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ALL WET. "Our greatest work in the garden is not to produce something but to remain open to the invitation to love. Using the garden metaphor to illustrate our increasing cooperation with God's love, Teresa of Avila describes different ways of watering a garden. Her options of drawing water from a well, using an aqueduct, or simply allowing the rain to provide nourishment for the garden correspond to stages of our participation in God's love....

"I love to watch the rain dance on the earth and caress the leaves of plants. The silent act of rain is pure gift. Thomas Merton refers to it somewhere as a 'festival.' How often I have enjoyed the freshness of morning dew, the smell of wet humus, the mirror wet of a glistening stone path, find the small rivulets that etch their way through the garden. Mystics like John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and Julian of Norwich remind us that we are watered gardens, generously nourished with love." (From "Garden Solitude" by Wayne W. Simsic, in Weavings, January/February 2001)

IN THIS SEASON. To kick off a special "Internet edition" of Spirituality Cafe, a classic quote attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi, whose feast day is October 4: "Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words." (For easy access to the writings of Saint Francis, visit www.franciscanarchive.org.)

And from Franciscan Richard Rohr: "Saint Bonaventure, who is called the second founder of the Franciscan Order, took Francis' intuitive genius and made it into an entire philosophy. 'The magnitude of things clearly manifests the wisdom and goodness of the triune God, who by power, presence, and essence exists uncircumscribed in all things' (The Soul's Journey to God, 1 & 14). 'God is within all things but not enclosed; outside all things, but not excluded; above all things, but not aloof; below all things, but not debased' (v. 8)...

"Whoever, therefore, is not enlightened by such splendor of created things is blind; whoever is not awakened by such outcries is deaf, whoever does not praise God because of all these effects is dumb; whoever does not discover the First Principle from such clear signs is a fool." (www.cacradicalgrace.org)

GRATEFUL. "It is very easy to get so wrapped up in doing what you feel needs to be done that you forget to be grateful for the ability to do. To walk. To breathe. To think. These are gifts. To see. To hear. To feel. These are invaluable gifts." (Iyanla Vanzant, in One Day My Soul lust Opened Up; Simon & Schuster, 1997. Quoted at www.gratefulness.org)

CHEAP TALK. "A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable." (Early Desert Father Abba Pimen, quoted at www.justpeace.org)

For all links, visit Spirituality Cafe online: www.uscatholic.org.

IN PRACTICE. "One of the surest signs of shallow belief is if you're constantly seeking gifts and blessings for yourself and those closest to you.... Holiness does not exist for its own sake; if it does, then it's no longer holy. One can't be holy for one's own sake; the best of our own holiness is rags before God. Working on one's own holiness for its own sake misses the point. If you look in the Bible at where God commands or commissions--say, at the Ten Commandments, or the Great Commission--you'll find that they're not focused on you. It's 'your neighbors,' 'your mother and your father,' 'the kingdom of God,' 'love your enemies,' 'lend to others, expecting no return,' 'go therefore and make disciples.' God's commands turn outward from us, not inward." (www.spirithome.com)
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Title Annotation:religious quotations
Publication:U.S. Catholic
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Oct 1, 2001
Words:636
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