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Archive for May, 2011

The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields, and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Nighttime is womb-time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression falls away. We rest in the night.

— John O’Donohue, “Anam Cara”, p. 2

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Light breaking through

I have seen the light break through

to illuminate a small field

for a while and gone my way

and forgotten it. But that was the pearl

of great prize, the one field that had

the treasure in it. I realize now

that I must give all that I have

to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future nor a hankering after

an imagined past. It is the turning

aside like Moses to the miracle

of the lit bush. To a brightness

that seems as transitory as your youth

once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

— R. S. Thomas (Welsh poet)

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If you have ever had occasion to be out early in the morning before the dawn breaks, you will have noticed that the darkest time of night is immediately before dawn. The darkness deepens and becomes more anonymous. If you had never been to the world and never known what a day was, you couldn’t possibly imagine how the darkness breaks, how the mystery and color of a new day arrive. Light is incredibly generous, but also gentle. When you attend to the way the dawn comes, you learn how light can coax the dark. The first fingers of light appear on the horizon, and ever so deftly and gradually, they pull the mantle of darkness away from the world. Quietly before you is the mystery of a new dawn, the new day.

— John O’Donohue, “Anam Cara”, p. 1

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The real answer

Heaven will solve our problems, but not, I think, by showing us subtle reconciliations between all our apparently contradictory notions. The notions will all be knocked from under our feet. We shall see that there never was any problem. And, more than once, that impression which I can’t describe except by saying that its like the sound of a chuckle in the darkness. The sense that some shattering and disarming simplicity is the real answer.

— C. S. Lewis

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Showing God

When your burden is heaviest, you can always lighten a little some other burden. At the times when you cannot see God, there is still open to you the sacred possibility, to show God; for it is the love and kindness of human hearts through which the divine reality comes home to people, whether they name it or not. Let this thought, then, stay with you: there may be times when you cannot find help, but there is no time when you cannot give help.

— George S. Merriam

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Silent newness

Were it possible for us to see further than our knowledge reaches, and yet a little way beyond the outworks of our divining, perhaps we would endure our sadnesses with greater confidence than our joys. For they are the moments when something new has entered into us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy perplexity, everything in us withdraws, a stillness comes, and the new, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it and is silent.

— Maria Rainer Rilke

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Beginning

Creation, we are taught, is not an act that happened once upon a time, once and forever. The act of bringing the world into existence is a continuous process. God called the world into being, and that call goes on. There is this present moment because God is present. Every instant is an act of creation. A moment is not a terminal but a flash, a signal of Beginning.

— Abraham Heschel


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