By drawing closer to the poor, little by little we become their confidants and counselors in the worst moments of this earthly pilgrimage. We can give them the comforting words of faith and often we succeed, not by our own merit, in putting on the right road people who have strayed without meaning to.
Faith lives on things that are most dark, just as hope lives best on the elements of despair.
— Blessed Nivard, OSB Cist.
It’s the tagline in the email attached to this blog. I haven’t changed it in over 2 years; must be good for something.
“I do not believe. I know.”
Let a man consider that God is always looking at him from heaven, that his actions are everywhere visible to the divine eyes and are constantly being reported to God by the Angels.
— St Benedict’s Rule of Order, on Humility
Walter Brueggeman, in a book on the prophets entitled Hopeful Imagination , suggests that “a sense of call in our time is profoundly countercultural,” and notes that “the ideology of our time is thatwe can live an ‘uncalled life,’ one not referred to any purpose beyond one’s self.” I suspect that this idol of the autonomous, uncalled life has a shadow side that demands that resist the notion that another might be different, might indeed experience a call. Our idol of the autonomous individual is a sham; the truth is we expect everyone to be the same, and dismiss as elitist those who are woriking through a call to any genuine vocation. It may be that our culture feats the necessary other that it has grown unable to identify and name real differences without becoming defensive about them.
— Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk