Volume XXV, No. 8
"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?”
September Greetings, Dear Friends of Silence! The summer vacations and holidays are about over now, and after a relaxing and renewing time for all of us, it's time now to return to our regular routines. As Kahlil Gibran says in The Prophet, "Work is love made visible.” Our work is our service to the world, our gift to the world. We are thankful for opportunities to make our love visible in this manner, grateful for work to which to return; and our prayerful thoughts and concern are with those in our midst who are not so fortunate. May all of us find our right work in the world, and may we perform it with gladness and love!
Recall the kind of feeling you have when you succeed, when you have made it, when you get to the top, when you win a game or an argument. And contrast it with the kind of feeling you get when you really enjoy the job you are doing, you are absorbed in, the action you are currently engaged in. . . . Notice the qualitative difference between the worldly feeling and the soul feeling. . . . Now attempt to understand the true nature of worldly feelings—of self-promotion, self-glorification. They are not natural, they were invented by your society and your culture to make you productive and to make you controllable. These feelings do not produce the nourishment and happiness that is produced when one contemplates nature or enjoys the company of one's friends or one's work. They were meant to produce thrills, excitement—and emptiness.
~ from THE WAY TO LOVE by Anthony de Mello,thanks to Paula Brown
Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.
~ from The Talmud
A spirituality of work is based on a heightened sense of sacramentality, of the idea that everything that is, is holy and that our hands consecrate it to the service of God. . . when we care for everything we touch and touch it reverently, we become the creators of a new universe. Then we sanctify our work and our work sanctifies us.
A spirituality of work puts us in touch with our own creativity. . . Work enables us to put our personal stamp of approval . . . the autograph of our souls on the development of the world. . .
A spirituality of work draws us out of ourselves and, at the same time, makes us more of what we are meant to be. Good work . . . develops qualities of compassion and character in me.
My work also develops everything around it. There is nothing I do that does not affect the world in which I live. In developing a spirituality of work, I learn to trust beyond reason that good work will gain good things for the world, even when I don't expect them and I can't see them.
~ Joan Chittister, in "Vision and Viewpoint,” an e-newsletter
Pavarotti retains a kind of religious, mystical, commitment to his "work.” And he insists on referring to it as "work,” claiming: "You can always love your work; your profession, at best, you can exercise.” Few people realize that the joyful tenor, the man who is always smiling, is almost a cloistered monk . . .
~ from THE TENOR'S SON by Candido Bonvicini
It puzzles people at first, to see how little the able leader actually does,
and yet how much gets done.
But the leader knows that is how things work. After all, Tao does nothing at all,
yet everything gets done.
When the leader gets too busy,
the time has come to return to
Selflessness gives one center. Center creates order.
When there is order, there is little to do.
~ "37. Doing Little” in THE TAO OF LEADERSHIP by John Heider
Your job in the scheme of things is unique and designed especially for you. Your job is something you will be happy doing . . . You can begin to do your job in life by doing all the good things you feel motivated toward, even though they are just little things. . . .
~ Peace Pilgrim
It is not easy to distinguish between doing what we are called to do and doing what we want to do. Our many wants can easily distract us from our true action. True action leads us to the fulfillment of our vocation. . . . Actions that lead to overwork, exhaustion, and burnout can't praise and glory God. What God calls us to do we can do and do well. When we listen in silence to God's voice and speak with our friends in trust we will know what we are called to do. We will do it with a grateful heart.
~ from CAN YOU DRINK THE CUP by Henri J.M. Nouwen
I slept and dreamt that life was joy
I woke and saw that life was service
I acted and behold! service was joy.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
We can truly be successful only in the work to which we have been called. The work is not ours. It is God's, and we are privileged to be worked through by God . . . How foolish, then, for anyone to think and proclaim that he has a certain work to do for God. God may have a certain work to do through him, that is if he is sufficiently humble, but that is quite a different thing . . .
~ Harry T. Hamblin
Each of us has something within us that needs to be expressed. It may be the desire to play an instrument, paint landscapes, climb mountains, or grow prize-winning chrysanthemums. Whatever that desire is, it comes from our heart and reflects our own unique gifts and abilities. . . .
~ G. Jean Anderson
Follow your heart-song: your work and life's joy will flow as one in the service of Love.
~ from LUMEN CHRISTI…HOLY WIDOM by Nan Merrill
Let us ponder over this basic truth till we are steeped in it, till it becomes as familiar to us as our awareness of shapes or our reading of words: God, at the most vitally active and most incarnate, is not remote from us, wholly apart from the sphere of the tangible; on the contrary, at every moment God awaits us in the activity, the work to be done, which every moment brings. God is, in a sense, at the point of my pen, my pick, my paint-brush, my needle—and my heart and my thought. It is by carrying to its natural completion the stroke, the line, the stitch I am working on that I shall lay hold on that ultimate end towards which my will at its deepest levels tends.
~ from HYMN OF THE UNIVERSE by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin