Quotes — Spirituality (66 entries)

…echoes in eternity

What we do in life, echoes in eternity.

— Maximus, Gladiator

« πλ | 19 Jul 2004 »

…to become anonymity

“Whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” The meaning is very clear; it is the meaning of all religious practice. The individual, through prolonged psychological disciplines, gives up completely all attachment to his personal limitations, idiosyncrasies, hopes and fears, no longer resists the self-annihilation that is prerequisite to rebirth in the realization of truth, and so becomes ripe, at last, for the great at-one-ment. His personal ambitions being totally dissolved, he no longer tries to live but willingly relaxes to whatever may come to pass in him; he becomes, that is to say, an anonymity.

— Joseph Campbell [via]

« πλ | 13 Jun 2004 »

A Little Pencil in the Hand of God…

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.

— Mother Teresa [via]

Unfortunately my lead keeps breaking on Him.

« πλ | 12 Jul 2004 »

A leaf falls in a stream…

A leaf that falls into a stream (or a leaf we intentionally drop into a stream) just where the water disappears into the ground…will come out again at the next opening, because the underground stream has faithfully carried it there, though during this journey it has been beyond the reach of any outside interference. In the same way, an idea that has been introduced into our minds (or that we ourselves have intentionally introduced) will produce its effects after longer or shorter subconscious development.

— Charles Baudouin

Reminds me of an old programmers’ saying, “Junk in means junk out.”

« πλ | 22 Apr 2004 »

A master in the art of living…

A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.

— Francoise Rene Auguste Chateaubriand [via]

« πλ | 28 Apr 2005 »

A part of the whole…

A human being is a part of the whole that we call the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. This illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for only the few people nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings and all of nature.

— Albert Einstein

« πλ | 29 Nov 2004 »

Aesthetic appreciation…

It is so fatally easy to confuse an aesthetic appreciation of the spiritual life with the life itself—to dream that you have waked, washed, and dressed and then to find yourself still in bed.

— C.S. Lewis [via]

« πλ | 16 Jan 2004 »

Awakening begins…

Awakening begins when a man realizes that he is going nowhere and does not know where to go.

— Georges Gurdjieff

Funny thing, I don’t feel awake…

« πλ | 11 Feb 2004 »

Be Anyway…

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
…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.

— Mother Teresa [via]

« πλ | 9 Feb 2004 »

Building Intimacy…

If you try to build intimacy with a person before you’ve done the hard work of getting whole on your own, all your relationships become an attempt to complete yourself, and they will fall flat.

— Les & Leslie Parrot

In other words, if you are not a “whole” person, you will use others to fill in your “holes”.

« πλ | 14 Feb 2004 »

Desire is often talked about as…

Desire is often talked about as something we ought to overcome. Still, being is desiring: our bodies, our minds, our hearts, and our souls are full of desires. Some are unruly, turbulent, and very distracting; some make us think deep thoughts and see great visions; some teach us how to love; and some keep us searching for God. Our desire for God is the desire that should guide all other desires. Otherwise our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls become one another’s enemies and our inner lives become chaotic, leading us to despair and self-destruction.

Spiritual disciplines are not ways to eradicate all our desires but ways to order them so that they can serve one another and together serve God.

— Henri Nouwen [via]

« πλ | 8 Jul 2006 »


Are not our desires inseparably intertwined with the continuation of life? Even the idea of eliminating desire is fruitless. The desire to eliminate all desire is still itself a desire. How can we find release and peace by replacing one desire with another? Surely we shall find peace not by eliminating desire, but by finding its fulfillment and satisfaction in the One who created it.

— Sadhu Sundar Singh

« πλ | 18 Jul 2004 »

Detachment from things…

The importance of detachment from things, the importance of poverty, is that we are supposed to be free from things that we might prefer to people. Wherever things have become more important than people, we are in trouble. That is the crux of the whole matter.

— Thomas Merton

What do you give thanks for in prayer?

« πλ | 24 Jul 2004 »

Ego: An Illusion of Continuity…

The conventional ego, the false passport, is built up from an edited picture album of our past. The version often seems more real than we are in the present moment. That is because here/now we are in constant flux and flow, but what we have been is nicely and securely fixed.

The false identity is frozen throughout time, a final static noun. And just because it is unchanging we become more clearly identified with that identity card than we do with the real living, moment-to-moment entity.

In order to support the new false self we have to become more and more identified with the past, with old knowledge and a fixed belief system which continue to bolster up our historical selves. And we forget there was ever anything else.

