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March 31, 2009

Ascetic mortification and an unintermitting, livelong martyrdom of all the sensual appetites, although far more innocent than the contrary extreme, is nevertheless unwise, because it fails of its intended effect. Hermits, who believed that by this merciless crucifixion of the lusts of the body they should succeed in giving to the winds the rags and tatters of a corrupt nature, and elevate and purge the soul in exact proportion to the sufferings of the flesh, have been disappointed in their hopes; at least, if they have succeeded in deceiving themselves, they have grievously disappointed the world.

Emerson - Journals Volume I

Posted by amin at 1:06 PM

March 25, 2009

do not abandon hope

One must not despair of God, for hope is the first step on the road to salvation. Even if you do not travel the world, at least keep the road open. Do not say that you have gone astray. Take the straight way, and there will be no crookedness. Straightness is the quality of Moses’ staff; the kinks are in the staves of the sorcerers: when straightness comes it devours all the others. If you have done evil you have done it to yourself. How could the evil you have done ever reach Him? When a bird perches on a mountaintop and then flies away, what has the mountain gained or lost? When you straighten yourself out, nothing else remains. Do not abandon hope.

Rumi - Fihi ma Fih

Posted by amin at 12:46 AM

March 23, 2009

the innermost mainspring of my existence

I speak to you as a human being about the holy mysteries of humanity according to my view; about that which was in me when, still with youthful enthusiasm, I sought the unknown; about that which has been the innermost mainspring of my existence ever since I have thought and been alive and which shall eternally remain for me the highest, whichever way the fluctuations of time and humanity might move me. That I speak does not originate from a rational decision or from hope or fear, nor does it happen in accord with some final purpose or for some arbitrary or accidental reason. It is the inner, irresistible necessity of my nature; it is a divine calling; it is that which determines my place in the universe and makes me the being that I am. Even if it were neither suitable nor prudent to speak of religion, the thing that thus drives me crushes these petty notions with its heavenly power.

Schleiermacher - On Religion

Posted by amin at 3:37 PM

March 22, 2009

the greatest joy for the lover

What greater joy is for the lover than when the beloved finally responds favorably to his love, and he is admitted at last into intimate seclusion? There he can sit with the beloved and unburden his heart, disclosing his inmost secrets and recalling the past.

Jami - Yusuf and Zuleikha

Posted by amin at 7:21 PM

March 21, 2009

to the virgins, to make much of Time

GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he 's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.

Robert Herrick

Posted by amin at 5:45 PM

March 12, 2009

come, thou fount of every blessing

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

Robert Robinson

Posted by amin at 12:19 AM

March 11, 2009

a believer is a victor

To defend something is always to disparage it. Suppose that someone has a warehouse full of gold, and suppose he is willing to give every ducat to the poor - but in addition, suppose he is stupid enough to begin this charitable enterprise of his with a defense in which he justifies it on three grounds: people will almost come to doubt that he is doing any good. As for Christianity ! Well, he who defends it has never believed it. If he believes, then the enthusiasm of faith is not a defense - no, it is an attack and victory; a believer is a victor.

Kierkegaard - Sickness Unto Death

Posted by amin at 9:10 PM

March 10, 2009

the most fit book for a wounded conscience

After many such longings in my mind, the God in whose hands are all our days and ways, did cast into my hand, one day, a book of Martin Luther, his comment on the Galathians, so old that it was ready to fall piece from piece, if I did but turn it over. Now I was pleased much that such an old book had fallen into my hand; the which, when I had but a little way perused, I found my condition in his existence, so largely and profoundly handled, as if his Book had been written out of my heart; this made me marvel: for thus thought I, this man could not know anything of the state of Christian now, but must needs write and speak of the Experience of former days…I must let fall before all men, I do prefer this book of Mr. Luther upon the Galathians (excepting the Holy Bible) before all the books ever I have seen, as most fit for a wounded Conscience.

Bunyan - Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Posted by amin at 1:31 PM

March 9, 2009

a new day dawns after the night of ignorance

For to the soul that seeks and never relaxes her intent he manifests himself and falls in with her desires. And when he is present, the soul is renewed, and as it were clinging to him, she becomes sensible of a sweetness in her interior taste, spiritual understanding, illumination of faith, increase of hope, provocation of love, zeal for justice, delight in the virtues. In prayer she has familiar converse with God, aware that she is heard and heeded to the highest degree, speaking to God face to face and hearing what the Lord God is saying within her, constraining God in prayer and from time to time prevailing. Illuminated by his grace, she begins to perceive the darkness of her heart, to know herself, to discern how vices conceal themselves under the appearance of virtues or secretly link themselves with them. For in her mind a new day dawns after the night of ignorance…

Richard of St.-Victor

Posted by amin at 1:30 PM

March 1, 2009

cleanse my heart’s purpose

God, to whom all hearts are open, and to whom all desires speak, and from whom no secrets are hidden, I beseech you to cleanse my heart’s purpose with the inexpressible gift of your grace, so that I may perfectly love you and worthily praise you. Amen.

The Cloud of Unknowing

Posted by amin at 7:14 PM