Divinity

It may be said that the supreme revelation is to be found in Jesus Christ and that all the rest of the Bible leads up to him. Yet there are two ways of accepting the words and example of Jesus. One is to take what he says as true because he says it, and another is to believe it because it stands the test of reflection and experience. When his way of life has been confirmed by the demands of intelligence and of practical life, it has gained the deepest security and made its strongest claims upon our loyalty.

Rather let my head Stoop to the block than these knees bow to any Save to the God of heaven and to my king.

Addiction is the hallmark of every infatuation-based love story. It all begins when the object of your adoration bestows upon you a heady, hallucinogenic dose of something you never even dared to admit that you wanted—an emotional speedball, perhaps, of thunderous love and roiling excitement. Soon you start craving that intense attention, with the hungry obsession of any junkie. When the drug is withheld, you promptly turn sick, crazy and depleted (not to mention resentful of the dealer who encouraged this addiction in the first place but who now refuses to pony up the good stuff anymore—despite...

Do I really deserve this pleasure? This is American, too-the insecurity about whether we have earned our happiness.

I just want God. I want God inside me. I want God to play in my bloodstream the way sunlight amuses itself on water.

I want to have a lasting experience of God', I told him. 'Sometimes I feel like I understand the divinity of this world, but then I lose it because I get distracted by my petty desires and fears. I want to be with God all the time. But I don't want to be a monk or totally give up worldly pleasures. I guess what I want to learn is how to live in this world and enjoy its delights, but also devote myself to God.

I want to learn how to speak Italian. For years, I'd wished I could speak Italian--a language I find more beautiful than roses.

There's a wonderful old Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, Dear saint-please, please, please...give me the grace to win the lottery. This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated staue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust, My son-please, please, please...buy a ticket. Prayer is a realtionship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I'm ainming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don't have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift.

You are not only what you think about it. The feelings are a slave to your thoughts, and you're a slave to your emotions.

Meditation practice is like piano scales, basketball drills, ballroom dance class. Practice requires discipline; it can be tedious; it is necessary. After you have practiced enough, you become more skilled at the art form itself. You do not practice to become a great scale player or drill champion. You practice to become a musician or athlete. Likewise, one does not practice meditation to become a great meditator. We meditate to wake up and live, to become skilled at the art of living.

Down on your knees, and thank heaven, fasting, for a good man's love.