1.22 - On Prayer
3 Thomas Keating
1 Chatral Rinpoche
NEW FULL DB (2.4M)
6 Timothy J Keller
3 Thomas Keating
3 John Bunyan
2 Shane Claiborne
2 Sally Bedell Smith
2 Oswald Chambers
2 Neil Gaiman
2 John Newton
2 John Mott
2 John Irving
2 John F MacArthur Jr
2 Harper Lee
2 E Stanley Jones
2 Elizabeth Gilbert
2 Book of Common Prayer
1:To live in the presence of God on a continuous basis can become a kind of fourth dimension to our three-dimensional world, forming an invisible but real background to everything that we do or that happens in our lives. ~ Thomas Keating, On Prayer ,
2:Gregory the Great (sixth century), summarizing the Christian contemplative tradition, expressed it as "resting in God." This was the classical meaning of Contemplative Prayer in the Christian tradition for the first sixteen centuries. ~ Thomas Keating, On Prayer ,
3:As St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) taught, whatever we say about God is more unlike God than saying nothing. If we do say something, it can only be a pointer toward the Mystery that can never be articulated in words. All that words can do is point in the direction of the Mystery. ~ Thomas Keating, On Prayer ,
4:During this degenerate age in the outer world, there are many natural disasters due to the upsetting of the four elements. Also, demonic forces come with their many weapons to incite the fighting of wars. All of those forces have caused the world to come to ruin and led all to tremble - so terrified that their hair stands up on end. Still, the demonic forces find it necessary to come up with new types of weapons. If we were called on to confront them, there is no way we Dharma practitioners could defeat them. That is why we make supplication prayers to the three jewels, do the aspiration prayers, the offering prayers and the prayers of invocation. We are responsible for those activities. This is what I urge you to do. ~ Chatral Rinpoche,
*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***
1:All religion is founded on prayer, and in prayer it has its test and measure. ~ Peter Forsyth
2:The Igor position on prayer is that it is nothing more than hope with a beat to it. ~ Terry Pratchett
3:If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my years, Demian, it’s never to rely on prayer. ~ Alec Hutson
4:Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest. ~ Book of Common Prayer, collect for the Second Sunday in Advent.
5:We find, sooner or later, that in prayer we either abandon ourselves or we abandon prayer. ~ E Stanley Jones
6:The Bible’s teaching on prayer leads overwhelmingly to one conclusion: Prayer changes things. ~ John Ortberg Jr
7:I laid great stress upon prayer as an indispensable condition of promoting the revival. ~ Charles Grandison Finney
8:By affliction prayer is quickened, for our prayers are very apt to grow languid and formal in a time of ease. ~ John Newton
9:Intent on prayer, she has a dumb girl's sweet piercing way of putting her whole body into one thing at a time. ~ John Updike
10:No mere man since the Fall, is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments. ~ Book of Common Prayer, Shorter Catechism
11:Lloyd-Jones once said that he had never written on prayer because of a sense of personal inadequacy in this area.28 ~ Timothy J Keller
12:We could read every book even written on prayer, but that won't make us people of prayer. We learn to pray by doing it. ~ K P Yohannan
13:The history of missions is a history of prayer. Everything vital to the success of the world's evangelization hinges on prayer. ~ John Mott
14:There's no trouble in this world so serious that it can't be cured with a hot bath, a glass of whiskey, and the Book of Common Prayer. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
15:We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself. ~ Oswald Chambers
16:The ninth verse is part of His discourse on prayer: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. ~ Myles Munroe
17:Lord, I believe; help my unbelief'... is the most natural and most human and most agonizing prayer in the gospels, and I think it is the foundation prayer of faith. ~ Flannery O Connor
18:This common prayer project has taken years of energy, but we see it not as a way to leave our individual churches, but as a movement we hope to see permeate the larger Church. ~ Shane Claiborne
19:tradition tells us that he was a man of prayer, and this explains the emphasis on prayer in his letter. It was said that he prayed so much, his knees were as hard as a camel’s! ~ Warren W Wiersbe
20:Instead we have a tradition of common prayer, a general commitment to the well-being of all, including nonmembers of the church, and a desire to seek a faith that can be shared by people of a wide diversity of ~ Samuel Wells
21:We must focus on prayer as the main thrust to accomplish God's will and purpose on earth. The forces against us have never been greater, and this is the only way we can release God's power to become victorious ~ John C Maxwell
22:There’s no trouble in this world so serious that it can’t be cured with a hot bath, a glass of whiskey and the Book of Common Prayer.” For some people, that’s truly enough. For others, more drastic measures are required. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
23:He was neutral on prayer, skeptical of free speech, sympathetic to tax protestors, indifferent to Indians, afraid of blacks, tough on pornographers, soft on criminals, and fairly consistent in his protection of the environment ~ John Grisham
24:To live in the presence of God on a continuous basis can become a kind of fourth dimension to our three-dimensional world, forming an invisible but real background to everything that we do or that happens in our lives. ~ Thomas Keating, On Prayer,
25:She rubbed salt into it: I’m thoughtless, all right. Selfish, self-willed, I eat too much, and I feel like the Book of Common Prayer. Lord forgive me for not doing what I should have done and for doing what I shouldn’t have done—oh hell. ~ Harper Lee
26:When we depend upon organizations, we get what organizations can do; when we depend upon education, we get what education can do; when we depend upon man, we get what man can do; but when we depend upon prayer, we get what God can do. A. C. Dixon ~ John Piper
27:Gregory the Great (sixth century), summarizing the Christian contemplative tradition, expressed it as "resting in God." This was the classical meaning of Contemplative Prayer in the Christian tradition for the first sixteen centuries. ~ Thomas Keating, On Prayer,
28:Continuing a Lenten series on prayer: Prayer is co-operation with God. It is the purest exercise of the faculties God has given us - an exercise that links these faculties with the Maker to work out the intentions He had in mind in their creation. ~ E Stanley Jones
29:She was pretty sure that if she had been, though, none of the hypotheticals would have resembled this in the slightest: surrounded by vampires, possibly pregnant, with a fallen angel in an Elvis costume mangling the ceremony from the Book of Common Prayer. ~ J R Ward
30:A rich, vibrant, consoling, hard-won prayer life is the one good that makes it possible to receive all other kinds of goods rightly and beneficially. He does not see prayer as merely a way to get things from God but as a way to get more of God himself. ~ Timothy J Keller
31:My Uncle Malky always said the Lord Leto never responded to prayer. He said the Lord Leto looked on prayer as attempted coercion, a form of violence against the chosen god, telling the immortal what to do: Give me a miracle, God, or I won't believe in you! ~ Frank Herbert
32:A rich, vibrant, consoling, hard-won prayer life is the one good that makes it possible to receive all other kinds of goods rightly and beneficially. [Paul] does not see prayer as merely a way to get things from God but as a way to get more of God himself. ~ Timothy Keller
33:There's an understanding of common prayer that I think we're seeing grow, more and more. When I travel, I hear from people who are deeply touched that our common prayer takes time to remember some of the terrible tragedies that have happened around the world. ~ Shane Claiborne
34:There are stylists I really love. I'm a huge Joan Didion fan - if I wrote something that she might like, then I'd feel very proud. I want the action to move as quickly as it does in A Book of Common Prayer, where one thing bonks right into another very quickly. ~ John Darnielle
35:Books on prayer are good, but not good enough. As books on cooking are good but hopeless unless there is food to work on, so with prayer. One can read a library of prayer books and not be one whit more powerful in prayer. We must learn to pray, and we must pray to learn to pray. ~ Leonard Ravenhill
36:As St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) taught, whatever we say about God is more unlike God than saying nothing. If we do say something, it can only be a pointer toward the Mystery that can never be articulated in words. All that words can do is point in the direction of the Mystery. ~ Thomas Keating, On Prayer,
37:I said, Because I did not find it commanded in the Word of God. Keel. He said, We were commanded to pray. Bun. I said, But not by the Common Prayer-Book. Keel. He said, How then? Bun. I said, With the Spirit. As the apostle saith, I will pray with the Spirit, and with the understanding. 1 Cor. xiv. 15. ~ John Bunyan
38:Oswald Chambers, a man who wrote profoundly and elegantly on prayer, made a radical statement when he said, “The idea of prayer is not in order to get answers from God.” Good heavens—it’s not? What then is the purpose? “Prayer is perfect and complete oneness with God.” 1 A mighty truth is being uncovered here. ~ John Eldredge
39:God expects us to use the walkie-talkie of prayer because that is the means He has ordained not only for godliness, but also for the spiritual warfare between His kingdom and the kingdom of His Enemy. To abandon prayer is to fight the battle with our own resources at best, and to lose interest in the battle at worst. ~ Donald S Whitney
40:Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables of Jesus deal with money. One out of ten verses in the New Testament deals with that subject. Scripture offers about five hundred verses on prayer, fewer than five hundred on faith, and over two thousand on money. The believer's attitude toward money and possessions is determinative. ~ John F MacArthur Jr
41:The missionary church is a praying church. The history of missions is a history of prayer. Everything vital to the success of the world's evangelization hinges on prayer. Are thousands of missionaries and tens of thousands of native workers needed? Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He send forth laborers into His harvest. ~ John Mott
42:I look upon prayer-meetings as the most profitable exercises (excepting the public preaching) in which Christians can engage. They have a direct tendency to kill a worldly, trifling spirit, and to draw down a Divine blessing upon all our concerns, compose differences, and enkindle (at least maintain) the flames of Divine love amongst brethren. ~ John Newton
43:How, then, shall a Christian bear fruit? By efforts and struggles to obtain that which is freely given; by meditations on watchfulness, on prayer, on action, on temptation, and on dangers? No, there must be a full concentration of the thoughts and affections on Christ; a complete surrender of the whole being to him; a constant looking to him for grace. ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe
44:I believe there is no liturgy in the world, either in ancient or modern language, which breathes more of a solid, scriptural, rational piety, than the Common Prayer of the Church of England. And though the main of it was compiled considerably more than two hundred years ago, yet is the language of it, not only pure, but strong and elegant in the highest degree. ~ John Wesley
45:Henderson sighed. There was a time, he reflected, when the coming of this night meant something. A dark Europe, groaning in superstitious fear, dedicated this Eve to the grinning Unknown. A million doors had once been barred against the evil visitants, a million prayers mumbled, a million candles lit. There was something majestic about the idea, Henderson reflected. ~ Robert Bloch
46:When a man is born from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible's idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself. ~ Oswald Chambers
47:Now if you want a book about prayer, this one’s probably not for you. You can find some wonderful books on prayer by some scholarly writers, books that are well worth the time spent reading them. In fact, I highly suggest you do. Can’t really learn too much about prayer, can you? But here, in these pages, we aren’t going to merely talk about prayer or think about praying. No. Get ready. ~ Priscilla Shirer
48:Book of Common Prayer "With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I endow." "That vow is a pledge that the husband will make love to his wife, and not use her just for sex. The vow expressed the idea that making love is an act of worship. The husband worships his wife with his body, by loving her and giving to her and moving with her toward ecstasy. ~ Sylvain Reynard
49:Believe me, you have too many practices already. What is needed is rather a progressive inner simplification. Too many people identify spiritual prowess with being perpetually busy heaping meditation upon meditation, prayer upon prayer, reading upon reading instead of learning from the simple souls the great secret of knowing how, from time to time, to hold yourself back a little in peace and silence, attentive before God.5 ~ Leonard Sweet
50:You cannot always depend on prayers to be answered the way you want them answered but you can always depend on God. God, the loving Father often denies us those things which in the end would prove harmful to us. Every boy wants a revolver at age four, and no father yet has ever granted that request. Why should we think God is less wise? Someday we will thank God not only for what He gave us, but also for that which He refused. ~ Fulton J Sheen
51:It's the most essential thing of all just because it's not a matter of how you do it at all, but of whether you do it. Like being born, or cooking: how you do it is less important than whether you do it. You can find thousands of books on prayer that give you methods of praying, hundreds of "hows"; but they do you no good at all unless you actually pray. Otherwise it's like reading a cookbook instead of cooking. You can't eat a cookbook! ~ Peter Kreeft
52:... We in the USA have been depending on prayers, pleading, and self-abasement to a deity to bring us magical advantages, and have been encouraged to attribute our prosperity and general success among nations, to that sort of action. In my opinion, hard work and dedication to logic and reason ought to be recognized as the reasons for our achievements, not appeals to a mythical friend-in-the-sky. We got where we are in spite of, not because of, those incantations. ~ James Randi
53:I myself hate that old Hemingwayesque paradigm of the writer as prizefighter and I have tried hard to create an alternate one for myself. When Anne Sexton admonished me, "We are all writing God's poem," I took it to mean there should be no competition between writers because we are all involved in a common project, a common prayer. But to Gore's and Norman's generation, particularly those male writers who served in the second world war, the prizefighter paradigm remains. ~ Erica Jong
54:To be honest, I thought it was similar to animal husbandry."
Sally's tone turned dry. "Sometimes, my lady I'm afraid it isn't that different."
Pippa paused, considering the ords. "Is that so?"
"Men are uncomplicated, generally," Sally said, all too sage. "They're beasts when they want to be."
"Ah, so you understand."
Pippa tilted her head to one side. "I've read about them."
Sally nodded. "Erotic texts?"
"The book of Common Prayer.... ~ Sarah MacLean
55:I am not sure prayer puts us in touch with God the way many people think it does--that we approach God as a supplicant, a beggar asking for favors, or as a customer presenting Him with a shopping list and asking what it will cost. Prayer is not primarily a matter of asking God to change things. If we come to understand what prayer can and should be, and rid ourselves of some unrealistic expectations, we will be better able to call on prayer, and on God, when we need them most. ~ Harold S Kushner
56:He has nothing personal against Christ; though raised Unitarian—with its glaring omission of Jesus and a hymnal so unorthodox that it was years before Less understood “Accentuate the Positive” was not in the Book of Common Prayer—Less is technically Christian. There is really no other word for someone who celebrates Christmas and Easter, even if only as craft projects. And yet he is somehow deflated. To travel to the other side of the world—only to be offered a brand he could so easily buy at home. ~ Andrew Sean Greer
57:He who is alone with his sins is utterly alone. It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final breakthrough to fellowship does not occur because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everyone must conceal his sin from himself and from their fellowship. ~ Brennan Manning
58:The knife hit deep, suddenly: “Jean Louise, your brother worried about your thoughtlessness until the day he died!” It was raining softly on his grave now, in the hot evening. You never said it, you never even thought it; if you’d thought it you’d have said it. You were like that. Rest well, Jem. She rubbed salt into it: I’m thoughtless, all right. Selfish, self-willed, I eat too much, and I feel like the Book of Common Prayer. Lord forgive me for not doing what I should have done and for doing what I shouldn’t have done—oh hell. ~ Harper Lee
59:And that though one man may tell another how he should pray: yet, as I said before, he cannot pray, nor make his condition known to God, except the Spirit help. It is not the Common Prayer-Book that can do this. It is the Spirit that showeth us our sins, and the Spirit that showeth us a Saviour, Jn. xvi. 16, and the Spirit that stirreth up in our hearts desires to come to God, for such things as we stand in need of, Matt. xi. 27, even sighing out our souls unto Him for them with groans which cannot be uttered. With other words to the ~ John Bunyan
60:Owen did not understand “beholding the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” to be either an esoteric subject or something only for certain highly spiritual kinds of people. With great force he argued that no one “will ever behold the glory of Christ by sight hereafter who doth not in some measure behold it by faith here in this world.”287 This raises the stakes on prayer and meditation to high levels. Owen held that, unless you learn how to behold the glory of Christ, you are not actually living a truly Christian life in this world. ~ Timothy J Keller
61:Austin Phelps makes this point in a chapter in his volume on prayer. He tells of Ethelfrith, the pagan Saxon king of Northumbria, who had invaded Wales and was about to give battle. The Welsh were Christians, and as Ethelfrith was observing the army of his opponents spread out before him, he noticed a host of unarmed men. When he asked who they were, he was told that they were the Christian monks of Bangor, praying for the success of their army. Ethelfrith immediately realized the seriousness of the situation. “Attack them first,” he ordered. ~ Timothy J Keller
62:while we waited to see what God would do. I heard a tear fall—it was one of my grandmother’s tears, and I heard it patter upon the cover of the Pilgrim Hymnal, which she held in her lap. “Please give us back Owen Meany,” Mr. Merrill said. When nothing happened, my father said: “O God—I shall keep asking You!” Then he once more turned to The Book of Common Prayer; it was unusual for a Congregationalist—especially, in a nondenominational church—to be using the prayer book so scrupulously, but I was sure that my father respected that Owen had been an Episcopalian ~ John Irving
63:If one of you sees, sometime, something unedifying and so much as goes on to pass it on and put it into the heart of another brother, in doing so you not only harm yourself but you harm your brother by putting one more little bit of knavery into his heart. Even if that brother has his mind set on prayer or some other noble activity, and the first arrives and furnishes him with something to prate about, he not only impedes what he ought to be doing, but brings a temptation on him. There is nothing graver or more deadly than this doing harm, not only to himself but also to his neighbor. ~ Dorotheus of Gaza
64:Paul’s main concern, then, is for their public and private prayer life. He believes that the highest good is communion or fellowship with God. A rich, vibrant, consoling, hard-won prayer life is the one good that makes it possible to receive all other kinds of goods rightly and beneficially. He does not see prayer as merely a way to get things from God but as a way to get more of God himself. Prayer is a striving to “take hold of God” (Is 64:7) the way in ancient times people took hold of the cloak of a great man as they appealed to him, or the way in modern times we embrace someone to show love. ~ Timothy J Keller
65:It’s like bees and honey. Each bee makes only a tiny, tiny drop of honey. It takes thousands of them, millions perhaps, all working together to make the pot of honey you have on your breakfast table. Now imagine that you could eat nothing but honey. That’s what it’s like for my kind of people…we feed on belief, on prayers, on love. It takes a lot of people believing just the tiniest bit to sustain us. That’s what we need, instead of food. Belief.” “And Soma is…” “To take the analogy further, it’s honey wine. Mead.” He chuckled. “It’s a drink. Concentrated prayer and belief, distilled into a potent liqueur. ~ Neil Gaiman
66:I shall pass by what befell between these two assizes, how I had, by my jailor, some liberty granted me, more than at the first, and how I followed my wonted course of preaching, taking all occasions that were put into my hand to visit the people of God; exhorting them to be steadfast in the faith of Jesus Christ, and to take heed that they touched not the Common Prayer, etc., but to mind the Word of God, which giveth direction to Christians in every point, being able to make the man of God perfect in all things through faith in Jesus Christ, and thoroughly to furnish him unto all good works. 2 Tim. iii. 17. ~ John Bunyan
You ask me how to pray to someone who is not.
All I know is that prayer constructs a velvet bridge
And walking it we are aloft, as on a springboard,
Above landscapes the color of ripe gold
Transformed by a magic stopping of the sun.
That bridge leads to the shore of Reversal
Where everything is just the opposite and the word 'is'
Unveils a meaning we hardly envisioned.
Notice: I say we; there, every one, separately,
Feels compassion for others entangled in the flesh
And knows that if there is no other shore
We will walk that aerial bridge all the same.
~ Czeslaw Milosz
68:Prayers are not always…“granted.” This is not because prayer is a weaker kind of causality, but because it is a stronger kind. When it “works” at all it works unlimited by space and time. That is why God has retained a discretionary power of granting or refusing it. Except on that condition prayer would destroy us. It is not unreasonable for a headmaster to say, “Such and such things you may do according to the fixed rules of this school. But such and such other things are too dangerous to be left to general rules. If you want to do them you must come and make a request and talk over the whole matter with me in my study. And then—we’ll see.”8 ~ Dallas Willard
69:It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur, because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners! ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
70:HOURS OF PRAYER Benedict established seven hours of prayer during the day and one at night; collectively they are known as “the Divine Office” or simply “the hours”: TRADITIONAL NAME NAME OF OFFICE TODAYTIME Vigils (or Matins) Office of Readings Midnight Lauds Morning Prayer 6 AM–11 AM (Prime) (No longer generally used) (6 AM–7 AM) Terce Midmorning Prayer 9 AM Sext Midday Prayer Noon None (rhymes with “tone”) Midafternoon Prayer 3 PM Vespers Evening Prayer 3 PM–6 PM Compline Night Prayer Before bed Praying at fixed times was not new to Benedict—it is as old as the psalmists. Nor was the use of the Psalter a Benedictine innovation. Already by the first generation, Christians were using the Psalter for prayers. ~ Scot McKnight
71:During this degenerate age in the outer world, there are many natural disasters due to the upsetting of the four elements. Also, demonic forces come with their many weapons to incite the fighting of wars. All of those forces have caused the world to come to ruin and led all to tremble - so terrified that their hair stands up on end. Still, the demonic forces find it necessary to come up with new types of weapons. If we were called on to confront them, there is no way we Dharma practitioners could defeat them. That is why we make supplication prayers to the three jewels, do the aspiration prayers, the offering prayers and the prayers of invocation. We are responsible for those activities. This is what I urge you to do. ~ Chatral Rinpoche,
72:Wednesday got comfortable, ordered himself a Jack Daniel’s. “My kind of people see your kind of people…” He hesitated. “It’s like bees and honey. Each bee makes only a tiny, tiny drop of honey. It takes thousands of them, millions perhaps, all working together to make the pot of honey you have on your breakfast table. Now imagine that you could eat nothing but honey. That’s what it’s like for my kind of people…we feed on belief, on prayers, on love. It takes a lot of people believing just the tiniest bit to sustain us. That’s what we need, instead of food. Belief.” “And Soma is…” “To take the analogy further, it’s honey wine. Mead.” He chuckled. “It’s a drink. Concentrated prayer and belief, distilled into a potent liqueur. ~ Neil Gaiman
73:People were patient with each other in the Grand Mosque, and communal—everyone washing his or her feet in the same fountain, with no shoving or prejudice. We were all Muslims in God’s house, and it was beautiful. It had a quality of timelessness. I think this is one reason Muslims believe that Islam means peace: because in a large, cool place full of kindness you do feel peaceful. But as soon as we left the mosque, Saudi Arabia meant intense heat and filth and cruelty. People had their heads cut off in public squares. Adults spoke of it. It was a normal, routine thing: after the Friday noon prayer you could go home for lunch, or you could go and watch the executions. Hands were cut off. Men were flogged. Women were stoned. ~ Ayaan Hirsi Ali
74:Beth had never been one of those girls who'd imagined her wedding. Acted it out with some barbies. Bought Bride magazine as soon as she hit her twenties.
