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:
Wayne Teasdale, Bede Griffiths, Carl Schurz,
Samuel Ullman, Langston Hughes, Patrick Overton
This evening I wrapped a Christmas gift for our 11-year-old granddaughter. It's a snow
globe enclosing a sweet, kneeling fairy. This is probably not destined to be her favorite
gift under the tree. She's bright and sophisticated and asked for a computer and some
video games! But I bought the snow globe just so I could write this on the tag: "Never
lose the magic. Ever!" It's not that I want her to believe in fairies. Nor do I want her to
believe in magic. The fairy, the magic and the snow glitter are standing in for what I do
want her to believe in: wonder.
My wish is for her to stay open to awe. My hope is that
beauty will always touch her heart with mystery; that she'll look up at stars to dream.
When birds fly overhead, I want her heart to soar on their wings over the treetops.
I wish I'd thought of all this with her older sister. She's 15 and a snow globe won't work.
Sure, there'll be another way to share the concept of wonder with her. But it'll be more
complicated and adult. Or maybe not. When I saw that fairy in its snow globe on the store
shelf, my heart did a little twirl of wonder. Perhaps wonder is in our DNA, is our destiny.
Photo by Chuck Bowman All rights reserved
Bede Griffiths was a youthful agnostic, a brilliant intellectual who lived
much in his mind in the earlier part of his life...In his autobiography,
"The Golden String," Bede relates how he went for a walk on the last day
of school before his departure. As the dusk was quickly approaching, he
heard the birds singing differently than usual --- or rather, he heard them for
the first time. This simple experience granted him a sense of the divine's
presence in the natural world and radically altered...his life. He tells us:
Now I was suddenly made aware of another world of beauty and mystery
such as I had never imagined to exist, except in poetry...I experienced an
overwhelming emotion in the presence of nature, especially at evening. It
began to wear a kind of sacramental awe, and in the hush which comes
before sunset, I felt again the presence of an unfathomable mystery. The
songs of the birds, the shapes of the trees, the colors of the sunset, were
so many signs of this presence, which seemed to be drawing me to itself.
Excerpted from "The Mystic Heart,"
by Wayne Teasdale
New World Library, 2001
Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in
touching them with your hands. But like the
seafaring man on the desert of waters, you
choose them as your guides, and following
them you will reach your destiny.
Carl Schurz (1829-1906)
German Revolutionary, Union Army General in U.S. Civil War,
1st German-born U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of the Interior.
With his wife and sister, instrumental in establishing
the kindergarten system in the United States.
Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being's
heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing childlike appetite
of what's next, and the joy of the game of living.
Samuel Ullman (1840-1924)
American poet, businessman, humanitarian
civil rights advocate, lay rabbi
Raleigh, North Carolina Photo by Chuck Bowman All rights reserved
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is like a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
American poet, novelist, playwright
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The Last Word:
When you come to the edge of all the light you have,
and you must take a step into the darkness of the un-
known, believe that one of two things will happen.
Either there will be something solid for you to
stand on - or you will be taught how to fly.
Director of the Front Porch Institute in Astoria, Oregon;
poet, scholar, author, teacher and visual artist
Source: "Whispers of Encouragement,"
Barbour Publishing, 2009
Totally Random Bonus Quote:
I must be free and paint with my own rays
the color-free Sea of total Godhead.
17th century German poet
TO SEE THE SUFFERING
ADVENT & CHRISTMAS
With links to pages
full of inspirational
quotes, prayers, poems
and Bible quotes about
Christmas and Advent
previously published on
The Religion Network.