Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit; and our wandering thoughts in prayer are but the neglects of meditation and recessions from that duty; according as we neglect meditation, so are our prayers imperfect, meditation being the soul of prayer and the intention of our spirit.

Life is not governed by will or intention. Life is a question of nerves, and fibers, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams.

God considers not the action, but the spirit of the action. It is the intention, not the deed wherein the merit or praise of the doer consists.

In fact we say that an intention is good, that is, right in itself, but that an action does not bear any good in itself but proceeds from a good intention. Whence when the same thing is done by the same man at different times, by the diversity of his intention, however, his action is now said to be good, now bad.

It is counterproductive to assume we have created every misfortune in our life, as if we had made a conscious intention to do so. That kind of thinking leads to guilt and despair. Nevertheless, a sincere willingness to acknowledge that we have certain beliefs that have created our situation will enrich our approach to working through obstacles.

Purpose is about developing relationships. Purpose is about bringing attention and intention into the present moment, moving ahead with new ideas, giving and receiving support, volunteering, mentoring, listening to the imagination and intuition, communicating, taking action based on inner direction and hints from the external, being adaptable, taking responsibility and ending the victim stance forever surrendering to the divine will and working with the lessons developing fluidity, tolerance, compassion, and the ability to love.

The first paradox of our lives is that nothing is fixed; and yet nothing is random or accidental, either. We co-create with our spiritual source. We have free will, and yet we are not in control. The second paradox is that when we set our intention for what we desire, we achieve it usually only after we have released our need to have it. This is the paradox of intention (personal desire and will) and surrender (letting God or the universe provide what is best for our highest good). You are both a finite earthly being, and an infinite soul of greater spiritual dimension. Your are both/and. You are the drop of water and the wave. You direct yourself, and you are directed.

It is through the strength of our physical body, the wisdom of our heart’s experience, and the purity of our intention that we determine the quality of our life.

What makes a marriage is the consent of the partners, their serious intention to live together in some sense, however dimly perceived, as “one flesh,” a union of their two separate existences into still a third existence, the marriage itself… The question of external status is entirely and altogether unnecessary.

A firm persuasion of the superintendence of Providence over all our concerns is absolutely necessary to our happiness. Without it, we cannot be said to believe in the Scripture, or practice anything like resignation to his will. If I am convinced that no affliction can befall me without the permission of God, I am convinced likewise that he sees and knows that I am afflicted: believing this, I must in the same degree believe that if I pray to him for deliverance, he hears me: I must needs know, likewise, with equal assurance, that if he hears, he will also deliver me, if that will upon the whole be most conducive to my happiness: and if he does not deliver me, I may be well assured that he has none but the most benevolent intention in declining it.

One’s true happiness depends more upon one’s own judgment of one’s self, or a consciousness of rectitude in action and intention, and the approbation of those few, who judge impartially, than upon the applause of the unthinking, undiscerning multitude, who are apt to cry Hosanna today, and tomorrow, Crucify him.

Whatever else religion may be, it is also anthropology - in the sense that it fosters conceptions of human authenticity on whose basis moral codes can be drawn up and the actual behavior of individuals and societies assessed, challenged, and altered. Religion speaks not only of the divine but of the divine intention for the human.

Where the masses of people must cooperate in an uncertain and eruptive environment, it is usually necessary to secure unity and flexibility without real consent. The symbol does that… It enormously sharpens the intention of the group and welds that group, as nothing else in a crisis can weld it, to purposeful action.

A prince… who wishes to guard against conspiracies should fear those on whom he has heaped benefits quite as much, and even more, than those whom he has wronged; for the latter lack the convenient opportunities which the former have in abundance. The intention of both is the same for the thirst of dominion is as great as that of revenge, and even greater. A prince, therefore, should never bestow so much authority upon his friends but that there should always be a certain distance between them and himself, and that there should always be something left for them to desire.

There are three essential elements to a lie: the material must be untrue; it must be known to be untrue; and it must be told with the intention to deceive.

This is the Noble Eightfold Path: right views, right intention; right speech, right action, right livelihood; right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

Compassion is something you can develop with practice. It involves two things: intention and action. Intention simply means you remember to open your heart to others; you expand what and who matters, from yourself to other people. Action is simply the "what you do about it."

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.

Gratitude is the intention to count-your-blessings every day, every minute, while avoiding, whenever possible, the belief that you need or deserve different circumstances.