Archive 07

Thought for the Day

For the weeks beginning Oct. 29, Nov. 5, Nov. 12, Nov. 19, Nov. 26, Dec. 3, Dec. 10, Dec. 17

December 24-30         Theme: “Incarnation” 
Sunday, Dec. 30:
   The God of curved space, the dry
   God, is not going to help us, but the son
   whose blood spattered
   the hem of his mother's robe. —Jane Kenyon
Saturday, Dec. 29:
   In you there is no abstraction
   your grace comes only in finite doses. —Robert F. Morneau
Friday, Dec. 28:
   “If the Godhead has clothed itself with its own creation, the mystery of incarnation would seem a natural part of that primal mystery.”  —Morris West
Thursday, Dec. 27:
   What is the point of your presence
   if our lives do not alter?   —Dom Helder Camara
Wednesday, Dec. 26:
   “Discipleship is not a question of our own doing: it is a matter of our making room for God so that he can live in us.” —J. Heinrich Arnold
Tuesday, Dec. 25:
   “We will discover that the Creation is not in any sense independent of the Creator, the result of a primal creative act long over and done with, but is the continuous participation of all creatures in the being of God.”   —Wendell Berry
Monday, Dec. 24:
   And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full or grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only son from the Father.   —John 1:14

December 17-23         Theme: “Joy” 
Sunday, Dec. 23:
   any life has all lives
   for its delight. —Wendell Berry
Saturday, Dec. 22:
   If you have a thousand reasons for living
   If you never feel alone
   if you wake up wanting to sing
   if everything speaks to you
   from the stone in the road
   to the star in the sky
   from the loitering lizard
   to the fish, lord of the sea
   if you understand the winds
   and listen to the silence
   for love walks with you,
   he is your comrade,
   is your brother! —Dom Helder Camara
Friday, Dec. 21:
   “The saint is not a man or woman who breaks no laws and bends no regulations, the saint is a person consumed by joy.”  —Andrew Greeley
Thursday, Dec. 20:
   By doing good from day to day,
   A man perceives his virtue gaining strength
   By reason of the greater joy he feels   —Dante Alighiere
Wednesday, Dec. 19:
   “Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” —Mother Theresa
Tuesday, Dec. 18:
   “Where love is enjoyed for itself there is festivity.”   —Chrysostom
Monday, Dec. 17:
   Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.    —Nehemiah 8:10

December 10-16         Theme: “Light” 
Sunday, Dec. 16:
   Again, hope dreams itself
   Awake. —Wendell Berry
Saturday, Dec. 15:
   “We shouldn't get discouraged if the road is long. One of the roles of community life is precisely to keep us walking in hope …” —Jean Vanier
Friday, Dec. 14:
   “It is different with those who know true hope; they become active on their own. How can I hope for a new heaven and a new earth in which justice dwells, how can I hope out of the strength of the Spirit, unless I am conducting myself in such a way that something more just, something better, can be created on earth?”  —Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
Thursday, Dec. 13:
   “The point—the only interesting point—is that we have not quit. Ours is not a fight that you can stay in very long if you look on victory as a sign of triumph or on loss as a sign of defeat. We have not quit because we are not hopeless.”  —Wendell Berry
Wednesday, Dec. 12:
     What's the use
     of something
     as unstable
     and diffuse as hope—
     the almost-twin
     of making-do,
     the isotope
     of going on:
     what isn't in
     the envelope
     just before
     it isn't:
     the always tabled
     righting of the present     —Kay Ryan
Tuesday, Dec. 11:
… the lonely darkness had been turned into light, and the lonely virtue of courage, sustained through all the centuries, had been transformed into hope.    —Thomas Cahill
Monday, Dec. 10:
     Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.  1 Peter 3:15

December 3-9         Theme: “Light” 
Sunday, Dec. 9:
     There is a crack in everything.
     That’s how the light gets in. —Leonard Cohen
Saturday, Dec. 8:
   And live as the light lives.
   And live as the creation sings. —Wendell Berry
Friday, Dec. 7:
     what is
     in light
     is light   —Raymond Roseliep
Thursday, Dec 6:
   But also I say this: that light
   is an invitation
   to happiness
   and that happiness

   when it’s done right
   is a kind of holiness
   palpable and redemptive.   —Mary Oliver
Wednesday, Dec 5:
   Help me to see! not with my mimic sight—
   With yours! which carried radiance, like the sun,
   Giving the rays you saw with—light in light—
   Tying all suns and stars and worlds in one.      —Henry Adams
Tuesday, Dec 4:
     … light keeps one thing in the dark
     The matter of its very origins.    —John Hollander
Monday, Dec 3:
     Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.    —Isaiah 2:5

Nov. 26 – Dec. 2         Theme: “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” 
Sunday, Dec. 2:
   “Scratch the surface of any ordinary church congregation and you will find not hypocrites but people struggling with demons.” —Kathleen Norris
Saturday, Dec. 1:
         “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” —Blaise Pascal 
Friday, Nov. 30:
     “No Christian escapes a taste of the wilderness on the way to the promised land.”  —Evelyn Underhill
Thursday, Nov. 29:
     “A student asked him [Pinhas of Koretz], ‘What am I to do. I am pursued by evil temptations?’
   “And he answered, ‘Are you sure? Are you sure it’s not the other way around?’” —Elie Wiesel
Wednesday, Nov. 28:
     “… the only time God tries us is when there is something in our hearts that needs revealing. Therefore the prayer, ‘Lead us not into temptation,” means this:  Lord, may there be nothing in me that will force you to put me to the test in order to reveal what is in my heart.” —Richard Foster
Tuesday, Nov. 27:
   Was it the way of your world too,
   old master, that everyone had to be
   a villain in someone else’s life?

   It is the way of ours apparently. Such
   is the pressure of evil on our spirits now.  —Hayden Carruth
Monday, Nov. 26:
     Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one, but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.    —James 1:12-14

November 19-25         Theme: “Thy Will Be Done.” 
Sunday, Nov. 25:
“It has taken me a long time to understand a simple truth: though everyone needs to be loved, I am unable to be the source of that gift to everyone who asks it of me. There are some relations in which I am capable of love, and others in which I am not. To pretend otherwise, to put out promissory notes that I am incapable of honoring, is to do damage—all in the name of
love.”—Parker Palmer
Saturday, Nov. 24:
     “To remit debts is to renounce our own personality. It means renouncing everything that goes to make up our ego, without exception.”—Simone Weil 
Friday, Nov. 23:
     “Christian charity does not seek to create grateful debtors, but to share unconditionally with the world.”  —David R Hackett
[Christian charity does not seek to create grateful debtors but to ‘create debt-free, powerful ministers of God's blessing.’ —MEH]
Thursday, Nov. 22:
     “In his conversations with Richard Etulain there is a passage in which [Wallace] Stegner names several of his old students, speaks of their accomplishments, and then says, “I try not to take credit for any of that.” In the mouths of some people that statement would not be trustworthy; in the mouths of some it would contradict itself. Coming from Mr. Stegner it is trustworthy, for in fact he has not been a taker of credit. The fellows have been left to their ways. They have come, benefited as they were able, and left free of obligation.” —Wendell Berry
Wednesday, Nov. 21:
     “Behold from faith thus flow forth love and joy in the Lord, and from love a joyful, willing, and free mind that serves one's neighbor willingly and takes no account of gratitude or ingratitude, of praise or blame, of gain or loss. For a man does not serve that he may put men under
obligations.”—Martin Luther
Tuesday, Nov. 20:
     “Forgiveness breaks the chain of causality because he who ‘forgives’ you—out of love—takes upon himself the consequences of what you have done. Forgiveness, therefore, always entails a sacrifice.
   “The price you must pay for your own liberation through another’s sacrifice is that you in turn must be willing to liberate in the same way, irrespective of the consequences to yourself.”  —Dag Hammarskj÷ld
Monday, Nov. 19:
     You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.    —Leviticus 19:18

November 12–18         Theme: “Thy Will Be Done.” 
Sunday, Nov. 18:
               O let thy sacred will
              All thy delight in me fulfill!
             Let me not think an action mine own way,
               But as thy love shall sway,
             Resigning up the rudder to thy skill.
         —George Herbert
Saturday, Nov. 17:
     “May the vast motive wash and wash our own.”—Richard Wilbur 
Friday, Nov. 16:
     “The great design of God in the incarnation of his Son is to form a divine life in you. It is to produce a Christ in the image of your soul. … To entertain such a thought seems a kind of daring, but faith is a daring exercise. We must be daring to ascend high enough to meet God's thoughts concerning us and his purposes toward us.”  —Horace Bushnell
Thursday, Nov. 15:
     “Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that among the swift and varied changes of the world our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are found.” —Book of Common Prayer
Wednesday, Nov. 14:
     “Indeed there is something which is far greater than my desire to pray, namely God's will that I pray. There is something which is far greater than my will to believe, namely God's will that I believe. How insignificant is my praying in the midst of a cosmic process! Unless it is the will of God that I pray, how ludicrous it is to pray!” —Abraham Heschel
Tuesday, Nov. 13:
     “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. … and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.”  —Thomas Merton
Monday, Nov. 12:
     Jesus taught them saying, “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”    —Matthew 7:21

November 5–11         Theme: “Thy Kingdom Come.” 
Sunday, Nov. 11:
   We join our work to Heaven's gift
   Our hope to what is left
   That fields and woods at last agree
   In an economy
   Of widest worth
   High Heaven's Kingdom come on earth
   Imagine Paradise.
   O dust arise!                                 —Wendell Berry
Saturday, Nov. 10:
     “The advent of the Kingdom is at once utterly awesome and awesomely normal.”
—John Dominic Crossan 
Friday, Nov. 9:
     “But Torah's conception of God's kingship tells us … that the only real power governing our lives is the Force that makes it possible for us to leave systems of oppression and start over, creating something fundamentally different and new.”  —Michael Lerner
Thursday, Nov. 8:
     “When we run away from the present, we destroy the kingdom of God.”
Wednesday, Nov. 7:
     “There is nothing rigid, nothing mechanical about the rule of our God. Everything is always new, alive, relevant, and timely. And our problem, then, is always to understand what it is that is going on today.” —Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
Tuesday, Nov. 6:
     “Our longing will be satisfied only when the whole earth comes under the rulership of God, not the rulership of force.
     “It is important for us to decide whether we want only a nice church with Jesus as its king or the way of the cross.”  —J. Heinrich Arnold
Monday, Nov. 5:
     And Jesus said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?  It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”  —Mark 4:30-32

October 29 — November 4         Theme: “Hallowed be Thy name.”
Sunday, Nov. 4:
     “holiness—an area in which practice is everything and theory is nothing.”  —Donald Nicholl
Saturday, Nov. 3:
     “Humanism, however pretty, isn't for us because nature isn't human, and man willynilly is of nature.  Nature is unreason and God.  It is the madness that runs through our lives and connects us to the stars in a way no rocket ship can ever duplicate.  It connects us to all living things and to ourselves.  To name this madness Holy doesn't promise peace or prosperity; it promises only a reason for being, a reinvestment of life into the dead matter of which the universe is now composed.” —Alfred Chester
Friday, Nov. 2:
     “One cannot steep his soul in the great dream of holiness without being brought back to spiritual health.”  —Roy L. Smith
Thursday, Nov 1:
     “The more we wake to holiness, the more of it we give birth to, the more we introduce, expand, and multiply it on earth, the more God is ‘on the field’.”  —Annie Dillard
Wednesday, Oct. 31:
     “I find that I appreciate mysticism best in its most ordinary manifestation, as a means for tapping into the capacity for holiness that exists in us all.” —Kathleen Norris
Tuesday, Oct. 30:
     “May that which thou art, God, which the earth until now has only blasphemed, at last become that which alone is consecrated.”  —Eberhard Arnold
Monday, Oct. 29:
     “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel, You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy’.”  Leviticus 19:1-2






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