Brian Wilcox "'Virburnum 'Nantucket'"
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"Take the dimness of my soul away"—this seems to be the central function of spiritual exercises. This is enough! Enough!
*Howard Thurman. Meditations of the Heart.
There's magic all around us.
In the rocks and trees, and in the minds of men,
Deep hidden springs of magic.
He who strikes the rock aright, may find them where he will.
*Alfred Noyes. Watchers of the Sky.
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Story One ~ Ants and Calligraphy
The ants left their colony late one morning and took a left turn instead of their usual route straight ahead. Soon, they were walking on a white sheet of paper someone was writing on.
Amazed by the beauty of the script, a young ant, who could not see the fingers holding the pen, turned to the older ones and exclaimed, "Look at this beauty! See how breathtaking these incredible shapes are this pen is creating! I never knew forms could look so astonishing!"
An older ant, and more worldly-wise, rejoined, "This beauty is the work of the fingers holding the pen. The pen isn't the originator of this masterpiece, the hand is."
"You're both wrong!" a third ant intervened. "This is the work of the arm. Just look at those skinny, bony fingers. How could they ever create such a gem?"
Gradually, more ants joined in the debate, all eager to offer their opinions. Their leader, who was known for superior intelligence, finally declared, "Don't believe this work belongs to the realm of matter, because all matter vanishes with age like a dream. Material things are for physical life, but they're created out of intelligence and spirit."
Even the wise leader did not recognize that beyond intelligence and spirit, an act of God is ultimately essential for anything to become manifest.
*Maryam Mafia, Ed. The Book of Rumi.
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The late Howard Thurman, in Meditations of the Heart, writes reflections in prayer at the turn of a new year. Of the previous year, Thurman voices gratitude to his God for:
Moments of praise and thanksgiving when, in one grand sweep, the sheer wonder and beauty of living overwhelmed us—...
When was the last time you were struck speechless by sheer beauty? Or, instead, sang aloud or shouted in joy in response to the sense of the majestic?
Blissful and healing are the moments when one is overwhelmed by contemplating the veil of Grace through which gracefulness ushers us into rapturous adoration - whether voiced or silent. How tragic if we were to live without frequent visits to this intoxicated intimacy with the Glorious.