She was pretty sure that if she had been, though, none of the hypotheticals would have resembled this in the slightest: surrounded by vampires, possibly pregnant, with a fallen angel in an Elvis costume mangling the ceremony from the Book of Common Prayer.
And yet as she stared up at her soon-to-be husband, she couldn't have pictured anything she would have liked more. Then again, when you were facing the right person? None of the things they talked about on television, no Vera Wang dress, no champagne waterfall, no DJ or place setting or party favor mattered. ~ J R WardBeth Ch.51 ~ J R Ward
75:We must march together, all out for God. The soldier who “cracks up” does not need sympathy or comfort as much as he needs strength. We are not trying to make the best of these days. It is our job to make the most of them. Now is not the time to follow God from “afar off.” This Army needs the assurance and the faith that God is with us. With prayer, we cannot fail. Be assured that this message on prayer has the approval, the encouragement, and the enthusiastic support of the Third United States Army Commander. With every good wish to each of you for a very Happy Christmas, and my personal congratulations for your splendid and courageous work since landing on the beach, I am G. S. Patton, Jr, Lieutenant General, Commanding Third United States Army. ~ Anonymous
76:church attendance was compulsory — the service was a remote affair. The whole emphasis was on the mystery of it, the priests like a secret society, the Latin words so awesome in their ancient verity that, although some phrases would have stuck over the years, the whole intention was to impress and to subdue and not to enlighten. There was of course no English Hymnal, and no Book of Common Prayer. You were at the mercy of the priests. Only they were allowed to read the word of God and they did even that silently. A bell was rung to let the congregation know when the priest had reached the important bits. The priest stood not as a guide to the Bible but as its guardian and as a guardian against common believers. They would not be allowed to enter into the Book. ~ Melvyn Bragg
77:Austin Phelps makes this point in a chapter in his volume on prayer. He tells of Ethelfrith, the pagan Saxon king of Northumbria, who had invaded Wales and was about to give battle. The Welsh were Christians, and as Ethelfrith was observing the army of his opponents spread out before him, he noticed a host of unarmed men. When he asked who they were, he was told that they were the Christian monks of Bangor, praying for the success of their army. Ethelfrith immediately realized the seriousness of the situation. “Attack them first,” he ordered. Phelps goes on to say that the non-Christians of the world often have more respect for the “sturdy reality” of prayer than we do. The power of prayer “is no fiction, whatever [we] may think of it.”334 If prayer is so powerful, how should we use it? ~ Timothy J Keller
78:I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany. I make no claims to have a life in Christ, or with Christ—and certainly not for Christ, which I’ve heard some zealots claim. I’m not very sophisticated in my knowledge of the Old Testament, and I’ve not read the New Testament since my Sunday school days, except for those passages that I hear read aloud to me when I go to church. I’m somewhat more familiar with the passages from the Bible that appear in The Book of Common Prayer; I read my prayer book often, and my Bible only on holy days—the prayer book is so much more orderly. I’ve ~ John Irving
79:Because we human beings are verbal and communal animals, we cannot remain wonder-struck and dumb. We need to say something. We are a species given to storytelling and philosophizing to explain our world. Ergo, it is pure folly to suppose we can avoid speaking about the ultimate context and meaning of our existence. We cannot simply be content with the private experience of elementary emotions and the great encompassing mystery. Our feelings demand expression. How are we to understand this perennial need to speak to G-d and about G-d even when what we say involves contradictions, paradoxes, and sacred nonsense? To communicate is to come back into the community. The hero must return from the inner journey to the common life of dialogue and engagement. PRAYERS TO AN ABSENT G-D ON PRAYER You ask me how to pray to someone who is not. ~ Sam Keen
80:Dietrich Bonhoeffer observed this same phenomenon at the underground seminary he served during his protest of Nazi Germany: He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone in our sin, living lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!22 ~ Rachel Held Evans
81:She had no need in her heart for either book or magazine. She had her own way of escape, her own passage into contentment: her rosary. That string of white beads, the tiny links worn in a dozen places and held together by strands of white thread which in turn broke regularly, was, bead for bead, her quiet flight out of the world. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. And Maria began to climb. Bead for bead, life and living fell away. Hail Mary, Hail Mary. Dream without sleep encompassed her. Passion without flesh lulled her. Love without death crooned the melody of belief. She was away: she was free; she was no longer Maria, American or Italian, poor or rich, with or without electric washing machines and vacuum cleaners; here was the land of all-possessing. Hail Mary, Hail Mary, over and over, a thousand and a hundred thousand times, prayer upon prayer, the sleep of the body, the escape of the mind, the death of memory, the slipping away of pain, the deep silent reverie of belief. Hail Mary and Hail Mary. It was for this that she lived. ~ John Fante
82:two brief, classic prayers written by Thomas Cranmer for the Church of England’s first Book of Common Prayer: Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from Your ways, like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devises and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Your holy laws. We have left undone those things that we ought to have done, and we have done those things that we ought not to have done, and there is no health in us. But You, O Lord, have mercy upon us miserable offenders. Spare those, O God, who confess their faults! Restore those who are penitent according to Your promises declared to mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for His sake, that we may hereafter live godly, righteous, and sober lives to the glory of Your holy name. Amen. Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You and worthily magnify Your holy name through Christ our Lord. Amen. ~ John F MacArthur Jr
83:The Sea By The Wood
I DWELL in the sea that is wild and deep,
But afar in a shadow still,
I can see the trees that gather and sleep
In the wood upon the hill.
The deeps are green as an emerald's face,
The caves are crystal calm,
But I wish the sea were a little trace
Of moisture in God's palm.
The waves are weary of hiding pearls,
Are aweary of smothering gold,
They would all be air that sweeps and swirls
In the branches manifold.
They are weary of laving the seaman's eyes
With their passion prayer unsaid,
They are weary of sobs and the sudden sighs
And movements of the dead.
All the sea is haunted with human lips
Ashen and sere and gray,
You can hear the sails of the sunken ships
Stir and shiver and sway
In the weary solitude;
If mine were the will of God, the main
Should melt away in the rustling wood
Like a mist that follows the rain.
But I dwell in the sea that is wild and deep
And afar in the shadow still,
I can see the trees that gather and sleep
In the wood upon the hill.
~ Duncan Campbell Scott
84:an unrestrained infatuation with ecstasy and other extraordinary phenomena developed. These experiences were thought of as something to be obtained at all costs. Among some noted but deceptive visionaries of the time was the stigmatic, María de Santo Domingo (1486-1524), known as the Beata of Piedrahita. Her monastery became a center of spirituality and high prayer; she herself wrote a book on prayer and contemplation. But soon the Master General of the Dominicans had to isolate her because of certain aberrations and prophetic revelations. No one in the order, with the exception of her confessor, was allowed to converse with her or administer the sacraments to her; nor was anyone allowed to speak about her prophecies, ecstasies, and raptures, except to the provincial. Another visionary, Magdalena de la Cruz, a Poor Clare with a reputation for holiness, severe fasts, and long vigils, also bearing the stigmata, let it be known that she no longer required any food except the consecrated Host in daily Communion. In an investigation by the Inquisition she confessed to being a secret devil worshiper. Inspired by two incubuses with whom she had made a pact, she became very skillful at all sorts of legerdemain. Through her success in fooling both bishops and kings, she brought the fear of being deceived to all of Spain. ~ Teresa of vila
85:Over the past five years, I’ve said my best prayers every night, haven’t missed a night, though I gotta admit, if it wouldn’t break my mother’s heart, I’d probably have stopped a year ago. I mean, praying to be free of Hiskott only makes me expect to be free soon, and then when the prayer’s never answered, you feel even worse, and you wonder what’s the point. I’m not criticizing God, if that’s what you think, because nobody knows why God does things or how He thinks, and He’s humongously smarter than any of us, even smarter than Ed. They say He works in mysterious ways, which is for sure true. What I’m saying is, maybe the whole praying business is a human idea, maybe God never asked us to do it. Yeah, all right, He wants us to like Him, and He wants us to respect Him, so we’ll live right and do good. But God is good—right?—and to be really good you’ve got to have humility, we all know that, so then if God is the best of the best, then He’s also the humblest of the humble. Right? So maybe it embarrasses Him to be praised like around the clock, to be called great and mighty all the time. And maybe it makes Him a little bit nuts the way we’re always asking Him to solve our problems instead of even trying to solve them ourselves, which He made us so we could do. Anyway, so after almost giving up on prayer, and being pretty darned sure that God is too humble to sit around all day listening to us praise Him and beg Him, the funny thing is, I’m praying like crazy for Oddie. I guess I’m hopeless. ~ Dean Koontz
86:Charles is difficult to pigeonhole politically. Tony Blair wrote that he considered him a “curious mixture of the traditional and the radical (at one level he was quite New Labour, at another definitely not) and of the princely and insecure.” He is certainly conservative in his old-fashioned dress and manners, his advocacy of traditional education in the arts and humanities, his reverence for classical architecture and the seventeenth-century Book of Common Prayer. But his forays into mysticism and his jeremiads against scientific progress, industrial development, and globalization give him an eccentric air. “One of the main purposes of the monarchy is to unite the country and not divide it,” said Kenneth Rose. When the Queen took the throne at age twenty-five, she was a blank slate, which gave her a great advantage in maintaining the neutrality necessary to preserve that unity. It was a gentler time, and she could develop her leadership style quietly. But it has also taken vigilance and discipline for her to keep her views private over so many decades. Charles has the disadvantage of a substantial public record of strong and sometimes contentious opinions, not to mention the private correspondence with government ministers protected by exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act that could come back to haunt him if any of it is made public. One letter that did leak was written in 1997 to a group of friends after a visit to Hong Kong and described the country’s leaders as “appalling old waxworks. ~ Sally Bedell Smith
Father, for Jesus' sake,
Low at the footstool of Thy throne, I pray
That Thou, into Thine arms of love, to-day
My trembling soul wilt take.
Thine eyes can see, I know,
How many a dark and fearful spot of sin
Stains the white garment Thou didst clothe it in,
Once undefiled as snow.
I dare not come alone
Into Thy presence for that sin to plead;
But there is One who waits to intercede—
Whose merits will atone.
Into the holy place
He takes the incense of our common prayer,
Which, mingling with His own, ascendeth there
Up to Thy throne of grace.
All too unclean it is,
Too cold and weak, above this earth to rise,
Save He, in love eternal, sanctifies
And hallows it with His.
Therefore accept from me,
Through His hands, now, my weak and wavering will;
And deign my heart's deep longing to fulfil,
As it seems best to Thee.
Pour down Thy healing light
Into the dark depths of my soul this day;
Dissolve the mists and shadows—oh, I pray,
Let it no more be night!
Spirit of love, reveal
All hidden sins against Thy blessed name,
That I may weep for them in utter shame
As in Thy, church I kneel.
And now, oh cleanse them out!
Make fair again Thine olden dwelling-place;
And let the fruitful streams of love and grace
Compass it round about.
Lord, with repentance, give
Faith, deep and strong, that naught may undermine
Of all that's evil in this world of Thine—
Faith that shall breathe and live.
Pour from the hallow'd cup
Our dear Lord's stainless life into mine own;
Put it to my soul's lips—so thirsty grown—
And let them drink it up.
~ Ada Cambridge
88:Doggerel by a Senior Citizen
(for Robert Lederer)
Our earth in 1969
Is not the planet I call mine,
The world, I mean, that gives me strength
To hold off chaos at arm’s length.
My Eden landscapes and their climes
Are constructs from Edwardian times,
When bath-rooms took up lots of space,
And, before eating, one said Grace.
The automobile, the aeroplane,
Are useful gadgets, but profane:
The enginry of which I dream
Is moved by water or by steam.
Reason requires that I approve
The light-bulb which I cannot love:
To me more reverence-commanding
A fish-tail burner on the landing.
My family ghosts I fought and routed,
Their values, though, I never doubted:
I thought the Protestant Work-Ethic
Both practical and sympathetic.
When couples played or sang duets,
It was immoral to have debts:
I shall continue till I die
To pay in cash for what I buy.
The Book of Common Prayer we knew
Was that of 1662:
Though with-it sermons may be well,
Liturgical reforms are hell.
Sex was of course —it always is—
The most enticing of mysteries,
But news-stands did not then supply
Then Speech was mannerly, an Art,
Like learning not to belch or fart:
I cannot settle which is worse,
The Anti-Novel or Free Verse.
Nor are those Ph.D’s my kith,
Who dig the symbol and the myth:
I count myself a man of letters
Who writes, or hopes to, for his betters.
Dare any call Permissiveness
An educational success?
Saner those class-rooms which I sat in,
Compelled to study Greek and Latin.
Though I suspect the term is crap,
There is a Generation Gap,
Who is to blame? Those, old or young,
Who will not learn their Mother-Tongue.
But Love, at least, is not a state
Either en vogue or out-of-date,
And I’ve true friends, I will allow,
To talk and eat with here and now.
