|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:
SuZanne C. Cole, Aristotle, Book of Mark, Reinhold Niebuhr, Lin Yutang, Kanuri Proverb
The painting, "Hope," by popular Victorian artist George Frederic Watts, was taped to the inside of my
medicine cabinet for years. I loved the painting, but couldn't figure out its meaning. I knew by the title that I
should be inspired by it, but the image of this lovely, sad, blindfolded woman playing a broken instrument
mostly just broke my heart. Still, I taped it up, intent on leaving the print there until I could unravel its mystery.
When we sold the house 18 months ago, I decided I was satisfied enough to crumple it up and throw it away.
It helps to know that Watts, who purposely painted symbolically, meant this particular painting as one in an
entire cycle of spiritually symbolic artworks. Gaze at it, and you begin to read his meaning. Hope is depicted
as eternally beautiful and young. She rests upon the whole world, dressed in graceful, gossamer folds. Yes,
her instrument's string is snapped, but she plays on her song of hope, unperturbed. The blindfold bothered
me for a long time. It seemed cruel that she could not see the star twinkling above her. Now, I believe Watts
was saying that real hope doesn't require seeing the obvious solution, the immediate help. Hope is an
exquisite, quiet, unending melody played beneath a star that is not yet seen, but always known.
I welcome your thoughts and observations.
"Hope" 1885 George Frederic Watts
Living in Hope
When I feel most alone,
Hope holds my hand.
When sadness buckles me,
Hope helps me stand.
When circumstances overwhelm me,
Hope restores my energy.
When chores numb and bore me,
Hope glorifies them.
When I fear self-revelation,
Hope gives me courage to be myself.
To live in hope is to believe
in light when it is dark,
in beauty when ugliness abounds,
in peace when conflict reigns,
in love when hatred marches.
May I never stop hoping.
SuZanne C. Cole
From "Bless the Day,"
by June Cotner
Kodansha International, 1998
Hope is a waking dream.
Aristotle (384-322 B. C.)
Ancient Greek philosopher
There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She has suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had
spent all she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in a crowd
and touched his cloak. She said, "If I but touch his clothes, I shall
be cured." Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her
body that she was healed of her affliction. Jesus, aware at once
that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd
and asked, "Who has touched my clothes?"
... The woman,
realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and
trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole
truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."
Mark 5:25-30, 33-34
New American Bible
Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
Therefore, we are saved by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful or good makes
complete sense in any immediate context of history;
Therefore, we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore, we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint
of our friend or foe as from our own;
Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
American Protestant theologian
Hope is like a road in the country;
there was never a road,
but when many people walk on it,
the road comes into existence.
Lin Yutang (1895-1976)
Chinese writer and inventor
The Last Word:
The pillar of the world is hope.
Totally Random Bonus Quote:
If we have listening ears, God speaks to us
in our own language, whatever that language is.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
Indian spiritual leader
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