Assisi column and steps  

   The Religion Network publishes every Monday, Wednesday & Friday
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Published 6/30/10
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John C. Haughey, Leo Tolstoy, Book of Ephesians, Milarepa


Dear Readers,

As a professional dancer I stretched a lot. It was challenging because it
took my muscles just beyond the level of comfort, but it was vital to safe
movement and it was irreplaceable to the process of dancing beautifully.

Holy stretching can be even more uncomfortable than the physical. It's
also as irreplaceable to moving beautifully through life. Being called by
the Lord is a gift more precious than a physical talent. If you're reading
a site like this one, it's a pretty safe bet that you're being called to
join in the dance of holy stretching!

- Lisa

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Photo by Stephen Bowman       All rights reserved

Holiness is a stretch. We are stretched, and we accept being
stretched, but it is not a stretch that we initiate. Although the
stretch begins with the eros* of our never-satisfied, restless
human nature, the step is initiated by the help of God's Eros
toward us. God's Eros is the Spirit sent by the Father and the
Son. It is the Spirit that enables our stretching toward God.
"The love of God has been poured into our hearts through
the holy Spirit that has been given to us" (Rom. 5:5). The
stretch in the direction of God will not attract us unless we
have received the love of the One stretching us and
proceed in the direction we are moved to walk into.

Excerpted from "Housing Heaven's Fire,"
by John C. Haughey, S.J.
Loyola Press, 2002

*Note from Lisa: Eros is a Greek word referring to a passionate kind of love.
Plato, the Greek philosopher, redefined the word to exclude physical passion.
He wrote that eros enables the soul to recognize beauty, and that through
this eros, man is inspired to seek truth.


We must remind ourselves as often as possible that our true
life is not this external, material life that passes before our
eyes here on Earth, but that it is the inner life of our spirit
for which the visible life serves only as a scaffolding - a
necessary aid to our spiritual growth ... We must remind
ourselves and one another that the scaffolding has no
meaning or importance, except to make possible the
erection of the building itself.

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
Masterful Russian writer


I pray also that the eyes of your heart
may be enlightened in order that you may
know the hope to which he has called you,
the riches of his glorious inheritance
in the saints, and his incomparably
great power for us who believe.

Ephesians 1:18-19
Holy Bible
New International Version

The Last Word:

Before enlightenment, all things in the outer world
are deceptive and confusing. After enlightenment,
we see all things as magic shadow-plays, and all
objective things become helpful friends.

Milarepa (c. 1052 - c. 1135)
Famous Tibetan yogi and poet






























































Random Bonus Quote:

Practice is the best of all instructors.

Publilius Syrus (1st century)
Syrian-born slave who became a famous writer of maxims in ancient Rome


Welcome to
The Religion Network!

I'm Lisa Bowman, editor
of The Religion Network,
a multi-faith Web site.
We offer motivational
thoughts exploring
various topics each
Monday, Wednesday
and Friday.

The Religion Network
holds that inspiration is
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furthermore, that finding
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However you worship,
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Rejoicing the Heart

The Link of Silence


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