How I Got Out of the Convent


      A very slight shift it was, but it put me on a new path that began to diverge away from exterior obedience and increasingly towards hearing and trusting my own inner guide.
      I was raised a Roman Catholic, a warm world full of symbols and color and ecstatic images of devotion, love, and noble aspirations.   But there were some traps.  The idea that had its jaws around me was the teaching called “original sin” and the consequent need for salvation. This belief tells us that as soon as we’ve taken a breath into the world we are sinful because our ancestors ate an apple when they were told not to;  that the almighty creator-of-all required the horrible death of his son to make amends for this; that suffering is a noble way to show our love to this almighty power who is still said to be loving and merciful.  The glorification of suffering was the spider web that had me trapped.
      For various reasons, by the time I was a teenager my mind was a mess.  I lived in a dual world.  During the schoolyear my life was a small farm town, high school class of 44 students;  summers were spent at a camp for rich city girls, a camp whose mission was to make Christian leaders out of us, champions of great deeds in the world. I felt I was unable to succeed well in either place, but that I did have something to give to the world.    My talents seemed in academics.  I loved to learn, and felt especially attracted to subjects like literature, philosophy, theology – instinctively searching for ways to look at life that might help me feel happier.  I had not yet discovered psychology, and any self-help books I encountered were based in the Christian trap-story (sacrifice, unselfishness, noble suffering).
    My one hope, what attracted me, was to go to a great place of learning – our state university – where I could be challenged academically as I felt capable of doing.  With trepidation, I placed the secret longing of my heart before my father.  He quickly said “No. You’d just be a little fish in a big sea.  You’ll be homesick like [his] sister was at a big state college” (though she stayed and finished there!).  Thus quickly my dream was snuffed out.  I knew nothing about scholarships, there were no counselors in our high school, there weren’t even jobs in our town of 500 people!  So now I had to find another path to a future.
     I became ever more religious, praying for guidance.   In those days (the 50’s-60’s) women did not choose to live unmarried.  My dad referred to two single sisters in our extended family as “the old maids,” even though they were teachers and had traveled all over the world. Perhaps because neither of my parents had ever seemed happy in their marriage, I did not see myself getting married, and even less did I have any interest in raising children.  How to avoid the pressures to get married?
     I often heard mention in passing of a holy spirit, the “Holy Ghost”, who was said to bring us wisdom and comfort, guidance and courage, but our religious practices did not relate much to this promising presence.  Most of our practices emphasized our sinful state and the incredible suffering it took for Jesus to rescue us from this.   I thought “If God is the almighty and loving father, he would help me see a path, like my father would if he could, imperfect as he [was].”  Becoming a nun seemed an option, a possible but unclear path to the academic and service work I longed for.  I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of wearing odd clothes and being separated from the world that so interested me, but it was a path that would protect me from pressure to marry.   Another appealing feature of the convent at that point of my life was having someone else responsible to make decisions for me!
      I looked over the different orders of nuns and chose one based on their lifestyle, not their work.  One goal I had identified for my future was to try to be a saint.  Saints were the best!  The path of the saints had been laid out before me as the example par excellence of a person dedicated to doing good.    Another trap door?  The saints not only did great deeds helping the poor and suffering, but to qualify for sainthood one had to suffer a lot oneself, maybe die for the cause, sacrifice much, be misunderstood and humiliated.  If the saints were happy and their lives went smoothly, it was not advertised.
      This order was a missionary order, teaching and healing in Africa and South America.  I had no interest in being a missionary but I didn’t notice this at all.  These nuns lived the simple life like St. Francis of Assisi: they got out there and mowed their own grass, chopped down trees on the wild wooded hills around them.  They did not have private swimming pools and roller rinks as some American orders did but they recreated by singing (they were Italian), applepicking and whatever simple joys they could create.
   The summer before I entered I took college credit classes through my longed-for university in a  camp-like setting.  My roommate was a wonderful friend but some kind of atheist or agnostic and this was a surprising experience for me. In addition, I dated all I could.  With every guy I kept thinking “This is my last kiss, – forever!”  It was just some kind of luck that kept me a virgin to the end of the summer.
    By the time I entered the convent in the fall, I hardly knew if there was a god or not.  But I thought “I committed to try this, and it will at least be an ‘interesting experience’ to add to my list of interesting life experiences.”
     However, one does not trifle with God.  Once there, I found that everyone else took my “calling” seriously, and took “God” seriously, and I did not see an easy way out.
     The thinking about vocations to the religious life was another trap.  It was felt that God calls us, not that we chose Him.  One enters the convent feeling that perhaps she is being called to do this.  It is, of course, a great honor to be called to this special life; sometimes nuns are called “brides of Christ.” And how could one say ‘No’ if God himself were calling?  If after all, God is not calling one to this, God will make his will known by a sign:  one might get sick, or one’s parents die and one must go home to take care of the siblings.   I kept watching myself for sickness but nothing happened.  No sign came that God did not want me here.
      We were allowed to “consult” about our calling.  There was a nun in our nearby house who was considered wise and holy so I asked my superior if I could go talk with Sister Angelica.  Mother Superior approved.
     I went.  Sister Angelica asked me, “Do you like to pray?”  I answered truthfully, “Yes.”  I loved to pray at that time, to have quiet time from emotional pressures, to try to find a clear path, asking for guidance from that Father and/or Son who I was told loved me so much.  “Do you want to spend your life serving God and helping other people?” she asked.  “Yes. Yes, I do,” I answered.  “That’s exactly what I want to do with my life.” “Then it sounds like you’re called to be a nun,” she told me.
    You see, there was a general thought among Catholics at that time that lay people were called by God to populate the earth and carry on commerce.  Anyone called to a life of prayer and service was being called to be a nun or priest or monk. 
   So I returned and continued to try to answer the call to be a nun. But life in the convent was hard for me.  A severe curvature in my lower back has always made it difficult for me to stand on my feet for long; kneeling is particularly painful.  Being young, I just did whatever I had to do, but convent life was exhausting and painful for me.  Also, I was only the third American to enter this order,  and no other girls entered at that time with me, so I was alone in my classes and training.  This was especially hard the second year when I had become a novice, wearing the habit, and spending most of every day alone with my novice mistress.  The nuns were wonderful people but the life was hard, lonely, and tiring for me.  I quietly past my twenty first birthday in the convent.
     Every now and then I’d see another wise, holy person and ask if I could go consult with them about my vocation.  They would always ask the same kinds of questions:  “Do you like to pray?”  (Yes….) Do you want to spend your life serving God and helping other people?  (Yes…)  “Then, it seems you’re called to be a nun.”
        At one point we were all doing a silent retreat; I asked if I could talk with the retreat master about my vocation.  Of course this was approved and I went in to try again for some clarity in my endless feeling of confusion.  This priest was experienced in counseling nuns.  He just asked me one question:  “Are you happy?”  This was easy to answer.  “No,” I said.  “Then you’re not called to be a nun,” the priest said simply.
    I was out of there within twenty four hours.  I thought I was just obeying the priest.  But as soon as I was home, I could feel my body relax and my spirit begin to lighten.  I felt health and strength coming back.  Then it began to dawn on me that I had known all along that I did not have this vocation.  Even my body knew.  Something in me had kept me searching for the way out; I would never have stopped asking wise, holy people until I found one that said what I knew but could not say – this was not the life I was called to.
     It would be many more years before I found my way through all the ideas that supported exterior obedience:  to people, beliefs, practices, ideals, that did not give me strength to be true to myself.  It was  like swimming through underground channels trying to find an open path, a way that felt natural, joyful, and affirmed me.  I did at last  find my way up to to the sunshine.
    While I don’t expect to be happy every day of my life, I’ve learned that a general sense of well-being is a sign of doing the right thing, and conversely any situation that drains and pulls one down is a “sign from God” to change something.  Never in my life was I taught this – that to be happy was a sign of doing the right thing. 
    For me, God the father and God the son did not save me but kept me ensnared, focused on them.   It has been that quiet Holy Spirit who has been with me all along and still speaks inside my breast, affirming and nurturing me with the unfaltering dedication of a mother,  She has guided me home. 
           – Published in Acupuncture for Your Soul, Wheatmark, Tucson Az, ed. Rae Jacobs, 2016.

