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To us, our house was not insentient matter — it had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and approvals, and solicitudes, and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in the peace of its benediction. We never came home from an absence that its face did not light up and speak out its eloquent welcome — and we could not enter it unmoved.

~ Mark Twain

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THE SECRET NAME OF GOD

I know the secret name of God

It tells who God is
It helps me understand God and myself

It helps me to see the world with clearer eyes
It helps me to pray

It helps me to find myself when I am lost
It helps me to reconcile with others

It helps me to love
It fills my heart and soul

I overflow, I cannot contain it
It pours out of my mouth

Hold out a cup, cup your hands, open your mouth

Catch it

I can’t hold it any longer

God’s name is….

…Love
And God’s name is Mercy
And God’s name is Justice
And God’s name is Prayer
And God’s name is Sharing

God’s name is Kindness
And God’s name is Friend
And God’s name is Strength
And God’s name is Weakness
And God’s name is Community

God’s name is Peace
And God’s name is Struggle
And God’s name is Wisdom
And God’s name is Much More than these words.

God’s name is a road
A highway to the holy city
A secret that is meant to be shared:

It will fill you up
Now that you’ve got it,
Let it overflow on someone else!

– posted at Signs, Dreams and Visions

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“The patterns are simple, but followed together, they make for a whole that is wiser than the sum of its parts. Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle; reinvent. Build a tangled bank.”

— Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

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Recognizing Sacred Space

We seldom notice how each day is a holy place
Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,
Transforming our broken fragments
Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.

Somewhere in us a dignity presides
That is more gracious than the smallness
That fuels us with fear and force,
A dignity that trusts the form a day takes.

So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown
And for the secret work
Through which the mind of the day
And wisdom of the soul become one.

– John O’Donohue, in For Lovers of God Everywhere: Poems of the Christian Mystics

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Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila

Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.

Christ has no body now but ours,
No hands, no feet on earth but ours,
Ours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.
Ours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Ours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.

Ours are the hands, ours are the feet,
Ours are the eyes. We are his body.

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“Just to be is a blessing.
Just to live is holy.”

– Rabbi Abraham Heschel

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“The most significant gifts are the ones most easily overlooked. Small, everyday blessings: woods, health, music, laughter, memories, books, family, friends, second chances, warm fireplaces, and all the footprints scattered throughout our days.”

— Sue Monk Kidd

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How do you capture the stillness that is God? One step onto the gravel path reverberates like the clashing of cymbals. It is a cacophony of sound against the deep, dark nothingness that surrounds me. It is nothing and it is everything. I can feel God in the air that is neither wet nor humid nor dry. It does not feel heavy and yet I am immensely aware of the air. Not a breath of wind moves through it. Perfect absolute stillness. It is God.

I tiptoe through the wet grass not wanting to break this mood. It is reverent. Holy. The pool of light from my lamp leads the way. It is absorbed into the night leaving me inside a bubble of gentle illumination. It is perfect soft light. It is holy and for a moment so am I. But I am not alone. My light has disturbed a resting goose who startles and makes it known that he is not pleased by my presence. His honks and wings in flight carry through the stillness and across the water that continues to sleep. My heart races for a moment. The goose’s call quieting long before the thump thump thump of my pounding heart.

And then it returns. The stillness. The calm. God. I tiptoe across the wet grass. My own presence disturbing me. How odd it is. I want to be absorbed into the air; the moisture; the dewy grass. I am one with the night. It is a gift. It is perfect. It is God.

– Perfect Stillness via Diamonds in the Sky With Lucy

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Sometimes we have moments that take us out of our mundane world.

Moments of grace, of vision, of love, of a sense of something more…

Perhaps moments when we sense our unity with others, with the world, the infinite.

Moments when we see, feel, or touch part of God

We often think of the infinite as being out there, as something only God can grasp, create, or manipulate, acting in movements of creation, love, grace, redemption, and the like.

But we can and do enter into the infinite labors of God. Think about the infinite effects of loving, raising a child, helping a stranger, adopting a stray, being a true love, working daily to feed and clothe your family, and helping others.

When you entangle your life with another, when you show love, you manipulate the infinite. The impact on those you interact with is infinite, and the changes you create directly and indirectly affect everything else.

God is love, and where true love is, God himself is there.

Grasp the Infinite; Show your Love.

– Touching God posted at Signs, Dreams and Visions

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From “Life’s Little Instruction Book” by Jackson Brown:

1.Compliment three people everyday.
2.Have a dog.
3.Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
4.Remember other people`s birthdays.
5.Overtip breakfast waitresses.
6.Have a firm handshake.
7.Look people in the eye.
8.Say “thank you” a lot.
9.Say “please” a lot.
10.Learn to play a musical instrument.
11.Sing in the shower.
12.Use the good silver.
13.Learn to make great chili.
14.Plant flowers every spring.
15.Own a great stereo system.
16.Be the first to say, “Hello”.
17.Live beneath your means.
18.Buy great books, even if you never read them.
19.Drive inexpensive cars, but own the best house you can afford.
20.Be forgiving of yourself and others.
21.Learn three clean jokes.
22.Wear polished shoes.
23.Floss your teeth.
24.Drink champagne for no reason at all.
25.Ask for a raise when you feel you`ve earned it.
26.Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yard.
27.If in fight, hit first and hit hard.
28.Return all the things you borrow.
29.Teach some kind of class.
30.Be a student in some kind of class.
31.Never buy a house without a fireplace.
32.Once in your life own a convertible.
33.Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
34.Learn to identify the music of Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven.
35.Plant a tree on your birthday.
36.Donate two pints of blood every year.
37.Make new friends but cherish the old ones.
38.Keep secrets.
39.Take lots of snapshots.
40.Never refuse homemade brownies.
41.Don`t postpone joy.
42.Ask someone to pick your mail and daily paper when you`re out of town. Those are the first two things potential burglars look for.
43.Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen every day.
44.Write “thank you” notes promptly.
45.Show respect for teachers.
46.show respect for poloce officers and firefighters.
47.Show respect for military personnel.
48.Don`t waste time learning the “tricks of the trade.” Instead, learn the trade.
49.Keep a tight rein on your temper.
50.Buy vegetables from truck farmers who advertise with hand-lettered signs.