“In the long way that we take in, in our growing up, in the vicissitudes of life by which we are led into its meaning and mystery, there are established for us, for each one of us, certain landmarks. They represent discoveries sometimes symbolizing the moment when we became aware of the purpose of our lives; they may establish for us our membership in the human frailty; they may be certain words that were spoken into a stillness within us the sound thereof singing forever through all the corridors of our being as landmarks; yes, each one of us has our own…”
A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, and such a society is a house built upon sand.
They fail to read clearly the signs of the times who do not see that the hour is coming when, under the searching eye of philosophy and the terrible analysis of science, the letter and the outward evidence will not altogether avail us; when the surest dependence must be upon the Light of Christ within, disclosing the law and the prophets in our own souls, and confirming the truth of outward Scripture by inward experience; when smooth stones from the brook of present revelation shall prove mightier than the weapons of Saul; when the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, as proclaimed by George Fox and lived by John Woolman, shall be recognized as the only efficient solvent of doubts by an age of restless inquiry.
The time has come – it is long overdue – for a Christianity that is fresh and vital and in conformity with established truth, but, what is no less important, proves its reality by the test-tube method of corresponding results. Too long our Christianity has consisted of words – has begun and ended in words. We must have a Christianity that is self-demonstrative in results. Too long the Church has seen the world sag down to the pagan level and fight the wars which it has blessed and furnished youth to go out to fight, instead of being the organ of that divine love – that agape – which Christ lived and died to illustrate and transmit. And when these disastrous wars were over the Church has contented itself once more with pious words and talk instead of organizing a crusade of love to feed the hungry and rebuild the world on nobler lines. Every local church in Christendom ought to be a creative center of transforming life and love in its community…We should then have a Christianity of power and not one of ancient statements and present-day talk.
This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by
yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish
little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not
devote itself to making you happy.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I
live, my privilege to do for Whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly
used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.
Life is no “brief candle” to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got
hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible
before handing it on to future generations.
When death comes by Mary Oliver
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
Nothing is more practical than finding God,
that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read,
who you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love,
stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
–Fr. Pedro Arrupe via Shelly F.