Strife for God.
If you go even three feet toward Solomon's mountain,
others will use that as a yardstick to measure their lives.
If your leg is gimpy, and you have to hop, what's difference?
Going there, even by limping, the leg grows whole.
Rumi, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.129.
God can never be found by seeking, yet only seekers find Him. Abu-Yazid Al-Bistami, a Sufi mystic, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.323.
Dear children, when God calls men, it is really a great thing. (…) Our Lady of Medjugorie, May 16, 1987. Words from Heaven, P.392.
Never mind what you have gained so far. Instead reach out to what lies ahead. If you do this you will remain in the truth. For now, if you wish to keep growing you must nourish in your heart the lively longing for God. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.47.
For surely, if you are seeking God alone, you will never rest contented with anything less than God. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.61.
Go on with this nothing, moved only by your love of God. Never give up but steadfastly persevere in this nothingness, consciously longing that you may always choose to possess God through love (...). The Cloud of Unknowing, P.136.
Indeed, the very heart of this work (contemplation) is nothing else than a naked intent toward God for His own sake. I call it "naked intent" because it is utterly disinterested. In this work the perfect artisan does not speak personal gain or exemption from suffering. He desires only God and Him alone. The Cloud of Unknowing, Chapter 24.
Be content to remain in loneliness and isolation, dryness and anguish
waiting upon God in darkness. Your inarticulate longing for Him in the
night of suffering will be your most eloquent prayer. But be persuaded,
that on the contrary, God is here working to raise your intellect and will to
the highest perfection of supernatural activity n union with His Holy Spirit.
Withdraw yourself from all care, trust not in yourself but in Him, do not be
anxious or solicitous to perform great works for Him until he leads you
Himself to undertake the works He has planned for you and by which He will use you to communicate the fire of His love to other men." "Pensees" from Thomas Merton's unpublished work The Inner Experience. Quoted in Why Not be A Mystic? by Frank X. Tuoti. Crossroad, New York. 1995. PP.163-164
This then is what it means to seek God perfectly: to withdraw from illusion
and pleasure, from worldly anxieties and desires, from the works that God does
not want, from a glory that is only human display; to keep my mind free from
confusion in order that my liberty may be always at the disposal of His will;
to entertain silence in my heart and listen for the voice of God; to cultivate
an intellectual freedom from the images of created things in order to receive
the secret contact of God in obscure
love; to love all men as myself; to rest in humility and to find peace in withdrawal from conflict and competition with other men;
to turn aside from controversy and put away heavy loads of judgment and censorship and criticism and the whole burden of opinions that have no obligation to carry; to have a will that is always ready to fold back within itself and draw all the powers of the soul down from its deepest center to rest in silent expectancy for the coming of God, poised in tranquil and effortless concentration upon the point of my dependence on Him; to gather all that I am, and have all that I can possibly suffer or do or be, and abandon them all to God in the resignation of a perfect love and blind faith and pure trust in God, to do His will. And then to wait in peace and emptiness and oblivion of all things. Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation. PP. 45-46. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn mailto:email@example.com
(…) Strive to make your joy grow, to live in the faith, to change your hearts. Our Lady of Medjugorie, December 7, 1983. Words from Heaven, P.356.
(...) no one on earth knows precisely what it means to seek God: until he
himself has set out to find Him. No man can tell another what this search
means unless that other is enlightened, at the same time, by the Spirit
speaking within his own heart. In the end, no one can seek God unless he
has already begun to find Him. No one can find God without having first
been found by Him. A monk is a man who seeks God because he has been
found by God. Merton, Thomas. The Silent Life. P. vii.
Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What could be simpler than the search for one whom we have already found? That, indeed, is the nature of the search: a realization that we have found Him. This realization begins in an act of faith and culminates in an experience of His presence and of His inscrutable and infinite identity, made known to us in the descent of His mercy upon our souls which already exist only in Him and by Him and for Him alone. Merton, Thomas. Bread In The Wilderness. P.13. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn <email@example.com>
With all his giving, God is trying only to prepare us for the gift that he himself is; and all his works -- all that he ever did on earth or in heaven -- he did for the sake of this one more: to perfect our happiness. Therefore, I say that we must learn to look through every gift and every event to God and never be content with the thing itself. There is no stopping place in this life -- no, nor was there ever one for any man, no matter how far along his way he'd gone. This above all, then, be ready at all times for the gifts of God and always for new ones. Eckhart, Meister. "Meister Eckhart, a Modern Translation" Translated by Raymond Blakney. NY: Harper & Row, 1941, p 32 Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn firstname.lastname@example.org. OGN #735, 2016-12-18.
Amma Syncletica said: In the beginning, there is struggle and a lot of work for those who come near to God. But after that, there is indescribable joy. It is just like building a fire--at first it's smoky and your eyes water, but later you get the desired result. Thus we ought to light the divine fire in ourselves with tears and effort. Nomura, Yushi. Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers. P.26
Mankind is engaged in an eternal quest for that "something else" he hopes will bring him happiness, complete and unending. For those individual souls who have sought and found God, the search is over: He is that Something Else. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, cover page.
Jesus said, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few." (Matthew 9:37). People of this world seek the gifts of God, but he who is wise seeks the Giver Himself. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.19.
And since God is so kind and so loving, then He should be the object of your search. He doesn't want to impose Himself on you. But the mysterious working of your body, the intelligence He has given you, and every other wonder in life should be sufficient stimulus to make you determine to find God. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.97.
When I started in this path, my life at first was chaotic, but as I kept on trying, things began to clear up for me in a marvelous way. Everything that happened showed me that God is, and that He can be known in this life. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.97.
When you find God (...) nothing else matters at all, nothing can ever make you afraid. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.97.
He who is persistent will realize God. So try the best to make meditation a regular experience in your life. May you never forget God and never be satisfied until you have Him! Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.
Sincere seekers will receive some realization, no matter what path they follow, but with only blind belief and mechanical prayers it could take them incarnations to reach the Lord. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.114.
Seek until you find the path most suited to the spiritual inclinations of your heart and mind, and then be steadfast. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.114.
God is realizable. You can know Him now, through meditation. (...) Why not? He is your own. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.120.
If you strive to serve God, you have served everyone. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.147.
God doesn't readily respond to us, because we are shy before Him; we fail to show how much we want Him. Don't be afraid of Him. Call Him your own and pursue unceasingly, in thought and in action, and you shall find Him to be the greatest haven of safety. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.183.
To know God is the only worthwhile ambition to have, because He is happiness everlasting. We should want Him because He is the panacea for all out suffering. He is the answer to all our needs. The very things that our hearts cry for - love, fame, wisdom, everything else - we find in communion with that Complete One. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.195.
So why strive hard to have something you will lose just as you cross the portals of the grave? Money, fame, prestige, sense indulgence, material comfort - these are all pseudo pleasures, offered by Satan in place of the real joy of divine communion. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.195.
Even though you're not equipped,
equipment isn't necessary on the way to the Sustainer.
Rumi, Mathnawi III, 1445, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.96.
One thing above all is important: the "return to the Father." (...) return to the Immense, the Primordial, the Source, the Unknown, to Him Who loves and knows, to the Silent, to the Merciful, to the Holy, to Him Who is All. To seek anything, to be concerned with anything but this is only madness and sickness for this is the whole meaning and heart of all existence (...). The "return" is the end beyond all ends, and the beginning of beginnings. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.171.
(Abba Moses said) 'You have given up your country, your families, everything worldly in order to embrace a life in a foreign land among rude and uncultured people like us. Tell me, what was your purpose and what goal did you set before yourselves in doing all this?' We replied: 'We did it for the kingdom of heaven.' In response Abba Moses said: (...) 'The goal of our profession, as we have said, is the kingdom of God. Its immediate purpose, however, is purity of heart, for without this we cannot reach our goal. We should therefore always have this purpose in mind; (...) guiding our lives with reference to our purpose as if it were a carpenter's rule. (...)' St. John Cassian (360-435), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.95.
'If we forget this purpose we cannot avoid frequently stumbling and losing our way, for we will be walking in the dark and straying from the proper path. This has happened to many men who at the start of their ascetic life gave up all wealth, possessions and everything worldly, but who later flew into a rage over a fork, a needle, a rush or a book. (...) From this we learn that perfection does not follow immediately upon renunciation and withdrawal from the world. It comes after the attainment of love which, as the Apostle said, "is not jealous or puffed up, does not grow angry, bears no grudge, is not arrogant, thinks no evil" (cf. 1 Cor 13:4-5). All these things establish purity of heart; (...) It is useless, therefore, to boast of our fasting, vigils, poverty, and reading of Scripture when we have not achieved the love of God and our fellow men. Whoever has achieved love has God within himself and his intellect is always with God.' St. John Cassian (360-435), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.95-6.
Think nothing and do nothing without a purpose directed to God. For to journey without direction is wasted effort. St. Mark the Ascetic (4th Century C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.114.
Mary Magdalene had lain around with other men for years to get money to buy what she wanted and to prove to herself her worth in the experience of power over men and her allurement. Then she found love. And her whole being was centered in her Beloved. No longer did she need anything for herself. It was all in him. Our temptation is constantly to prostitute ourselves to activity to have something in hand to assure ourselves of our worth. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.110.
It is not a question of who we are, but who we are to become. Life is given to us to grow and become. We should never be satisfied, but always want more. We are called to the full maturity in Christ. But Christ is such a giant that each of us can live but an aspect of his greatness. (…) Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.197.
What is wrong with striving? Why look for results? Striving itself is your real nature. (…) Strive without seeking, struggle without greed. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.70.
Last updated: 2016/12/18
See the related subjects: Awakenings, Conversion, Discipline, Faith, Human Love for God, Inspiration, Longing for God, Materialism, Mystical Union, Paths to God, Proper Life, Purpose, Saints, Service, Will.