Me alienated? Bosh! It’s just
As a sworn citizen who must
Skirmish with it that I feel
Most at home with what is Real. ~ W H Auden
89:As the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, the monarch is the defender of the faith—the official religion of the country, established by law and respected by sentiment. Yet when the Queen travels to Scotland, she becomes a member of the Church of Scotland, which governs itself and tolerates no supervision by the state. She doesn’t abandon the Anglican faith when she crosses the border, but rather doubles up, although no Anglican bishop ever comes to preach at Balmoral. Elizabeth II has always embraced what former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey called the “sacramental manner in which she views her own office.” She regards her faith as a duty, “not in the sense of a burden, but of glad service” to her subjects. Her faith is also part of the rhythm of her daily life. “She has a comfortable relationship with God,” said Carey. “She’s got a capacity because of her faith to take anything the world throws at her. Her faith comes from a theology of life that everything is ordered.” She worships unfailingly each Sunday, whether in a tiny chapel in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec or a wooden hut on Essequibo in Guyana after a two-hour boat ride. But “she doesn’t parade her faith,” said Canon John Andrew, who saw her frequently during the 1960s when he worked for Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey. On holidays she attends services at the parish church in Sandringham, and at Crathie outside the Balmoral gates. Her habit is to take Communion three or four times a year—at Christmas, Easter, Whitsunday, and the occasional special service—“an old-fashioned way of being an Anglican, something she was brought up to do,” said John Andrew. She enjoys plain, traditional hymns and short, straightforward sermons. George Carey regards her as “middle of the road. She treasures Anglicanism. She loves the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, which is always used at Sandringham. She would disapprove of modern services, but wouldn’t make that view known. The Bible she prefers is the old King James version. She has a great love of the English language and enjoys the beauty of words. The scriptures are soaked into her.” The Queen has called the King James Bible “a masterpiece of English prose. ~ Sally Bedell Smith
90:See? I long to be your spiritual guide. I really do, and I will. Love is my motive, rather than any elevated belief in my own knowledge, contemplative work, experience, or maturity. And may God correct what I get wrong. For he knows everything, and I only know in part.1 Now to satisfy your proud intellect, I will praise the work of contemplation. You should know that if those engaged in this work had the linguistic talent to express exactly what they’re experiencing, then every scholar of Christianity would be amazed by their wisdom. It’s true! In comparison, all theological erudition would look like total nonsense. No wonder, then, that my clumsy human speech can’t describe the immense value of this work to you, and God forbid that the limitations of our finite language should desecrate and distort it. No, this must not and will not happen. God forbid that I would ever want that! For our analysis of contemplation and the exercise itself are two entirely different things. What we say of it is not it, but merely a description. So, since we can’t define it, let’s describe it. This will baffle all intellectual conceit, especially yours, which is the sole reason I’m writing this letter. I want to start off by asking you a question. What is the essence of human spiritual perfection, and what are its qualities? I’ll answer this for you. On earth, spiritual perfection is only possible through the union between God and the human soul in consummate love. This perfection is pure and so sublime that it surpasses our human understanding, and that’s why it can’t be directly grasped or observed. But wherever we see its consequences, we know that the essence of contemplation abounds there. So, if I tell you that this spiritual discipline is better than all others, then I must first prove it by describing what mature love looks like. This spiritual exercise grows virtues. Look within yourself as you contemplate and also examine the nature of every virtue. You’ll find that all virtues are found in and nurtured by contemplation with no distortion or degeneration of their purposes. I’m not going to single out any particular virtue here for discussion. I don’t need to because you can find them described in other things I’ve written.2 I’ll only comment here that contemplative prayer, when done right, is the respectful love and ripe fruit that I discuss in your little Letter on Prayer. It’s the cloud of unknowing, the hidden love-longing offered by a pure spirit. It’s the Ark of the Covenant.3 It’s the mystical theology of Dionysius, the wisdom and treasure of his “bright darkness” and “unknown knowing.” It takes you into silence, far from thoughts and words. It makes your prayer very short. In it, you learn how to reject and forget the world. ~ Anonymous
91:To realize we love another to get love because we do not love our own self is one of our core human wounds. For each of the two parts of this prayer meditation, express out loud or silently these sentences. Let the feelings and memories come. Express the feelings intuitively, changing and adding to the sentences if it helps. You can repeat one sentence several times in a row until you feel it, or go straight into the next one. You can improvise sentences that may better fit your feelings. One may also experience spirit interference in this prayer meditation. This can manifest as voices and feelings disagreeing with it. Unless you are living as unconditional love, you can be sure these are negative spirits trying to dissuade you from traveling deeper into your own wounds to release them, thereby banishing these spirit influences forever. Do each part for one hour. This meditation prayer can be about two hours long. Center yourself and drop into a prayerful, silent heartful space. Ask to become vulnerable and open your heart. Part One: I am not loved I am not loved I am not loved I have never been loved My parents did not love me I need love I need love I need love Please love me My quest for love has never worked My quest for love will never work Nobody really loves me Nobody really loved me How do you feel? Part Two: I am love I am love I am love God loves me God loves me God loves me God desires me God desires me God desires me I am love I am love I am love (from your heart) I am not loved I have never been loved I am not loved I am not LOVED I am just not loved No one has ever loved me No one loves me I am not loved I am not loved I do not love myself I do not love myself I do not love myself I am loved I am loved I am loved I am LOVED God is not here for me God has never been here for me God is not here for me God has left me I am not loved I have never been loved No one loves me God loves me God LOVES me God wants me God wants me God LOVES me God WANTS me God desires me I don’t want God I don’t want God I don’t want God I want fear I want fear I want fear I AM LOVED I AM LOVED I AM LOVED God wants me God desires me God loves me What does this make you feel? The experience of love and need in co-dependent relationships In such a relationship, one or both partners cover each others emotions by giving false comfort, false ‘love’ and other placating behaviors that prevent the other in deeply feeling and owning their own emotions. When you want to get out of this pattern, this prayer meditation will help. It will let both partners feel the truth of the unspoken demand of love and how they respond to it. Simply sit in front of your partner and express out loud these sentences as a way to reveal the unconscious behavior that is being played out between you both. ~ Padma Aon Prakasha
92:Two centuries ago, the United States settled into a permanent political order, after fourteen years of violence and heated debate. Two centuries ago, France fell into ruinous disorder that ran its course for twenty-four years. In both countries there resounded much ardent talk of rights--rights natural, rights prescriptive. . . .
[F]anatic ideology had begun to rage within France, so that not one of the liberties guaranteed by the Declaration of the Rights of Man could be enjoyed by France's citizens. One thinks of the words of Dostoievski: "To begin with unlimited liberty is to end with unlimited despotism." . . .
In striking contrast, the twenty-two senators and fifty-nine representatives who during the summer of 1789 debated the proposed seventeen amendments to the Constitution were men of much experience in representative government, experience acquired within the governments of their several states or, before 1776, in colonial assembles and in the practice of the law. Many had served in the army during the Revolution. They decidedly were political realists, aware of how difficult it is to govern men's passions and self-interest. . . . Among most of them, the term democracy was suspect. The War of Independence had sufficed them by way of revolution. . . .
The purpose of law, they knew, is to keep the peace. To that end, compromises must be made among interests and among states. Both Federalists and Anti-Federalists ranked historical experience higher than novel theory. They suffered from no itch to alter American society radically; they went for sound security. The amendments constituting what is called the Bill of Rights were not innovations, but rather restatements of principles at law long observed in Britain and in the thirteen colonies. . . .
The Americans who approved the first ten amendments to their Constitution were no ideologues. Neither Voltaire nor Rousseau had any substantial following among them. Their political ideas, with few exceptions, were those of English Whigs. The typical textbook in American history used to inform us that Americans of the colonial years and the Revolutionary and Constitutional eras were ardent disciples of John Locke. This notion was the work of Charles A. Beard and Vernon L. Parrington, chiefly. It fitted well enough their liberal convictions, but . . . it has the disadvantage of being erroneous. . . .
