"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10)
"O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvellous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul within me is like a weaned child.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time on and for evermore."
"Contemplation is for all Christians... [It] means essentially our being with God, putting ourselves in his presence, being hungry and thirsty for him, wanting him, letting heart and mind move towards him; with the needs of the world on our heart." (Michael Ramsey)
"The secret of Christian contemplation is that it faces us with Jesus Christ toward our suffering world in loving service and just action..." (Catherine of Siena)
"An elder was once asked, 'What is a merciful heart?' He replied:
'It is a heart on fire for the whole of creation, for humanity, for the birds, for the animals, for demons, and for all that exists. By the recollection of them the eyes of a merciful person pour forth tears in abundance. By the strong and vehement mercy that grips such a person’s heart, and by such great compassion, the heart is humbled and one cannot bear to hear or to see any injury or slight sorrow in any in creation.
For this reason, such a person offers up tearful prayer continually even for irrational beasts, for the enemies of the truth, and for those who harm her or him, that they be protected and receive mercy. And in like manner such a person prays for the family of reptiles because of the great compassion that burns without measure in a heart that is in the likeness of God.'" (St. Isaac of Nineveh - 7th century)
Header and background photograph, and any unacknowledged illustrations © Mike Farley