devotion

A devotion to humanity... is too easily equated with a devotion to a Cause, and Causes, as we know, are notoriously bloodthirsty... Freedom is not something anybody can be given, freedom is something people take.

Earnestness is the devotion of all the faculties. It is the cause of patience; gives endurance; overcomes pain; strengthens weakness; braves dangers; sustains hope; makes light of difficulties, and lessens the sense of weariness in overcoming them.

We communicate happiness to others not often by great acts of devotion and self-sacrifice, but by the absence of fault-finding and censure, by being ready to sympathize with their notions and feelings, instead of forcing them to sympathize with ours.

How many of us are waiting for the opportunity to do some great thing for the betterment of our community, forgetting that the solution of the problem requires only the active intelligent fulfillment of individual civic duty. The only things which are wrong about our Government are the things which are wrong with you and me. Democracy is never a thing done; it is and always will be a goal to be achieved. It means action, not passive acquiescence in things as they are; it requires alertness to duty, a dynamic faith, a willingness to give for the good of all. It can live only as a result of loyalty and devotion to its principles expressed by daily needs.

Of all ennobling sentiments, patriotism may be the most easily manipulated. On the one hand, it gives powerful expression to what is best in a nation’s character: a commitment to principle, a willingness to sacrifice, a devotion to the community by the choice of the individual. But among its toxic fruits are intolerance, belligerence and blind obedience, perhaps because it blooms most luxuriantly during times of war.

Servility is to devotion what hypocrisy is to virtue.

Prayer is intended to increase the devotion of the individual, but if the individual himself prays he requires no formula; he pours himself forth much more naturally in self-chosen and connected thoughts before God, and scarcely requires words at all. Real inward devotion knows no prayer but that arising form the depths of its own feelings.

Great devotion requires great sacrifice.

The need for devotion to something outside ourselves is even more profound than the need for companionship. If we are not to go to pieces or wither away, we all must have some purpose in life; for no man can live for himself alone.

Our daily worship of God is not really the process of gradual acquisition of him, but the daily process of surrendering ourselves, removing all obstacles to union and extending our consciousness of him in devotion and service, in goodness and in love

The pious sectarian is proud because he is confident of his right of possession in God. The man of devotion is meek because he is conscious of God’s right of love over his life and soul. The object of our possession becomes smaller than ourselves, and without acknowledging it in so many words the bigoted sectarian has an implicit belief that God can be kept secured for certain individuals in a cage which is of their own make. In a similar manner the primitive races of men believe that their ceremonials have a magic influence upon their deities.

Better a little with devotion than much without it.

Earnestness is the devotion of all the faculties. It is the cause of patience; gives endurance; overcome pain; strengthens weakness; braves dangers; sustains hope; make light of difficulties, and lessens the sense of weariness in overcoming them.

I use the Scriptures, not as an arsenal to be resorted to only for arms and weapons, but as a matchless temple, where I delight to contemplate the beauty, the symmetry, and the magnificence of the structure, and to increase my awe and excite my devotion to the Deity there preached and adored.

The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible.

All is holy where devotion kneels.

Holiness is religious principle put into motion. It is the love of God sent forth into circulation, on the feet, and with the hands of love to men. It is faith gone to work. It is charity coined into actions, and devotion breathing benediction on human suffering, while it goes up in intercession to the Father of all piety.

The prayer is an attempt at influencing the divine will. In short, one is back in the realm of superstition. It is true that love of god’s will can be found in whatever happens, but the prayer of petition is best understood, not as an attempt at influencing the ways things go, but as an expression of, and a request for, devotion to God through the way of things.

You ought to say fewer fixed prayers so that you may do more reading. Reading is good prayer. Reading teaches us how to pray, and what to pray for, and then prayer achieves it. In the course of reading, when the heart is pleased, there arises a spirit of devotion which is worth many prayers.

In religion fear and approval to some extent must always combine... In religion approval implies devotion, and devotion seems hardly possible, unless there is some fear, if only the fear of estrangement.