Man becomes a historical animal preoccupied with the past and the future, and here we encounter the strangest of paradoxes. The historical idea of self, the ego, requires a constant re-living of memories in order to sustain a continuity of its own. It is only aware of itself as a repeatedly up-dated autobiography. The ego does not actually exist—it is an illusion of continuity.

— Yatri [via]

From our perspective, our ego is the glue that links the events of our lives through the golden thread of time. But on the other hand, that “glue” seems to get in the way of us living in the present moment.

« πλ | 11 May 2004 »

Every moment…

Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity and love.

— Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

« πλ | 23 Sep 2003 »

Everything is a miracle…

There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.

— Albert Einstein

« πλ | 23 Jan 2004 »

Free will is a gift…

Free will is a gift. It’s an instrument. How you play it is up to you. But it is best when it is played from the heart.

— from The Outer Limits, episode called “Alien Shop”

« πλ | 19 Mar 2005 »

God is at his greatest…

God is at his greatest when I am at my least.

— Meister Eckhart

« πλ | 4 May 2004 »

God is awake…

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.

— Victor Hugo [via]

« πλ | 16 Jan 2004 »

He is not at home wherever…

Jesus went into the temple and boldly drove out those that bought and sold. And when all was cleared, there was nobody left but Jesus. Observe this, for it is the same with us: when he is alone he is able to speak in the temple of the soul.

If anyone else is speaking in the temple of your soul, Jesus will keep still, as if he were not at home. And he is not at home wherever there are strange guests—guests with whom the soul holds conversation, guests who are seeking to bargain. If Jesus is to speak and be heard, the soul must be alone and quiet.

— Meister Eckhart

« πλ | 21 Mar 2005 »

He who does not advance…

Ahead! Courage! In the spiritual life he who does not advance goes backward. It happens as with a boat which always must go ahead. If it stands still the wind will blow it back.

— St. Padre Pio

« πλ | 11 Aug 2005 »

Holiness does not consist of…

Holiness does not consist of doing extraordinary things. It consists of accepting with a smile, what Jesus sends us. It consists in accepting and following the will of God.

— Mother Teresa (thanks Maggie)

« πλ | 27 Jan 2004 »

I do not need to seek God…

I do not need to seek God.
God is already here
waiting to be found,
soaked in my reality.
My journey is to be one
of recognizing God, always,
already present,
and surfacing that presence
in my daily life.

— Edwina Gateley, from A Mystical Heart

« πλ | 8 Dec 2003 »

If only they could see themselves as they really are…

Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts,
the depths where neither sin nor desire can reach,
the person that each one is in God’s eyes.
If only they could see themselves as they really are.
If only we could see each other that way
there would be no reason for war, for hatred, for cruelty,
we would fall down and worship each other.

— Thomas Merton [via]

« πλ | 13 May 2004 »

It is the journey that matters…

It is good to have an end to journey toward;
but it is the journey that matters in the end.

— Ursula LeGuinn

« πλ | 30 Apr 2005 »

Life is…

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

— Mother Teresa

« πλ | 14 Oct 2003 »


Accept your loneliness. It is one stage, and only one stage, on a journey that brings you to God. It will not always last. Offer up your loneliness to God, as the little boy offered to Jesus his five loaves and two fishes. God can transform it for the good of others. Above all, do something for somebody else!

— Elisabeth Elliot

« πλ | 3 Jun 2004 »

Most Important Symbol on a Tombstone…

The most important symbol on a tombstone is not the date of birth, nor the date of death, but rather the “dash” between the dates. For it is the “dash” between the dates that represents a life spent here on earth.

— Author unknown

« πλ | 1 Jun 2003 »

Mountains can’t be conquered…

You never conquer a mountain. Mountains can’t be conquered; you conquer yourself—your hopes, your fears.

— Jim Whitaker

« πλ | 23 Aug 2005 »

New ways of living…

We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, but we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.

— Richard Rohr

« πλ | 3 Jan 2006 »

Nothing special…

Zen has an expression, “nothing special.” When you understand “nothing special,” you realize that everything is special. Everything’s special and nothing’s special. Everything’s spiritual and nothing’s spiritual. It’s how you see, it’s what eyes you’re looking through, that matters.

— Jon Kabat-Zinn [via]

« πλ | 27 Oct 2006 »

Of Being and Doing…

Being is more important than doing, the heart is more important than the mind, and doing things together is more important than doing things alone.

— Henri Nouwen

Kind in mind that what you do affects who you are, and who you are affects what you do.

« πλ | 27 Aug 2004 »

Only the present moment…

The past is done and over; learn from it. The future is full of possibilities where the vast majority will never exist; hope for it. Only the present moment is the reality where God has a chance to touch us, transform us, if only we are open to it; live it.

« πλ | 31 Dec 2004 »

Past, Present, Future: Learn, Live, Hope

Learn from the past, live in the present, hope for the future.

— Brian Boeckman

« πλ | 29 Apr 2004 »

Point of spiritual practice is not…

The important point of spiritual practice is not to try to escape your life, but to face it—exactly and completely.

— Dainin Katagiri Roshi [via]

« πλ | 12 Dec 2005 »

Poor in Spirit

Sometimes people can hunger for more than bread. It is possible that our children, our husband, our wife, do not hunger for bread, do not need clothes, do not lack a house. But are we equally sure that none of them feels alone, abandonded, neglected, needing some affection? That, too, is poverty.

— Mother Teresa [via]

« πλ | 18 Dec 2004 »

Say a hearty “yes” to…

The Big Question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty “yes” to your adventure.

— Joseph Campbell

« πλ | 12 Feb 2005 »

Seek God neither below or above…

You need seek God neither below or above.
He is no farther away than the door of the heart.

— Meister Eckhart

« πλ | 13 Feb 2004 »

Self-centered merit brings…

When you truly awaken,
      You have no formal merit.
In the multiplicity of the relative world,
      You cannot find such freedom.
Self-centered merit brings the joy of heaven itself,
      But it is like shooting an arrow at the sky;
      When the force is exhausted, it falls to the earth,
      And then everything goes wrong.

— Cheng Tao-Ko [via]

« πλ | 12 Jul 2004 »

Self-deception is…

Self-deception is the greatest enemy of holiness.

— Author unknown [via]

« πλ | 17 Aug 2004 »

Separateness is like a prison…

We are part of the whole which we call the universe, but it is an optical delusion of our mind that we think we are separate. This separateness is like a prison for us. Our job is to widen the circle of compassion so we feel connected to all people and all situations.

— Albert Einstein

« πλ | 28 Jan 2005 »

Something we grow in…

Spirituality is something we grow in without even giving it a name that liberates our energy in life to help other people.

— Fr. Howard Gray, SJ [via]

« πλ | 23 May 2006 »

Spiritual maturity is…

Spiritual maturity is not knowing what to do with your whole life, but just knowing what to do next.

— Henri Nouwen [via]

« πλ | 22 Apr 2005 »

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Finished reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. This is one of those books that I kept hearing about here and there. Mea was the last impetus needed to finally read it. It’s a pretty darn good book as fiction goes. It makes you think. I highly recommend it. Here are some quotes that caught my attention:

the ferris wheel from the cover of the book

No story sits by itself. Sometimes stories meet at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely, like stones beneath a river. (p. 10)

People think of heaven as a paradise garden, a place where they can float on clouds and laze in rivers and mountains. But scenery without solice is meaningless. (p. 35)

This is the greatest gift God can give you: to understand what happened in your life. To have it explained. It is the peace you have been searching for. (p. 35)

The human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn’t just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed. (p. 48)

Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know. (p. 49)

No life is a waste. The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone. (p. 50)

Young men go to war. Sometimes because they have to, sometimes because they want to. Always, they feel they are supposed to. This comes from the sad, layered stories of life, which over the centuries have seen courage confused with picking up arms, and cowardice confused with laying them down. (p. 57)

Time is not what you think. Dying? Not the end of everything. We think it is. But what happens on earth is only the beginning. (p. 91)

Sacrifice, you made one. I made one. We all make them. But you are angry over yours. You kept thinking about what you lost… You didn’t get it. Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something you regret. It’s something to aspire to. Little sacrifices. Big sacrifices. A mother works so her son can go to school. A daughter moves home to care of her sick father. (p. 93)

Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else. (p. 94)

All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhood completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair. (p. 104)

You have peace when you make it with yourself. (p. 113)

Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move away. The moments that used to define them—a mother’s approval, a father’s nod—are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives. (p. 126)

Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves. (p. 141)

People say they “find” love, as if it were an object hidden by a rock. But love takes many forms, and it is never the same for any man and woman. What people find then is a certain love. (p. 155)

Love, like rain, can nourish from above, drenching couples with a soaking joy. But sometimes, under the angry heat of life, love dries on the surface and must nourish from below, tending to its roots, keeping itself alive. (p. 165)

Life has to end. Love doesn’t. (p. 173)

« πλ | 8 Mar 2004 »

The Part You Don’t Like…

Everyone has a part of themselves that they don’t like. You carry it around like a weight. The lucky ones realize that when it becomes too heavy, you can choose to set it down. That is when you can see things the way they really are.

