Wednesday, April 22, 2015
"A flock of black-capped chickadees comes through the snow, scurries through the fine dust of sifted snow blown from the tops of the white drifts. They come with cheery dashes and flirts of small, indomitable bodies which dare all the vastness of inclemency to disturb the tiny-feathered embodiment of courage and conviction. They are the wards of a benevolent order to which man turns when, dismayed by the fancied savagery of his own scheme, he seeks sanctuary." Clifford Raymond.
The little basket of five loaves and two fish, carried up among the hills furnished, beneath the hand of Christ, an ample feast. And no less a marvel does God work with all the pure in heart who go up into the lonely place to meet with him. Be they only not quite empty of truth and love; let them have but the poorest pilgrim's unleavened cake of sincerity and faith; and when they have spread their insufficiency before God, and broken it into its worthlessness for his blessing to enter, they shall return richer than they came and gather more than they had brought. The rules of quantity, the laws of weight and measure, do not hold beyond the outward world; they disappear wherever the Holy Spirit claims its own.
The smallest spiritual store, taken into the most retired spot, has a self-multiplying power; and if only used with holy trust, will pass the dimensions of nature and reveal the resources of the infinite. The great Creative Spirit is ever ready to touch the merest grain of manna in the heart, and make it numerous to shine on all the ground. When he flings a handful of moral endowments into the furrows of our nature, He never withholds the mellowing winds and dews; and the germs will not perish unless we deny them root.
Within the smallest genuine grace he has wrapped up boundless possibilities; and whoever will but believe in it and apply it faithfully shall never fail of more.
There is no one so miscreated or misplaced as to have within him no germs of good, from which a fruitful circle may be spread.
If you will but find God's living gift within you, and simply trust it when it presses into growth, there is not a waste place of your nature that shall not become habitable, and even glorious with a wild beauty.
Whatever you may doubt, there is something which you deem true; however much is common and unclean, you have gleams of what is surely holy; wherever you are weak, there is some matter on which your secret eye is clear, and your foot is firm. Here then is the ground on which your moral life is to be raised.
Monday, April 20, 2015
The following description of Christ comes closest to how I see Him as any I ever read.
"The primitive followers of the Christian faith were all of one heart and mind; and that was a heart of free and natural joy. Yet they were disciples of one who is know to all ages as the Man of sorrows; of one serene indeed in spirit, and of a strength divine and clear; but with the tinge throughout of a sad earnestness, -- some times flushing up into a transient glow of hope, --- rarely deepening into the shade of a visible anguish; and yet throughout, from the wrestling’s in the desert to his cry upon the cross, showing itself in miracles of pity and in nights of prayer; in the light of his love and the flash of his invective, --- his delight in nature and in childhood, his abhorrence of Pharisees and hypocrites; in the deep beauty of his parables, and the melancholy wisdom of his prophecies; in the sedate unity of his life and the quiet majesty of his death. How indeed is he represented by the emblem in which Christendom has embodied its veneration? The crucifix is the accepted symbol of grief divinely borne." James Martineau.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
"The pure and tender eye, which is not arrested or put off by the trouble and broken surface of a soul, but sends its glance behind and within that soul, not only sees the actual love that lives there, but warms and wakes the possible love that was asleep and never stirred before. Our humanity, touched with a divine freedom, has larger and more liberal limits than its critics and its students dream; and nothing so kindles its high spiritual consciousness and transfigures it with light divine, as the appeal of trustful sympathy, and the expectant light of a brother's faith. Could we not treat the guilt and degradation we see in some which deform the world as something unnatural, a spoiling of the idea of God and the possibilities of man, but rather, when we pass the poor deforming exterior, and enter the inner nature, and ever so faintly trace the sleeping lineaments of the divine image, pity despairs no more, and love recovers from its recoil." James Martineau.
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
The following quote deals with the difficulty we all have in finding the place in life where we have purpose, happiness, and a sense of spiritual understanding. We often get bogged down in life, we lose our way, and life can become tedious, boring, without challenge or direction and we feel unfulfilled. We look for help, but help never seems to come. We fail to find the "Ideal World": so, where do we start?
"Can we not say that the hour of our spiritual liberation is even this: when your "Ideal World," wherein the whole man has been dimly struggling and inexpressibly failing in strength to find this Ideal World, finally becomes revealed, and thrown wide open; and you discover with amazement enough, that your "America is here or nowhere"?
Now the circumstance or situation, that has no duty, that has no Ideal, has never yet been occupied by man. Yes here, in this poor, miserable, hampered, despicable ACTUAL, where you even now stand, here or nowhere is your "Ideal": work it out from here; and working, believe, live, be free.
Don't be a fool, the Ideal is in yourself, but the obstacle is as well: your condition is the very stuff that you are to shape that same Ideal out of: what does it matter whether that stuff is of this sort or that, so long as the form you give it be heroic.
O you that pine away in the imprisonment of the Actual, and cry bitterly to the gods for an ideal kingdom where you can rule and create, know this, for this is the truth: the thing you seek is already with you, "here or nowhere," if you could only see!" Thomas Carlyle.
I believe his conclusion that God will not whisk you away, by some glad circumstance or person, and drop you in an ideal kingdom where all of our talents and desires are fulfilled, but rather, each of us, right where we are, must use the opportunities at hand to build that place of satisfaction. Not apart from God, no, rather with the help of God: He alone will answer and strengthen you for the task.