Assisi column and steps  

   The Religion Network publishes Monday, Wednesday & Friday
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   Originally published 1-13-10
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Kathy Ganino, Lao-tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Melody Beattie,
Book of Psalms, Francis de Sales, Max Lucado, Jean Sibelius


Dear Readers,

Being the object of someone's criticism can feel like being alone in a foxhole
with bombs raining all around! If the criticism is gentle and justified, it's like
being pelted in a paint ball war. But if we believe it's unjustified, it can feel
threatening and we want to protect ourselves...and why? Because it's our
ego that's under attack - that quirky fellow who doesn't take criticism well.

I happen to like boxing; I even did color commentary for a cable boxing show
when I was a radio sportscaster. I can see some of you cringing at the thought,
but it's true! I'm fascinated by its high speed chess game aspect, and also
by the subtle art of slipping a punch. Criticism is like boxing: step into the
ring and you know the other guy is going to come out swinging. Yet it's
possible to deflect and even "slip" criticism's punch.

And when it's not possible to slip the punch, we can take refuge because
the Lord knows the truth; he knows the depths of our heart. And we can
live confident that he protects us from those who wish to harm us:
"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able
to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."
(Ephesians 6:13, NKJV)

- Lisa

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tiled wall and pillars of spanish palace
Spanish palace photo by Stephen Bowman         All rights reserved

Wasted flight

I saw a ball of criticism
aimed directly at my soul.
I stepped aside, the ball flew by
and lost its strength,
fell out of sight.
My soul rejoiced
with thoughts
of wasted flight.

Kathy Ganino

Poet and writer


What is strong and rigid is snapped and laid low.
What is flexible and soft will always prevail.

Lao-tzu (6th century BC)
Ancient Chinese philosopher


You came to earth to accomplish a divine mission
(to be reunited with God). Do not allow the
narrow ego to obstruct your attainment
of an infinite goal.

Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)
Indian guru and yogi


The issue is not about others understanding
and taking us seriously. The issue is not about
others believing we're good and good enough.
...We are the ones that need to see the light.

Excerpted from "The Language of Letting Go,"
by Melody Beattie
Hazeldon, 1990

stream and trees, france
Photo by Chuck Bowman                 All rights reserved

Whoever sits in the refuge of the Most HIgh, he shall dwell
in the (protective) shade of the Almighty. I will say of Hashem,
"(He is) my refuge and my fortress, my God, I will trust in Him."
For He will deliver you from the ensnaring trap, from devastating
pestilence. With His pinion He will cover you, and beneath His
wings you will be protected; His truth is shield and armor. You
shall not fear the terror of night; nor the arrow that flies
by day; nor the pestilence that walks in gloom;
nor the destroyer who lays waste at noon.

Psalm 91:1-6
The Stone Edition Tanach



We shall steer safely through every storm, so long
as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our
courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God.

St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Bishop of Geneva


...(A)s grace infiltrates, criticism disintegrates. You know
you aren't who they say you are. You are who God says
you are. Spiritually alive. Heavenly positioned. Connected
to the Father. A billboard of mercy. An honored child.

Excerpted from "Come Thirsty,"
by Max Lucado
W Publishing Group, 2004

The Last Word:

No statue has ever been put up to a critic.

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
Finnish composer





























































Utterly Random Bonus Quote:

He who laughs, lasts.

Mary Pettibone Poole
Author of "A Glass Eye at the Keyhole," 1938


Welcome to
The Religion Network!

I'm Lisa Bowman, editor
of The Religion Network,
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