not singly but in paradoxical pairs, where the light and the dark intermingle. — The Active Life: Wisdom for Work, Creativity, and Caring, Parker Palmer

We cannot attain the presence of God because we’re already in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness. Little do we realize that God’s love is maintaining us in existence with every breath we take. – Richard Rohr

Buddhism offers many practices and insights for working skillfully and compassionately with suffering, pain, dying, failure, loss, and grief — the stuff of what St. John of the Cross has called “the lucky dark.” That great Christian saint recognized that suffering can be fortunate because, without it, there is no possibility for maturation. For years the lucky dark has been the atmosphere that lends clarity to my life, a life that had seen death as an enemy, but was to discover death as a teacher and guide. — Being with Dying, Joan Halifax

I believe that we are all theotropic beings. Just as the sunflower turns toward the sun and we call it heliotropic, I believe that all beings are theotropic: we grow naturally toward God. – Jewish With Feeling: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice, Zalman Schachter-Shalom

Christ filling the hearing, sight, touch, taste, and every sense. – Origen

Divine wakefulness with pure and naked intuition – Gregory of Nyssa

With the flash of one trembling glance, my mind arrived at
THAT WHICH IS, but I could not fix my gaze thereon  – Augustine

Utter pureness,
myriad lightnings,
flashing forth,
beyond all being – Pseudo-Dionysius

The mind, gazing upon the universe of God’s handiwork,
rapt by the divine and infinite light – Maximus the Confessor

The mind stolen from itself
by the ineffable sweetness
of the Word – Bernard of Clairvaux

Seeing truth
in purity
and simplicity –  Richard of St. Victor

The alertness
which finds everything plain
and grasps it clearly
with entire apprehension – Hugh of St. Victor

Receiving the clarity of God
without any means;
a single nakedness
that embraces all things – Jan Van Ruysbroek

A blind feeling
of one’s own being,
stretching unto God – The Cloud of Unknowing

The enlightening of the understanding,
joined to the joys of God’s love – Walter Hilton

Right understanding,
with true longing, absolute trust,
and sweet grace-giving mindfulness – Julian of Norwich

Hanging
by God’s thread
of pure Love – Catherine of Genoa

The secret of Christian contemplation
is that it faces us with Jesus Christ
toward our suffering world
in loving service and just action – Catherine of Siena

Finding God
in all things – Ignatius of Loyola

Awareness
absorbed and amazed – Teresa of Avila

The window of the soul
cleansed perfectly
and made completely transparent
by the divine light – John of the Cross

The pure, loving gaze
that finds God
everywhere – Brother Lawrence

The mind’s loving, unmixed,
permanent attention
to the things of God – Francis de Sales

Seeing God in everything
and everything in God
with completely extraordinary clearness
and delicacy – Marie of the Incarnation

The pure, virgin awareness
of a little child
in the state of innocence – Thomas Traherne

Continual communion
through all things
by quite simply doing everything
in the presence of the Holy Trinity – Elizabeth of the Trinity

The world becoming luminous
from within
as one plunges
breathlessly
into human activity – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Seeing through exterior things,
and seeing God
in them – Thomas Merton

A continual condition
of prayerful sensitivity
to what is really going on – Douglas Steere

Looking deeply at life
as it is
in the very here and now – Thich Nhat Hanh

A long, loving look… – William McNamara

A long, loving look at the real – Walter Burghardt

Continually renewed immediacy – Thomas Kelly

Awakening to the presence of God
in the human heart and in the universe
which is around us… knowledge by love. – Dom Bede Griffiths

 

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