They had no set of philosophes inflicted upon them. Their morals they took, most of them, from the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. Their Bill of Rights made no reference whatever to political abstractions; the Constitution itself is perfectly innocent of speculative or theoretical political arguments, so far as its text is concerned. John Dickinson, James Madison, James Wilson, Alexander Hamilton, George Mason, and other thoughtful delegates to the Convention in 1787 knew something of political theory, but they did not put political abstractions into the text of the Constitution. . . .
Probably most members of the First Congress, being Christian communicants of one persuasion or another, would have been dubious about the doctrine that every man should freely indulge himself in whatever is not specifically prohibited by positive law and that the state should restrain only those actions patently "hurtful to society." Nor did Congress then find it necessary or desirable to justify civil liberties by an appeal to a rather vague concept of natural law . . . .
Two centuries later, the provisions of the Bill of Rights endure--if sometimes strangely interpreted. Americans have known liberty under law, ordered liberty, for more than two centuries, while states that have embraced the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, with its pompous abstractions, have paid the penalty in blood. ~ Russell Kirk
Thousand minstrels woke within me,
Our music's in the hills;
Gayest pictures rose to win me,
Up!If thou knew'st who calls
To twilight parks of beech and pine,
High over the river intervals,
Above the ploughman's highest line,
Over the owner's farthest walls;
Up!where the airy citadel
O'erlooks the purging landscape's swell.
Let not unto the stones the day
Her lily and rose, her sea and land display;
Read the celestial sign!
Lo! the South answers to the North;
Bookworm, break this sloth urbane;
A greater Spirit bids thee forth,
Than the gray dreams which thee detain.
Mark how the climbing Oreads
Beckon thee to their arcades;
Youth, for a moment free as they,
Teach thy feet to feel the ground,
Ere yet arrive the wintry day
When Time thy feet has bound.
Accept the bounty of thy birth;
Taste the lordship of the earth.
I heard and I obeyed,
Assured that he who pressed the claim,
Well-known, but loving not a name,
Was not to be gainsaid.
Ere yet the summoning voice was still,
I turned to Cheshire's haughty hill.
From the fixed cone the cloud-rack flowed
Like ample banner flung abroad
Round about, a hundred miles,
With invitation to the sea, and to the bordering isles.
In his own loom's garment drest,
By his own bounty blest,
Fast abides this constant giver,
Pouring many a cheerful river;
To far eyes, an arial isle,
Unploughed, which finer spirits pile,
Which morn and crimson evening paint
For bard, for lover, and for saint;
The country's core,
Inspirer, prophet evermore,
Pillar which God aloft had set
So that men might it not forget,
It should be their life's ornament,
And mix itself with each event;
Their calendar and dial,
Barometer, and chemic phial,
Garden of berries, perch of birds,
Pasture of pool-haunting herds,
Graced by each change of sum untold,
Earth-baking heat, stone-cleaving cold.
The Titan minds his sky-affairs,
Rich rents and wide alliance shares;
Mysteries of color daily laid
By the great sun in light and shade,
And, sweet varieties of chance,
And the mystic seasons' dance,
And thief-like step of liberal hours
Which thawed the snow-drift into flowers.
O wondrous craft of plant and stone
By eldest science done and shown!
Happy, I said, whose home is here,
Fair fortunes to the mountaineer!
Boon nature to his poorest shed
Has royal pleasure-grounds outspread.
Intent I searched the region round,
And in low hut my monarch found.
He was no eagle and no earl,
Alas! my foundling was a churl,
With heart of cat, and eyes of bug,
Dull victim of his pipe and mug;
Woe is me for my hopes' downfall!
Lord! is yon squalid peasant all
That this proud nursery could breed
For God's vicegerency and stead?
Time out of mind this forge of ores,
Quarry of spars in mountain pores,
Old cradle, hunting ground, and bier
Of wolf and otter, bear, and deer;
Well-built abode of many a race;
Tower of observance searching space;
Factory of river, and of rain;
Link in the alps' globe-girding chain;
By million changes skilled to tell
What in the Eternal standeth well,
And what obedient nature can,
Is this colossal talisman
Kindly to creature, blood, and kind,
And speechless to the master's mind?
I thought to find the patriots
In whom the stock of freedom roots.
To myself I oft recount
Tales of many a famous mount.
Wales, Scotland, Uri, Hungary's dells,
Roys, and Scanderbegs, and Tells.
Here now shall nature crowd her powers,
Her music, and her meteors,
And, lifting man to the blue deep
Where stars their perfect courses keep,
Like wise preceptor lure his eye
To sound the science of the sky,
And carry learning to its height
Of untried power and sane delight;
The Indian cheer, the frosty skies
Breed purer wits, inventive eyes,
Eyes that frame cities where none be,
And hands that stablish what these see:
And, by the moral of his place,
Hint summits of heroic grace;
Man in these crags a fastness find
To fight pollution of the mind;
In the wide thaw and ooze of wrong,
Adhere like this foundation strong,
The insanity of towns to stem
With simpleness for stratagem.
But if the brave old mould is broke,
And end in clowns the mountain-folk,
In tavern cheer and tavern joke,
Sink, O mountain! in the swamp,
Hide in thy skies, O sovereign lap!
Perish like leaves the highland breed!
No sire survive, no son succeed!
Soft! let not the offended muse
Toil's hard hap with scorn accuse.
Many hamlets sought I then,
Many farms of mountain men;
Found I not a minstrel seed,
But men of bone, and good at need.
Rallying round a parish steeple
Nestle warm the highland people,
Coarse and boisterous, yet mild,
Strong as giant, slow as child,
Smoking in a squalid room,
Where yet the westland breezes come.
Close hid in those rough guises lurk
Western magicians, here they work;
Sweat and season are their arts,
Their talismans are ploughs and carts;
And well the youngest can command
Honey from the frozen land,
With sweet hay the swamp adorn,
Change the running sand to corn,
For wolves and foxes, lowing herds,
And for cold mosses, cream and curds;
Weave wood to canisters and mats,
Drain sweet maple-juice in vats.
No bird is safe that cuts the air,
From their rifle or their snare;
No fish in river or in lake,
But their long hands it thence will take;
And the country's iron face
Like wax their fashioning skill betrays,
To fill the hollows, sink the hills,
Bridge gulfs, drain swamps, build dams and mills,
And fit the bleak and howling place
For gardens of a finer race,
The world-soul knows his own affair,
Fore-looking when his hands prepare
For the next ages men of mould,
Well embodied, well ensouled,
He cools the present's fiery glow,
Sets the life pulse strong, but slow.
Bitter winds and fasts austere.
His quarantines and grottos, where
He slowly cures decrepit flesh,
And brings it infantile and fresh.
These exercises are the toys
And games with which he breathes his boys.
They bide their time, and well can prove,
If need were, their line from Jove,
Of the same stuff, and so allayed,
As that whereof the sun is made;
And of that fibre quick and strong
Whose throbs are love, whose thrills are song.
Now in sordid weeds they sleep,
Their secret now in dullness keep.
Yet, will you learn our ancient speech,
These the masters who can teach,
Fourscore or a hundred words
All their vocal muse affords,
These they turn in other fashion
Than the writer or the parson.
I can spare the college-bell,
And the learned lecture well.
Spare the clergy and libraries,
Institutes and dictionaries,
For the hardy English root
Thrives here unvalued underfoot.
Rude poets of the tavern hearth,
Squandering your unquoted mirth,
Which keeps the ground and never soars,
While Jake retorts and Reuben roars,
Tough and screaming as birch-bark,
Goes like bullet to its mark,
While the solid curse and jeer
Never balk the waiting ear:
To student ears keen-relished jokes
On truck, and stock, and farming-folks,
Nought the mountain yields thereof
But savage health and sinews tough.
On the summit as I stood,
O'er the wide floor of plain and flood,
Seemed to me the towering hill
Was not altogether still,
But a quiet sense conveyed;
If I err not, thus it said:
Many feet in summer seek
Betimes my far-appearing peak;
In the dreaded winter-time,
None save dappling shadows climb
Under clouds my lonely head,
Old as the sun, old almost as the shade.
And comest thou
To see strange forests and new snow,
And tread uplifted land?
And leavest thou thy lowland race,
Here amid clouds to stand,
And would'st be my companion,
Where I gaze
And shall gaze
When forests fall, and man is gone,
Over tribes and over times
As the burning Lyre
With its stars of northern fire,
In many a thousand years.
Ah! welcome, if thou bring
My secret in thy brain;
To mountain-top may muse's wing
With good allowance strain.
Gentle pilgrim, if thou know
The gamut old of Pan,
And how the hills began,
The frank blessings of the hill
Fall on thee, as fall they will.
'Tis the law of bush and stone
Each can only take his own.
Let him heed who can and will,
Enchantment fixed me here
To stand the hurts of time, until
In mightier chant I disappear.
If thou trowest
How the chemic eddies play
Pole to pole, and what they say,
And that these gray crags
Not on crags are hung,
But beads are of a rosary
On prayer and music strung;
And, credulous, through the granite seeming
Seest the smile of Reason beaming;
Can thy style-discerning eye
The hidden-working Builder spy,
Who builds, yet makes no chips, no din,
With hammer soft as snow-flake's flight;
Knowest thou this?
O pilgrim, wandering not amiss!
Already my rocks lie light,
And soon my cone will spin.
For the world was built in order,
And the atoms march in tune,
Rhyme the pipe, and time the warder,
Cannot forget the sun, the moon.
Orb and atom forth they prance,
When they hear from far the rune,
None so backward in the troop,
When the music and the dance
Reach his place and circumstance,
But knows the sun-creating sound,
And, though a pyramid, will bound.
Monadnoc is a mountain strong,
Tall and good my kind among,
But well I know, no mountain can
Measure with a perfect man;
For it is on Zodiack's writ,
Adamant is soft to wit;
And when the greater comes again,
With my music in his brain,
I shall pass as glides my shadow
Daily over hill and meadow.
Through all time
I hear the approaching feet
Along the flinty pathway beat
Of him that cometh, and shall come,
Of him who shall as lightly bear
My daily load of woods and streams,
As now the round sky-cleaving boat
Which never strains its rocky beams,
Whose timbers, as they silent float,
Alps and Caucasus uprear,
And the long Alleghanies here,
And all town-sprinkled lands that be,
Sailing through stars with all their history.
Every morn I lift my head,
Gaze o'er New England underspread
South from Saint Lawrence to the Sound,
From Katshill east to the sea-bound.
Anchored fast for many an age,
I await the bard and sage,
Who in large thoughts, like fair pearl-seed,
Shall string Monadnoc like a bead.
Comes that cheerful troubadour,
This mound shall throb his face before,
As when with inward fires and pain
It rose a bubble from the plain.
When he cometh, I shall shed
From this well-spring in my head
Fountain drop of spicier worth
Than all vintage of the earth.
There's fruit upon my barren soil
Costlier far than wine or oil;
There's a berry blue and gold,
Autumn-ripe its juices hold,
Sparta's stoutness, Bethlehem's heart,
Asia's rancor, Athens' art,
Slowsure Britain's secular might,
And the German's inward sight;
I will give my son to eat
Best of Pan's immortal meat,
Bread to eat and juice to drink,
So the thoughts that he shall think
Shall not be forms of stars, but stars,
Nor pictures pale, but Jove and Mars.
He comes, but not of that race bred
Who daily climb my specular head.
Oft as morning wreathes my scarf,
Fled the last plumule of the dark,
Pants up hither the spruce clerk
From South-Cove and City-wharf;
I take him up my rugged sides,
Half-repentant, scant of breath,
Bead-eyes my granite chaos show,
And my midsummer snow;
Open the daunting map beneath,
All his county, sea and land,
Dwarfed to measure of his hand;
His day's ride is a furlong space,
His city tops a glimmering haze:
I plant his eyes on the sky-hoop bounding;
See there the grim gray rounding
Of the bullet of the earth
Whereon ye sail,
In the uncontinented deep;
He looks on that, and he turns pale:
'Tis even so, this treacherous kite,
Farm-furrowed, town-incrusted sphere,
Thoughtless of its anxious freight,
Plunges eyeless on for ever,
And he, poor parasite,
Cooped in a ship he cannot steer,
Who is the captain he knows not,
Port or pilot trows not,
Risk or ruin he must share.
I scowl on him with my cloud,
With my north wind chill his blood,
I lame him clattering down the rocks,
And to live he is in fear.
Then, at last, I let him down
Once more into his dapper town,
To chatter frightened to his clan,
And forget me, if he can.
As in the old poetic fame
The gods are blind and lame,
And the simular despite
Betrays the more abounding might,
So call not waste that barren cone
Above the floral zone,
Where forests starve:
It is pure use;
What sheaves like those which here we glean and bind,
Of a celestial Ceres, and the Muse?
Ages are thy days,
Thou grand expressor of the present tense,
And type of permanence,
Firm ensign of the fatal Being,
Amid these coward shapes of joy and grief
That will not bide the seeing.
Hither we bring
Our insect miseries to the rocks,
And the whole flight with pestering wing
Vanish and end their murmuring,
Vanish beside these dedicated blocks,
Which, who can tell what mason laid?
Spoils of a front none need restore,
Replacing frieze and architrave;
Yet flowers each stone rosette and metope brave,
Still is the haughty pile erect
Of the old building Intellect.
Complement of human kind,
Having us at vantage still,
Our sumptuous indigence,
O barren mound! thy plenties fill.
We fool and prate,
Thou art silent and sedate.
To million kinds and times one sense
The constant mountain doth dispense,
Shedding on all its snows and leaves,
One joy it joys, one grief it grieves.
Thou seest, O watchman tall!
Our towns and races grow and fall,
And imagest the stable Good
For which we all our lifetime grope,
In shifting form the formless mind;
And though the substance us elude,
We in thee the shadow find.
Thou in our astronomy
An opaker star,
Seen, haply, from afar,
Above the horizon's hoop.
A moment by the railway troop,
As o'er some bolder height they speed,
By circumspect ambition,
By errant Gain,
By feasters, and the frivolous,
And makest sane.
Mute orator! well-skilled to plead,
And send conviction without phrase,
Thou dost supply
The shortness of our days,
And promise, on thy Founder's truth,
Long morrow to this mortal youth.
by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Monadnoc
2 Saint Teresa of Avila
2 Aldous Huxley
2 The Perennial Philosophy