Originally published 12-20-06
Welcome To The Religion Network!
I'm Lisa Bowman, editor of The Religion Network, a multi-faith Web site. This site provides inspirational quotes through an
exploration of a new spiritual theme every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Religion network is offered with the
conviction that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and furthermore, that finding the commonalities
among the world's religions is more healing than pointing up their differences.
Religion as an institution is a precious gift, blessing individuals and uplifting communities. However you choose to
worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.
ON TODAY'S SITE:
Sister St. Thomas, Paramahansa Yogananda, Pope Benedict XVI, Henry van Dyke
Alessandro Botticelli "Mystic Nativity" circa 1500
The Night Before Christmas
(A more spiritual version of the famous Christmas story)
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town,
St. Joseph was searching, walking up roads and down;
Our Lady was waiting, so meek and so mild,
While Joseph was seeking a place for the Child;
The children were nestled, each snug in their beds,
The grown-ups wouldn’t bother, there’s no room they said;
When even the innkeeper sent them away,
Joseph was wondering, where they would stay;
He thought of the caves in the side of the hills,
"Let's go there," said Mary, "It’s silent and still;"
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Made pathways of light for their tired feet to go;
And there in a cave, in a cradle of hay,
Our Savior was born on that first Christmas Day!
The Father was watching in heaven above,
He sent for His angels, His couriers of love;
More rapid than eagles God’s bright angels came;
Rejoicing and eager as each heard his name;
Come Power, Come Cherubs, Come Virtues, Come Raphael,
Come Thrones and Dominions, come Michael and Gabriel;
Now fly to the Earth, where My poor people live,
Announce the glad tiding, "My Son comes to give;"
The Shepherds were watching their flocks on this night,
And saw in the heavens an unearthly light;
The Angels assured them they’d nothing to fear,
"It’s Christmas," they said, "The Savior is here!"
They hastened to find Him, and stood at the door,
Till Mary invited them in to adore;
He was swaddled in bands from His head to His feet,
Never did the Shepherds see a baby so sweet!
He spoke not a word, but the shepherds all knew,
He was telling them secrets and blessing them too;
Then softly they left Him, The Babe in the hay,
And rejoiced with great joy on that first Christmas Day;
Mary heard them exclaim as they walked up the hill,
"Glory to God in the Highest, Peace to men of good will!"
Sister St. Thomas, B.N.D. de N
Leonardo da Vinci "Head of Christ"
Coax Christ today with your songs and the devotion of your heart,
and then coax him with your deepening Self-realization. With all the
intensity of your zeal and inner perception, merge your consciousness
in the happiness within. Forget time. When you feel joy spreading with-
in you, realize that Christ is hearing your song. You are not identified
with Christ if your concentration is merely on the words. But if
your joy is singing within, Christ is listening to you.
Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)
Wherever God's glory appears, light spreads throughout the world.
St. John tells us that:
"God is light and in Him there is no darkness."(1 John 1:5)
The light is a source of life.
But first, light means knowledge; it means truth,
as contrasted with the darkness of falsehood and ignorance.
Light gives us life, it shows us the way.
But light, as a source of heat, also means love.
Where there is love, light shines forth in the world;
where there is hatred, the world remains in darkness...
And so we pray: Lord, fulfill your promise!
Where there is conflict, give birth to peace!
Where there is hatred, make love spring up!
Where darkness prevails, let light shine!
Make us heralds of your peace.
From Pope Benedict XVI's homily
Christmas Eve, 2005
The Last Word:
Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest
thing in the world - stronger than hate, stronger than
evil, stronger than death - and that the blessed life
which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years
ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love?
Then you can keep Christmas.
Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)
American educator, author and Presbyterian minister;
Totally Random Bonus Quote:
In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
Tao Te Ching