Daily Riches: Inconspicuous Piety and the Santification of Trifles (Abraham Heschel, Teresa of Avila, William Wordsworth, and Aldous Huxley)

“The path of spirituality is a knife-edge between abysses.” Aldous Huxley

“We are ready to applaud dramatic struggles once a year in Washington. For the sake of lofty principles we will spend a day or two in jail somewhere in Alabama. But that prosaic demand for housing without vermin, for adequate schools, for adequate employment – right here in the vicinity of Park Avenue in New York City – sound so trite, so drab, so banal, so devoid of magnificence. …The [Hebrew] prophets field of concern is not the mysteries of heaven, the glories of eternity, but the blights of society, the affairs of the market place. …The predominant feature of the biblical pattern of life is unassuming, unheroic, inconspicuous piety, the sanctification of trifles….” Abraham Heschel

“The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” William Wordsworth

“Let there be no disappointment when obedience keeps you busy in outward tasks. If it sends you to the kitchen, remember that the Lord walks among the pots an pans.” Teresa of Avila

“Among my people are wicked men
who lie in wait for victims like a hunter hiding in a blind.
They continually set traps to catch people.
Like a cage filled with birds,
their homes are filled with evil plots.
And now they are great and rich.
They are fat and sleek,
and there is no limit to their wicked deeds.
They refuse to provide justice to orphans
and deny the rights of the poor.”
Jeremiah 5:23-28

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • When is the last time you carefully read the Prophets? Have you drunk deeply enough there to be aware of their “field of concern?”
  • Are you committed to heroic, “dramatic struggles” on behalf of the poor or others? Does that keep you from “remembering the Lord among the pots and pans?”
  • Are you engaged in spiritual practices? Is your aim something like “inconspicuous piety?” Does that keep you from activity to address “the blights of society?”
  • What, in really concrete terms, would it mean for you to practice the “sanctification of trifles?”

Abba, balance me on the path which is a knife-edge between abysses.

For More:  The Insecurity of Freedom by Abraham Heschel

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Is Monastic Life Pointless? (Judith Valente, Aldous Huxley and Mother Teresa) *

“In all the historic formulations of the Perennial Philosophy it is axiomatic that the end of human life is contemplation … that a society is good to the extent that it renders contemplation possible for its members; and that the existence of at least a minority of contemplatives is necessary for the well-being of any society.”  Aldous Huxley

“I used to think of monasteries as hopeless throwbacks to the past, a case of let the last monk or sister standing turn out the lights. Now I look upon them as windows to the future — a future we desperately need in our society. One that stresses community over competition, consensus over conflict, simplicity over consumption, service over self-aggrandizement and quiet over the constant chatter in our lives.” Judith Valente

“The day consists primarily in prayer. …We are contemplatives who live in the midst of the world. …If we were not in constant union with God, it would be impossible for us to endure the sacrifices that are required to live among the destitute.” Mother Teresa

In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Can you see how contemplatives are “necessary for the well-being of any society?” Do you have any in your life to learn from?
  • Can you imagine a community that “stresses community over competition, consensus over conflict, simplicity over consumption, service over self-aggrandizement and quiet over the constant chatter in our lives?” Shouldn’t that be the church? Does your church regularly call its members to these “monastic” values? Do you practice some of them yourself?
  • Mother Teresa insists that radical service must be undergirded by a contemplative lifestyle. In Isaiah God says strength is found by trusting him in quiet “rest.” Does your trust in God lead you to quiet rest? Are you attempting to live contemplatively?

Abba, may I be a “contemplative in this world”, practicing these ancient values, for my good, and the good of my world.

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For More: Atchison Blue by Judith Valente

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Is Monastic Life Pointless? (Judith Valente, Aldous Huxley and Mother Teresa)

“In all the historic formulations of the Perennial Philosophy it is axiomatic that the end of human life is contemplation … that a society is good to the extent that it renders contemplation possible for its members; and that the existence of at least a minority of contemplatives is necessary for the well-being of any society.”  Aldous Huxley

“I used to think of monasteries as hopeless throwbacks to the past, a case of let the last monk or sister standing turn out the lights. Now I look upon them as windows to the future — a future we desperately need in our society. One that stresses community over competition, consensus over conflict, simplicity over consumption, service over self-aggrandizement and quiet over the constant chatter in our lives.” Judith Valente

“The day consists primarily in prayer. …We are contemplatives who live in the midst of the world. …If we were not in constant union with God, it would be impossible for us to endure the sacrifices that are required to live among the destitute.” Mother Teresa

In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Can you see how contemplatives are “necessary for the well-being of any society?” Do you have any in your life to learn from?
  • Can you imagine a community that “stresses community over competition, consensus over conflict, simplicity over consumption, service over self-aggrandizement and quiet over the constant chatter in our lives?” Shouldn’t that be the church? Does your church regularly call its members to these “monastic” values? Do you practice some of them yourself?
  • Mother Teresa insists that radical service must be undergirded by a contemplative lifestyle. In Isaiah God says strength is found by trusting him in quiet “rest.” Does your trust in God lead you to quiet rest? Are you attempting to live contemplatively?

Abba, may I be a “contemplative in this world”, practicing these ancient values, for my good, and the good of my world.

__________


For More: Atchison Blue by Judith Valente

_________________________________________________

The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)