Narnia

I have come home at last!
This is my real country!
I belong here.
This is the land I have been looking for all my life,
though I never knew it till now…
Come further up, come further in!

Then two wonders happened at the same moment.
One was that the voice was suddenly joined by other voices;
more voices than you could possibly count.
They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices.
The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars.
They didn’t come out gently one by one, as they do on a summer evening.
One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand,
thousand points of light leaped out –
single stars, constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world.
There were no clouds.
The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time.
If you had seen and heard it, as Digory did,
you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves which were singing,
and that it was the First Voice, the deep one,
which had made them appear and made them sing.

Safe?” said Mr. Beaver.”Who said anything about safe?
‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.
He’s the King, I tell you.

But I cannot tell that to this old sinner,
and I cannot comfort him either;
he has made himself unable to hear my voice.
If I spoke to him, he would hear only growlings and roarings.
Oh, Adam’s son,
how cleverly you defend yourself against all that might do you good!

C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

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Peace

Louis Aston Knight,  Beaumont-le -Roger

Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:
I shall not fear anyone on Earth.
I shall fear only God.
I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
I shall conquer untruth by truth.
And in resisting untruth,
I shall put up with all suffering.
Mahatma Gandhi

We often think of peace as the absence of war,
that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals,
we could have peace.
But if we look deeply into the weapons,
we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance.
Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon,
the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there,
in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs.
To work for peace is to uproot war from
ourselves and from the hearts of men and women.
To prepare for war,
to give millions of men and women the opportunity
to practice killing day and night in their hearts,
is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration,
and fear that will be passed on for generations to come.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers,
hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul,
which are the causes of war.
If you love peace,
then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed –
but hate these things in yourself, not in another.
Thomas Merton

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God

The Road Home – Emerald Depths

It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us;
it is the very sign of His presence.
C.S. Lewis

And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history —
money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery —
the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God
which will make him happy.
C.S. Lewis

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust.
But how had I got this idea of just and unjust?
A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.
What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?
C.S. Lewis

The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us,
we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.
Francis Chan

It might be a good idea if, like the White Queen,
we practiced believing six impossible things every morning before breakfast,
for we are called on to believe what to many people is impossible.
Instead of rejoicing in this glorious “impossible” which gives meaning and dignity to our lives,
we try to domesticate God,
to make his mighty actions comprehensible to our finite minds.
Madeleine L’Engle

What the soul hardly realizes is that, unbeliever or not,
his loneliness is really a homesickness for God.
Dom Hubert Van Zeller

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Love 2

Hendrick Avercamp – Winter Landscape with Skaters

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody,
I think that is a much greater hunger,
a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
Mother Teresa

When people love each other, they are content with very little.
When we have light and joy in our hearts, we don’t need material wealth.
The most loving communities are often the poorest.
If our own life is luxurious and wasteful, we can’t approach poor people.
If we love people, we want to identify with them and share with them.
Jean Vanier

Every child, every person needs to know that they are a source of joy;
every child, every person, needs to be celebrated.
Only when all of our weaknesses are accepted as part of our humanity
can our negative, broken self-images be transformed.”
Jean Vanier

To love someone is to show to them their beauty,
their worth and their importance.”
Jean Vanier

A community is only being created when its members accept that they are not going to achieve great things, that they are not going to be heroes, but simply live each day with new hope, like children, in wonderment as the sun rises and in thanksgiving as it sets.
Community is only being created when they have recognized that the greatness of man is to accept his insignificance, his human condition and his earth, and to thank God for having put in a finite body the seeds of eternity which are visible in small and daily gestures of love and forgiveness. The beauty of man is in this fidelity to the wonder of each day.”
Jean Vanier

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Easter Poetry

Lent

Lent is a tree without blossom, without leaf,
Better than blackthorn in its winter sleep,
All unadorned. Unlike Christmas which decrees
The setting-up, the dressing-up of trees.

Lent is a taking down, a stripping bare,
A starkness after all has been withdrawn
Of surplus and superfluous,
Leaving no hiding place, only emptiness
Between black branches, a most precious space
Before the leaf, before the time of flowers;
Lest we should see only the leaf, the flower,
Lest we should miss the stars.
Jean M.Watt

Sightseers into Pilgrims

I used to think –
loving life so greatly –
that to die would be
like leaving a party
before the end.

Now I know that the party
is really happening
somewhere else;
that the light and the music –
escaping in snatches
to make the pulse beat
and the tempo quicken –
come from a long way away.

And I know too
that when I get there
the music will never end.
Evangeline Paterson

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There are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who prey upon them with IBM eyes
And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon.
There are men too gentle for a savage world
Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween
And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who anoint them for burial with greedy claws
And murder then for a merchant’s profit and gain.
There are men too gentle for a corporate world
Who dream instead of candied apples and ferris wheels
And pause to hear the distant whistle of a train.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves.
Who devour them with eager appetite and search
For other men to prey upon and suck their childhood dry.
There are men too gentle for an accountant’s world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And search for beauty in the mystery of the sky.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who toss them like a lost and wounded dove.
Such gentle men are lonely in a merchant’s world.
Unless they have a gentle one to love.

James Kavanaugh

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Science

Even if there is only one possible unified theory,
it is just a set of rules and equations.
What is it that breathes fire into the equations and
makes a universe for them to describe?
The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model
cannot answer the questions
of why there should be a universe for the model to describe.
Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?
Stephen Hawking

Science is not only compatible with spirituality;
it is a profound source of spirituality.
When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years
and in the passage of ages,
when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life,
then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined,
is surely spiritual.
So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature,
or acts of exemplary selfless courage
such as those M. Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr.
The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive
does a disservice to both.
Carl Sagan

Science investigates; religion interprets.
Science gives man knowledge, which is power;
religion gives man wisdom, which is control.
Science deals mainly with facts;
religion deals mainly with values.
The two are not rivals.
Martin Luther King Jr.

It would be possible to describe everything scientifically,
but it would make no sense;
it would be without meaning,
as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.
Albert Einstein

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster
than society gathers wisdom.
Isaac Asimov

The most exciting phrase to hear in science,
the one that heralds the most discoveries,
is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny…’
Isaac Asimov

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Nature

Pierre-Auguste Renoir – Woman with a Parasol in a Garden,  1875

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth
find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature —
the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
Rachel Carson

We know that God is everywhere;
but certainly we feel His presence most
when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us;
and it is in the unclouded night-sky,
where His worlds wheel their silent course,
that we read clearest His infinitude,
His omnipotence, His omnipresence.
Charlotte Brontë

We need the tonic of wildness…
At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things,
we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable,
that land and sea be indefinitely wild,
unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable.
We can never have enough of nature.
Henry David Thoreau

The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses
are still truly adjusted to each other;
who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.
His intercourse with heaven and earth,
becomes part of his daily food.
In the presence of nature,
a wild delight runs through the man,
in spite of real sorrows…
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ducks

Jean Baptiste Oudry – Ducks Resting in Sunshine, 1753

When God had finished the stars and whirl of coloured suns
He turned His mind from big things to fashion little ones;
Beautiful tiny things (like daisies) He made them, and then
He made the comical ones in case the minds of men
Should stiffen and become
Dull, humourless and glum,
And so forgetful of their Maker be
As to take even themselves – quite seriously.

Caterpillars and cats are lively and excellent puns:
All God’s jokes are good – even the practical ones!
And as for the duck, I think God must have smiled a bit
Seeing those bright eyes blink on the day He fashioned it.
And He’s probably laughing still at the sound
that came out of its bill!

F.W.Harvey

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