"Peace!" the angel announced. But peace is as much task as gift. Only if we become calm as earth, fluid as water, and blazing as fire will we able to rise to the task of peacemaking, and the air will stir with the rush of wings of angels arriving to help us. This is why I wish you that great inner stillness which alone allows us to speak, even today, without irony, of "peace on earth" and, without despair, to work for it.
~ Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB, thanks to Toto Rendlen
The environment which I feel to be the natural one, the situation which has been assigned to me as my fate, the things that happen to me day after day, the things that claim me day after day -- these contain my essential task and such fulfillment of existence as is open to me... The Baal Shem teaches that no encounter with a being or a thing in the course of our life lacks a hidden significance. The people we live with or meet with, the animals that help us with our farm work, the soil we till, the materials we shape, the tools we use, they all contain a mysterious spiritual substance which depends on us for helping it towards its pure form, its perfection. If we neglect this spiritual substance sent across our path, if we think only in terms of momentary purposes, without developing a genuine relationship to the beings and things in whose life we ought to take part, as they in ours, then we shall ourselves be debarred from true fulfilled existence.
~ from THE WAY OF MAN by Martin Buber, as reprinted in AN ALMANAC FOR THE SOUL by Marv and Nancy Hiles
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