Assisi column and steps  

   The Religion Network publishes every Monday, Wednesday & Friday
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   Originally published 2-1-10
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Catherine Whitmire, The Buddha, Thomas R. Kelly, Thomas Merton, Lama Surya Das


Dear Readers,

Once again I saw something ordinary today that nearly brought me to my knees.
Five pews ahead of my in church were a mother and, as I discovered later, her little
girl. All I could see was the back of the mother, dressed in dark pants and a plain top.
Wrapping below her waist were two small arms. They tightly hugged her "back side"
with simple, fervent love. What a concept by which to live. Our spiritual life doesn't
need to be any more complicated than that. Hug God as high up as you can.
If you can only reach as high as the little girl could, that's high enough.
He doesn't mind any more than that mom did.

(In case you don't know, the acronym K.I.S.S. stands for "Keep it Simple, Stupid."
That's a verbal nudge, not a thinly-veiled insult!)

- Lisa

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staircase at the Louvre, Paris
In the Louvre Museum          Photo by Stephen Bowman         All rights reserved

We have chosen lives that crowd our appointment books, fill
our e-mall boxes, and overload our answering machines, even
as we long for a plainer way of living--one that will free
us from the strain and anxiety of these times. The Spirit
is speaking through the whirlwind of modern life, and if
we listen quietly to the cool, calm Center within, there
is an invitation to plain living awaiting each of us.

Excerpted from "Plain Living, A Quaker Path to Simplicity,"
by Catherine Whitmire
Sorin Books, 2001


Greater happiness comes with simplicity than with complexity.

The Buddha (c. 563 - c. 483)


...Simplification comes when we "center down,"
when life is lived with singleness of eye,
from a holy Center
where the breath and stillness of Eternity
are heavy upon us and
we are wholly yielded to God.
Some of you know this holy,
recreating Center of eternal peace and joy
and live in it day and night.
Some of you may see it over the margin and
wistfully long
to slip into that amazing Center
where the soul is at home with God.
Be very faithful to that wistful longing.
It is the Eternal Goodness calling you to return Home.

Thomas R. Kelly (1893-1941)
Quaker missionary and author

white curtains
Photo by Lisa Bowman       All rights reserved

A simple intention rests in God while accomplishing all things.
It takes into account of particular ends in order to achieve them
for Him: but it does not rest in them. Since a simple intention does
not need to rest in any particular end, it has already reached the end
as soon as the work is begun. For the end of a simple intention is to
work in God and with Him--to sink deep roots into the soil of His
will and to grow there in whatever weather He may bring.

From "No Man is an Island,"
by Thomas Merton
Harcourt, Inc., 1983


The last fruit of holy obedience is the simplicity of the trusting child, the
simplicity of the children of God. It is the simplicity which lies beyond
complexity. It is the naivete which is the yonder side of sophistication
...The mark of this simplified life is radiant serene, unhurried
calm it walks in time with the joy and assurance of Eternity.

Thomas R. Kelly (1893-1941)
Quaker missionary and author

The Last Word:

Life is breath.
Breath is spirit.
Spirit is joy.

Lama Surya Das
From "Words of Wisdom,"
koa books, 2008





























































Utterly Random Bonus Quote:

Our aspirations are our possibilities.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
Anglican, British author


Welcome to
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