Gregory of Nyssa on Time

Time is measured by a threefold division, past, present, and future. In all three we receive the munificence of the Lord. If you consider the present, it is through Him that you live; if the future, your hope that your expectations might be fulfilled in founded on Him; if the past, you realize that you did not even exist before He made you. Your very birth you have received as a benefit from Him; and once born, another benefit was conferred on you in that, as the Apostle says, you should live and move in Him. The hopes of the future depend upon the same Divine action. You, however, are master only of the present. Therefore, even if you never cease to give thanks to God throughout your life, you will hardly thank Him for the present; and as for the future and the past, you will not be able to find a means of rendering Him His due.

Yet, though we are so far from being able to thank Him properly, we do not even show our good intention as far as we can—I will not say all day long, but not even by devoting a tiny part of the day to the service of God. Who has spread the earth under my feet? Whose wisdom has made water passable? Who has set up the vault of the sky? Who carries the sun before me like a torch? Who causes the springs to come forth from ravines? Who has given the rivers their beds? Who has subjected the animals to my service? Who, when I was but lifeless ashes, gave me both life and a mind? Who fashioned this clay in the image of the Divine? And, when this Divine Image had been tarnished by sin, did not He restore it to its former beauty? When I was exiled from Paradise, deprived of the tree of life, and submerged in the gulf of material things, was it not He who brought me back to man’s first beatitude?There is none that understandeth, says the Scripture. Truly, if we considered these things, we should give thanks all our life without ceasing.

From “The Lord’s Prayer” by Gregory of Nyssa


You are His Praise!

Sing with your voices,
Sing with your hearts,
Sing with your lips,
Sing with your lives.

“Sing to the Lord a new song.”
Do you ask what you should sing about the one whom you love?
Of course you want to sing about the one you love.
Do you ask what you should sing in praise of him?
“His praise is in the assembly of the saints.”
The singer himself is the praise contained in the song.
Do you want to speak the praise of God?
Be yourself what you speak.
If you live good lives,
you are his praise.

From Augustine of Hippo (354-430), quoted in Seeking Life: The Baptismal Invitation of the Rule of St. Benedict by Esther de Waal (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2009).

A Blessing for the Journey of Seeking God

When your soul whispers of its deepest longings,
may you quiet yourself to listen.
May you follow the path of yearning to the One alone who blends the uneven edges
into a life of meaning.
May you meet and be united with God
and give thanks for the whispers
that led you there.

A Blessing

Equilibrium Rocks

May you listen to your longing to be free.
May the frames of your belonging be large enough for the dreams of your soul.
May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart that something good is going to happen to you.
May you find a harmony between your soul and your life.
May the mansion of your soul never become a haunted place.
May you know the eternal longing which lives at the heart of time.
May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.
May you never place walls between the light and yourself.
May your angel free you from the prisons of guilt, fear, disappointment, and despair.
May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you, mind you, and embrace you in belonging.

~ John O’Donohue, Eternal Echoes

Active Waiting

In Finding My Way Home: Pathways to Life and the Spirit, Henri Nouwen, the late spiritual guide, writes:

Most of us consider waiting as something very passive, a hopeless state determined by events totally out of our hands. The bus is late? We cannot do anything about it, so we have to sit there and just wait. It is not difficult to understand the irritation people feel when somebody says, “Just wait.” Words like that push us into passivity.

But there is none of this passivity in Scripture. Those who are waiting are waiting very actively. They know that what they are waiting for is growing from the ground on which they are standing. Right here is a secret for us about waiting. If we wait in the conviction that a seed has been planted and that something has already begun, it changes the way we wait. Active waiting implies being fully present to the moment with the conviction that something is happening where we are and that we want to be present to it.

Chinese Proverb

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

~ Chinese proverb

Enough Already!

FINISH each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.   ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ah, Children…

The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which

we are permitted to remain children all our lives.

~ Albert Einstein