— God says to Joan, Joan of Arcadia, episode “A Night Without Stars”

« πλ | 13 Feb 2004 »

The air we breathe…

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, from Open Mind, Open Heart

« πλ | 13 Oct 2003 »

The human heart feels things…

The human heart feels things the eyes cannot see, and knows what the mind cannot understand.

— Robert Vallett (thanks Libby)

« πλ | 3 Apr 2005 »

The myth of this world…

The myth of this world is that the way to transformation is through power, but God choose to enter the world in a weak manner, gentle and tender through the heartbeat of a child.


« πλ | 25 Dec 2004 »

The point of spiritual practice…

The important point of spiritual practice is not to try to escape your life, but to face it—exactly and completely.

— Dainin Katagiri Roshi [via]

« πλ | 6 May 2006 »

The pursuit of material things is…

The pursuit of material things is ultimately pointless if one loses the things that are truly valuable to the human spirit.

— from The Outer Limits, episode called “Alien Shop”

« πλ | 17 Apr 2005 »

The spiritual life is…

The spiritual life is a reaching out to our innermost self, to our fellow human and to our God.

— Henri Nouwen

« πλ | 1 Aug 2004 »

The spiritual quest is…

The spiritual quest is a journey without distance.
You travel from where you are right now
To where you have always been.
From ignorance to recognition…

— Anthony de Mello

To a recognition that God was with us, in us, the whole time?

« πλ | 29 Apr 2005 »

The world was designed so…

The world was designed so people would need each other, not so you could be nice, but to give you the opportunity to escape the confines of your own self.

— The Lubavitcher Rebbe [via]

« πλ | 10 Nov 2005 »

This moment exhibits infinite space…

This moment exhibits infinite space, but there is a space also wherein all moments are infinitely exhibited, and the everlasting duration of infinite space is another region and room of joys.

— Thomas Traherne

« πλ | 24 Jan 2005 »

Three most difficult things for a human being…

The three most difficult things for a human being are not physical feats or intellectual achievements. They are, first, returning love for hate; second, including the excluded; third, admitting that you are wrong.

— Anthony de Mello, Awareness

« πλ | 2 Oct 2003 »

Three things we crave most in life…

There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life—happiness, freedom, and peace of mind—are always attained by giving them to someone else.

— Peyton Conway March [via]

« πλ | 6 Feb 2005 »

To be made a healer…

St. Francis of Assisi taught me that there is a wound in the Creation and that the greatest use we could make of our lives was to ask to be made a healer of it.

— Alan Paton

« πλ | 30 Jan 2005 »

Unsolved in your heart…

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.

— Ranier Maria Rilke

« πλ | 18 Feb 2005 »

Unzip your heart…

You have to unzip your heart before you unzip your pants.

— Mark Woodward

In other words, if you cannot trust the secrets of your heart with someone, then why would you trust your most physical intimacy with them too?

« πλ | 14 May 2004 »

Walk in the way of…

Walk in the way of the Lord with simplicity and do not torment your spirit. You must hate your defects, but with a quiet hate, not troublesome and restless.

— St. Padre Pio

« πλ | 10 Aug 2005 »

Way to Sanctity…

The simplest and most effective way to sanctity is to disappear into the background of ordinary every day routine.

— Thomas Merton

« πλ | 8 Dec 2003 »

When Sunday loses its meaning…

When Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes subordinate to a secular concept of weekend dominated by such things as entertainment and sport, people stay locked within a horizon so narrow that they can no longer see the heavens.

— Pope John Paul II [via]

« πλ | 29 Aug 2004 »

When the fire of your soul ignites…

When the fire of your soul ignites the passion within your heart, don’t view it as an opportunity for success or failure, view it as an open door for miracles.

— Jenny Boylan

« πλ | 1 Oct 2003 »

Yesterday is History…

Yesterday is History.
Tomorrow is a Mystery.
Today is a Gift…
     That’s why it’s called the Present!

— Author unknown (thanks Tammie)

« πλ | 1 Dec 2003 »

You never conquer a mountain…

You never conquer a mountain. You just stand on the top a few moments. Then the wind blows your footprints away.

— Arlene Blum, Annapurna [via]

« πλ | 21 Aug 2005 »

Your Children are not Your Children

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
And He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also
The bow that is stable.

— Kahlil Gibran

« πλ | 29 Nov 2003 »