Oh, feed me this day, Holy Spirit, with the fragrance of the fields and the freshness of the oceans which you have made, and help me to hear and to hold in all dearness those exacting and wonderful words of our Lord Jesus Christ, saying:

Follow me.

-Mary Oliver

The most striking thing about keeping the Sabbath is that it begins by not doing anything. The Hebrew word shabbat, which we take over into our language untranslated, simply means, “Quit…Stop…Take a break.”

As such, it has no religious or spiritual content: Whatever you are doing, stop it…Whatever you are saying, shut up… Sit down and take a look around you… Don’t do anything… Don’t say anything… Fold your hands… Take a deep breath. Creation is so endlessly complex and so intricately interconnected that if we are not very careful and deeply reverent before what is clearly way beyond us, no matter how well-intentioned we are, we will probably interfere, usually in a damaging way, with what God has done and is doing. So begin by not doing anything: attend, adore.

-Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places

If God has blessed you with a gift, exercising your gift given you as a trust given you by God is the way to please him.-poet Luci Shaw

Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music–the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.–Henry Miller

Life is not

Hurrying on to a receding future,

Nor hankering after an imagined past.

It’s the turning aside like Moses

To the miracle

Of the lit bush,

To a brightness that seemed

As transitory as your youth once,

But is the eternity that awaits you.

-RS Thomas

Prayer often includes a wider bandwidth than we often think. Prayer means talking to God, but even more, prayer means listening to God, listening for God. Prayer is action. Prayer is sitting still. Prayer happens through our hopes and through our tears. Prayer happens through songs and mental images, through smells and sounds and tastes. Prayer happens with words, and (thank goodness) when our words completely fail us. Prayer happens in any place and in any way open to God’s presence.

-Winn Collier, Love Big. Be Well. 

Christians should be as delighted in the things of sight and sense as God is himself, when at the instant of every creational act, he declares goodness to be observable, enjoyable, and usable. Of all people, Christians should have the best noses, the best eyes and ears, the most open joy, the widest sense of delight. That the opposite is often the case is no fault of the Lord’s. How interesting that God, in correcting the ruminations of Job and his three advisers, turned to his work as Imaginer and Maker rather than his holiness.

-Harold Best

I did not
have to ask my heart what it wanted,
because of all the desire I have ever known,
just one did I cling to
for it was the essence of
all desire:
to hold beauty in
my soul’s

-St John of the Cross

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