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.
"Two-faced." "Forked tongue." Different cultures have different ways of indicating
a person who says one thing but whose heart means another. We think of them
as liars or cheaters. Words have great intrinsic power, and that power lives in
the heart, propelling their real meaning into the world around us.
It is critical that our words and our hearts
are in synch with each other.
Many religions utilize the power of words with chants and repeated prayers.
These words are filled with the holiness of all the ages.
As long as we remember to place our hearts in the same place as our words,
our prayers will sail heavenward to God's ears. And if no words come to our lips,
rest assured that the heart prays plenty loudly and clearly enough to be heard.
A story from the Sufi tradition:
A spiritual teacher was rowing a boat along a lake shore.
He heard someone chanting the word, "Alleluia."
"Ah, thought the teacher, they are chanting the most powerful
prayer. They say that if you chant it properly all kinds of powers
will be given to you. Now, I have never experienced those powers,
but I do know that the teachers all say you must chant the word as
Al-LE-lu-ia and this poor student is chanting Al-le-LU-ia. I should help him."
So the teacher beached his boat and entered the student's hut.
He told the student that the practice of the chant granted wonderful powers.
But he had also heard that the chant was properly sung as Al-LE-lu-ia. The
student was very grateful for this teaching. And as the teacher left and returned
to his boat he heard the student chanting, Al-LE-lu-ia. The teacher felt very good
that he had helped the student. But as he drifted out into the lake again he heard
the chant change. Now the student was back to his old ways, chanting Al-le-LU-ia.
Ah, the depths of human sinfulness and ignorance, sighed the teacher.
A few minutes later a touch to his shoulder startled him.
He looked around and saw the student walking on the water.
"I'm sorry, great teacher, but could you teach me the correct chant again?"
Excerpted from "Prayer,"
by Richard W. Chilson
Sorin Books, 2006
The practice of the Jesus Prayer is simple.
Stand before the Lord with the attention in the heart,
and call to Him:
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me!"
The essential part of this is not in the words, but in faith
and contrition, and self-surrender to the Lord. With these
feelings one can stand before the Lord even without any
words, and it will still be prayer.
Theophan the Recluse (1815-1894)
Russian Orthodox Monk
Bishop of Tambov
Take time to listen to what is said without words,
to obey the law too subtle to be written, to worship
the unnamable and to embrace the unformed.
Lao-Tzu (circa 6th century BC)
The Last Word :
May the words of my mouth and the
meditation of my heart be acceptable
to Thee, O Lord, my strength and
Conclusion of the "Shemoneh Esrei"
Jewish Sabbath prayer
Random Bonus Quote:
Do not learn how to react, but how to respond.
The Buddha (c. 563 BC - c. 483 BC)