Assisi column and steps  

   The Religion Network publishes every Monday, Wednesday & Friday
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Published 4/30/10
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Simon Jacobson, Rabbi Harold Kushner, Henri Nouwen,
Barney Hamady, The Rebbe Schneerson


Dear Readers,

As time goes by...we age. The rate is consistent, but as the years go
along, its effect becomes more dramatic! If things go fairly smoothly,
we get to become old. Age is relative, of course. At eight, 16 seems old.
At 19, a 45-year-old appears near death. I've lived long enough to define
as old anyone over 100 years, and even that line is beginning to blur...

But let's flip our mentality: what if, instead of starting with youth and
subtracting life from each passing year & counting down until death of
the body, we began adding at life's starting line - joyously measuring
each passing year's wisdom, experience and beauty, culminating
with a glorious graduation when we depart for higher learning?

- Lisa

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door in budapest, hungary
Budapest, Hungary Photo by Lisa Bowman All rights reserved


If we were to measure life solely in terms of material
gain and productivity, then we would inevitably see
the physical weakening of old age as a liability. But
because man is primarily a spiritual being, whose
true wealth is measured in intellectual, emotional,
and spiritual gains, we recognize that the soul is
the primary force in life. And the soul, unlike
the body, never ages; it only grows.

As one ages, therefore, he should not decrease his
level of activity, for spiritually, he is growing ever
stronger...We must retrain the way we think, to
define success in the more sublime terms of ability
and competence, wisdom and experience.

Excerpted from "Toward a Meaningful Life:
The Wisdom of the Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson,"
by Simon Jacobson
Perennial Currents, 2002


We do ourselves and others a disservice when we make
old age something to be feared. Life is not a resource to
be used up, so that the older we get, the less life we have
left. Life is the accumulation of wisdom, love and exper-
ience of people encountered and obstacles overcome.
The longer we live, the more life we possess.

Excerpted from "Conquering Fear:
Living Boldly in an Uncertain World,"
by Rabbi Harold Kushner

old mailboxes on a country road
Photo by Chuck Bowman All rights reserved

Is aging a way to the darkness or a way to the light?
It is not given to anyone to make a final judgment,
since the answer can only be brought forth from the
center of our being. No one can decide for anyone else
how his or her aging shall or should be. It belongs to the
greatness of men and women that the meaning of their
existence escapes the power of calculations and pre-
dictions. Ultimately, it can only be discovered and
affirmed in the freedom of the heart...

Excerpted from "The Dance of Life,"
by Henri J. M Nouwen
Ave Maria Press, 2005


Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki said that the outer
edges and surfaces of God, as well as the outer
structures of our lives, appear to our finite
minds and sensibilities as tragedy. It looks
like everything ends up in a ditch. But the
eyes of faith enable us to peer below surface
realities and plumb the depths of God where, to
our surprise, we stumble upon permanent joy,
beauty, resurrection, and life...

Excerpted from "Making Life Work,
When Life is Working You,"
by Barney Hamady
Tate Publishing and Enterprises, 2009

The Last Word:

The soul never ages;
it only becomes more vibrant.

The Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson
(1902-1994)  Prominent hasidic rabbi

































































Utterly Random Bonus Quote:

Live with wolves, and you learn to howl.

Spanish proverb


Welcome to
The Religion Network!

I'm Lisa Bowman, editor
of The Religion Network,
a multi-faith Web site.
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