humility

In meditative prayer, one thinks and speaks not only with the mind and lips, but in a certain sense with one's whole being... All good meditative prayer is a conversation of our entire self to God.

It is both dangerous and easy to hate man as he is because he is not what he ought to be. If we do not first respect what he is we will never suffer him to become what he ought to be: In our impatience we do away with him altogether.

It takes more courage than we imagine to be perfectly simple with other men. Our frankness is often spoiled by a hidden barbarity, born of fear. False sincerity has much to say, because it is afraid. True candor can afford to be silent. It does not need to face an anticipated attack. Anything it may have to defend can be defended with perfect simplicity.

One of the first things to learn if you want to be a contemplative is to mind your own business. Nothing is more suspicious, in a man who seems holy, than an impatient desire to reform other men.

Paradoxically, I have found peace because I have always been dissatisfied. My moments of depression and despair turn out to be renewals, new beginnings. If I were once to settle down and be satisfied with the surface of life, with its divisions and its cliches, it would be time to call in the undertaker... So, then, this dissatisfaction which sometimes used to worry me and has certainly, I know, worried others, has helped me in fact to move freely and even gaily with the stream of life.

Reality is to be sought not in division but in unity, for we are “members one of another.”

We must begin by frankly admitting that the first place in which to go looking for the world is not outside us but in ourselves. We are the world. In the deepest ground of our being we remain in metaphysical contact with the whole of that creation in which we are only small parts. Through our senses and our minds, our loves, needs, and desires, we are implicated, without possibility of evasion, in this world of matter and of men, of things and of persons, which not only affect us and change our lives but are also affected and changed by us…The question, then, is not to speculate about how we are to contact the world – as if we were somehow in outer space – but how to validate our relationship, give it a fully honest and human significance, and make it truly productive and worthwhile for our world.

I heard an Angel singing
When the day was springing:
‘Mercy, Pity, Peace
Is the world’s release.’

Thus he sang all day
Over the new-mown hay,
Till the sun went down,
And haycocks lookèd brown.

I heard a Devil curse
Over the heath and the furze:
‘Mercy could be no more
If there was nobody poor,

‘And Pity no more could be,
If all were as happy as we.’
At his curse the sun went down,
And the heavens gave a frown.

[Down pour’d the heavy rain
Over the new reap’d grain;
And Misery’s increase
Is Mercy, Pity, Peace.]

Song of the Sinless Soul -

‘Come forth, O Vala! from the grass and from the silent dew;
Rise from the dews of death, for the Eternal Man is risen!’

She rises among flowers and looks toward the eastern clearness;
She walks, yea runs—her feet are wing’d—on the tops of the bending grass;
Her garments rejoice in the vocal wind, and her hair glistens with dew.

She answer’d thus: ‘Whose voice is this in the voice of the nourishing air,
In the spirit of the morning, awaking the Soul from its grassy bed?
Where dost thou dwell? for it is thee I seek, and but for thee
I must have slept eternally, nor have felt the dew of thy morning.
Look how the opening dawn advances with vocal harmony!
Look how the beams foreshow the rising of some glorious power!
The Sun is thine; he goeth forth in his majestic brightness.
O thou creating voice that callest! and who shall answer thee?

‘Where dost thou flee, O Fair One! where dost thou seek thy happy place?
To yonder brightness? There I haste, for sure I came from thence;
Or I must have slept eternally, nor have felt the dew of morning.’

‘Eternally thou must have slept, nor have felt the morning dew,
But for yon nourishing Sun: ’tis that by which thou art arisen.
The birds adore the Sun; the beasts rise up and play in his beams,
And every flower and every leaf rejoices in his light.
Then, O thou Fair One, sit thee down, for thou art as the grass,
Thou risest in the dew of morning, and at night art folded up.’

‘Alas! am I but as a flower? Then will I sit me down;
Then will I weep; then I’ll complain, and sigh for immortality,
And chide my maker, thee O Sun, that raisedst me to fall.’

So saying she sat down and wept beneath the apple-trees.

‘O! be thou blotted out, thou Sun, that raisedst me to trouble,
That gavest me a heart to crave, and raisedst me, thy phantom,
To feel thy heart, and see thy light, and wander here alone,
Hopeless, if I am like the grass, and so shall pass away.’

‘Rise, sluggish Soul! Why sitt’st thou here? why dost thou sit and weep?
Yon Sun shall wax old and decay, but thou shalt ever flourish.
The fruit shall ripen and fall down, and the flowers consume away,
But thou shalt still survive. Arise! O dry thy dewy tears!’

‘Ha! shall I still survive? Whence came that sweet and comforting voice,
And whence that voice of sorrow? O Sun! thou art nothing now to me:
Go on thy course rejoicing, and let us both rejoice together!
I walk among His flocks and hear the bleating of His lambs.
O! that I could behold His face and follow His pure feet!
I walk by the footsteps of His flocks. Come hither, tender flocks!
Can you converse with a pure Soul that seeketh for her Maker?
You answer not: then am I set your mistress in this garden.
I’ll watch you and attend your footsteps. You are not like the birds
That sing and fly in the bright air; but you do lick my feet,
And let me touch your woolly backs: follow me as I sing;
For in my bosom a new Song arises to my Lord:
‘Rise up, O Sun! most glorious minister and light of day!
Flow on, ye gentle airs, and bear the voice of my rejoicing!
Wave freshly, clear waters, flowing around the tender grass;
And thou, sweet-smelling ground, put forth thy life in fruit and flowers!
Follow me, O my flocks, and hear me sing my rapturous song!
I will cause my voice to be heard on the clouds that glitter in the sun.
I will call, and who shall answer me? I shall sing; who shall reply?
For, from my pleasant hills, behold the living, living springs,
Running among my green pastures, delighting among my trees!
I am not here alone: my flocks, you are my brethren;
And you birds, that sing and adorn the sky, you are my sisters.
I sing, and you reply to my song; I rejoice, and you are glad.
Follow me, O my flocks! we will now descend into the valley.
O, how delicious are the grapes, flourishing in the sun!
How clear the spring of the rock, running among the golden sand!
How cool the breezes of the valley! And the arms of the branching trees
Cover us from the sun: come and let us sit in the shade.
My Luvah here hath plac’d me in a sweet and pleasant land,
And given me fruits and pleasant waters, and warm hills and cool valleys.
Here will I build myself a house, and here I’ll call on His name;
Here I’ll return, when I am weary, and take my pleasant rest.’

The finest fruit earth holds up to its Maker is a finished man.

Lenin was a Great Russian peasant et rien de plus, mais r-r-rien de plus. Oh yes, he was a dialectician, the only true one among them. But most of all he was a Russian and that is to be a peasant.

Others, who have the common amount of charity and have not yet grown in grace to this extent, but are guided by their own reason, struggle and strive all day against their sins in order to acquire virtues. Like wrestlers, they are sometimes on top, and sometimes underneath. Such people are doing well. They acquire virtues through their own reason and will, but not because they love and delight in virtue, for they have to exert all of their energy to overcome their natural instincts in order to possess them. Consequently they never enjoy true peace or final victory. They will receive a great reward, but they are not yet sufficiently humble. They have not yet put themselves wholly into God's hands, because they do not yet see Him.

What is most pleasing to God is to have the soul become by His Grace what the Source is by nature, and this is achieved through Spiritual contemplation and Love of Him. This must be the aim of all who Love God. So whenever you feel your soul moved by Grace, especially in the way I have described by the opening of your Spiritual eyes, you may be sure that you are experiencing God. Hold fast to Him, try and retain this Grace, and do not easily let Him go. Seek God alone for itself, and cooperate with Its Grace with increasing devotion so it may grow within you more and more. Therefore surrender yourself with this experience when Grace draws you and maintain it with Love and delight in order that you may gradually reach a fuller and better knowledge of God; for Grace Itself will always direct you if you yield to its guidance until you reach your end.

A press monopoly is incompatible with a free press; and one can proceed with this principle: if there is a monopoly of the means of communications - of radio, television, magazines, books, public meetings - it follows that the society is by definition and in fact deprived of freedom.

We have made it our overriding ambition to escape work, and as a consequence have debased work until it is only fit to escape from. We have debased the products of work and have been, in turn, debased by them.

Morally, the life of the organization must be of exemplary nature. This is one phase where the organization must not have criticism.

A moral character is attached to autumnal scenes. - The flowers fading like our hopes, the leaves falling like our years, the clouds fleeting like our illusions, the light diminishing like our intelligence, the sun growing colder like our affections, the rivers becoming frozen like our lives - all bear secret relations to our destinies.

What little man has to accomplish must be done quickly, at the place that is assigned to him and within the time that is allotted to him. And, man has such a formidable task before him; it is to fulfill it that he has come as man, exchanging for this human habitat all the merit he has acquired during many past lives. The task is no less than the manifestation of the Divinity latent in man.

The most important thing is that man should be the measure of all structures, including economic structures, and not that man be made to measure for those structures. The most important thing is not to lose sight of personal relationships —i.e., the relationships between man and his co-workers, between subordinates and their superiors, between man and his work, between this work and its consequences.

There appear to be no integrating forces, no unified meaning, no true inner understanding of phenomena in our experience of the world. Experts can explain anything in the objective world to us, yet we understand our own lives less and less. In short, we live in the postmodern world, where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain.