Today's wise words are from Thích Nhất Hạnh. Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Zen Master and Vietnamese Buddhist monk author and peace activist, founder of the Plum Village Tradition which is a Monastery in southwest France:
“If at some point in your life you adopt an idea or a perception as the absolute truth, you close the door of your mind. This is the end of seeking the truth. And not only do you no longer seek the truth, but even if the truth comes in person and knocks on your door, you refuse to open it. Attachment to views, attachment to ideas, attachment to perceptions are the biggest obstacle to the truth.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Today's quote comes from Reinhold Niebuhr, yes I have used his quotes before. Mr. Niebuhr was an American Reformed theologian, ethicist, commentator on politics and public affairs, and professor:
“Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime, Therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; Therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone. Therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own; Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.” Reinhold Niebuhr
Today's wise words come from E. E. Cummings. Edward Estlin "E. E." Cummings, was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. I have included a link to a beautiful musical rendition to his poem so you can listen and read along.
i thank You God for most this amazing day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes (i who have died am alive again today, and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay great happening illimitably earth) how should tasting touching hearing seeing breathing any—lifted from the no of all nothing—human merely being doubt unimaginable You? (now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened) E. E. Cummings
Todays wise words come from two people, Jean Vanier and Rachel Held Evans. Recently both of these important spiritual figures died. Jean Vanier was a Canadian Catholic philosopher, theologian, and humanitarian. In 1964 he founded L'Arche, an international federation of communities spread over 37 countries, for people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them. Rachel Held Evans was an American Christian columnist, blogger and author and very influential progressive evangelical. Below are just two quotes, one from each person, that spoke to me about who they were and some of their legacy.
"We don't know what to do with our own weakness except to hide it or pretend it doesn't exist. So how can we welcome fully the weakness of another if we haven't welcomed our own weakness?" Jean Vanier
“Imagine if every church (Synagogue, Mosque, or Temple) became a place where everyone is safe, but no one is comfortable. Imagine if every church (Synagogue, Mosque, or Temple) became a place where we told one another the truth. We might just create sanctuary.” Rachel Held Evans
Today's wise words come from Lori Deschene. Ms. Deschene is an writer, blogger and author.
Be the Person Who Breaks the Cycle If you were judged, choose understanding. If you were rejected, choose acceptance. If you were shamed, choose compassion. Be the person you needed when you were hurting, not the person who hurt you. Vow to be better than what broke you - to heal instead of becoming bitter so you can act from your heart, not your pain.
Today's wise words are really a prayer. The Serenity Prayer was written by Reinhold Niebuhr. Reinhold Niebuhr was an American Reformed theologian, ethicist, commentator on politics and public affairs, and professor at Union Theological Seminary for more than 30 years. Many of you have probably heard of or maybe use the Serenity Prayer, especially the first part. Well, here is the entire prayer.
Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful (and broken) world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.
Today's wise words come from John Greenleaf Whittier. Mr. Whittier was an American Quaker poet, listed as one of the Fireside Poets, and also an advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States.
Don't Quit "When things go wrong, as they sometimes will; When the road you're trudging seems all uphill; When the funds are low and the debts are high; And you want to smile but you have to sigh. When all is pressing you down a bit - Rest if you must, but don't you quit Success is failure turned inside out; The silver tint on the clouds of doubt; And you can never tell how close you are; It may be near when it seems far. So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit - It's when things go wrong that you must not quit." - John Greenleaf Whittier
Today's wise words come from Frederick Buechner. Buechner is an American writer, author novelist, preacher, Presbyterian Minister and theologian:
Frederick Buechner: "Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation"
"WORDS—ESPECIALLY religious words, words that have to do with the depth of things—get tired and stale the way people do. Find new words or put old words together in combinations that make them heard as new, make you yourself new, and make you understand in new ways. "Blessed are the meek" are the words of the English translators—words of great beauty and power—but over the years they have become almost too familiar to hear any more. "Heureux sont les debonnaires" are the French words—Blessed are the debonair—and suddenly new beauty, new power, flood in like light. Blessed is Fred Astaire in white tie and tails. Blessed is Oliver Hardy in rusty black suit and derby hat as he picks his dapper way toward the unseen banana peel on the sidewalk. Blessed is my old friend as she tries to let me win at Aggravation, rattling her dice in the cup which the pills that keep her alive come in. Arrange the alphabet into words that are true in the sense that they are true to what you experience to be true. If you have to choose between words that mean more than what you have experienced and words that mean less, choose the ones that mean less because that way you leave room for your hearers to move around in and for yourself to move around in too."
Today's wise words come from Thomas Merton. Merton was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion. Here is a prayer that he wrote:
Prayer for Discernment
O Lord God, I have no idea where I am going, I do not see the road ahead of me, I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, And that 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 to please You. And I know that if I do this You will lead me by the right road, Though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore, I will trust You always Though I may seem to be lost And in the shadow of death. I will not fear, For You are ever with me, And You will never leave me To make my journey alone. Amen.
Today's wise words are from pastor and author Brian McLaren. These words come from his book titled Finding Our Way Again, The Return of the Ancient Practices (page 14):
Spiritual practices are actions within our power that help us narrow the gap. They help us become someone weighty, someone worthy of a name and reputation, someone who makes survival worthwhile by turning life’s manure into fertilizer. They’re about surviving your twenties or forties or eighties and not becoming a jerk in the process. About not letting what happens to us deform us or destroy us. About realizing that what we earn or accumulate means nothing compared to what we become and who we are. As such, spiritual practices are pretty earthy, and they’re not strictly about spirituality as it is often defined; they’re about humanity. Which brings us to the second reason they’re important – aliveness. Spiritual practices could be called life practices or humane practices, because they help us practice being alive, and humanely so. They develop not just character but also aliveness, alertness, wakefulness, and humanity.
Today's Wise Words come from Iain Thomas. Mr. Thomas is a South African author and poet:
And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, 'This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!' And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, 'No. This is what’s important.'
Today's Wise Words come from a Polish-born American rabbi and leading Jewish theologian and philosopher of the 20th century; Abraham Joshua Heschel. With all that is going on this month from Valentine's Day to the Year Anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Rabbi Heschel's words speak directly to the preciousness and frailty of life.
“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ....get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”
Today's Wise Words come from M. Scott Peck, author (The Road Less Traveled) and psychiatrist:
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
From Fr. Tommy: Here is a quote from Rabbi Harold Kushner about Love and what each of us can do:
“None of us has the power to make someone else love us. But we all have the power to give away love, to love other people. And if we do so, we change the kind of person we are, and we change the kind of world we live in."
CDC Flu Report: At Least 6.2 Million Sick This Season At this point during the 2018-2019 flu season, 6.2 million to 7.3 million people have been sick with flu. Looking back at last year, CDC estimates that the burden of illness during the 2017–2018 season was high with an estimated 48.8 million people getting sick with influenza. Chances are good the flu will be around us, so please get your Flu Shot (if not medically contraindicated).
People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: Fever* or feeling feverish/chills. Cough. Sore throat. Runny or stuffy nose. Muscle or body aches. Headaches. Fatigue (tiredness) Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. Think you might have the flu?Check out this 2 minute video to learn more.
From Fr. Tommy: Below are some wise words from Henri Nouwen concerning A New Beginning that I believe are appropriate as we are at the start of a new calendar year:
A New Beginning
We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make everything new. Imagine that we could live each moment as a moment pregnant with new life. Imagine that we could live each day as a day full of promises. Imagine that we could walk through the new year always listening to the voice saying to us: “I have a gift for you and can’t wait for you to see it!” Imagine. (*click headline to read more)