My spiritual mentor


     “Let us not demean the dead,” my grandfather said quietly, his head turned slightly toward my father at the head of the table.  We were all silent, holding our breaths in shock at the whole scene. No one ever spoke up against Dad.  But today at Thanksgiving dinner, where we were all gathered as a supposedly happy family, he had spoken without thought about his deceased mother-in-law, our grandmother, whom he had never liked. I forget what he said, but he was not thinking with any respect that Grandpa was here with us.
   Dad never showed respect to Grandpa. Perhaps there was a jealousy under all; in his own house Dad was top dog.  Grandpa, on the contrary, former state senator for ten years, respected all over western Michigan, invited to speak at commencements, churches, public ceremonies, always spoke respectfully to my dad, as he did to everyone.  Dad had married the senator’s daughter and that was all he needed from his father-in-law.
     During the Depression, the Republicans of western Michigan were looking for a senatorial candidate who would stand up for education.  Grandpa served on the School Board, the County Welfare Board and the bank board.  They asked him to run and he won.  He was paid $2 a day as a senator, only when the senate was in session, so between sessions he worked in the general store he owned with his brother.  His brother began to drink, claiming he had too much work, so Grandpa agreed that he would quit the senate if Lowell would quit drinking, and that was the way of it.  Grandpa returned to being a small town grocer with complete cheerfulness and grace.  Lowell eventually returned to drinking but Grandpa never spoke of him with bitterness.  He looked back at everything in his life with gratefulness as if all was a gift to him.  He’d tell with relish of tromping through the bitter snow in northern Russia during World War I and learning a few words in Russian which he can still remember, to speak to the locals.
     Mom was raised a Lutheran and stayed a Lutheran when she married Dad.  When Dad proved that Martin Luther had been a Catholic priest she opened to joining the Church.  Twenty years after her marriage, an old friend told her that when she married Dad, the Lutheran minister gave a sermon that Sunday about the wrongness of parents who allow their children to marry Catholics, with Grandma and Grandpa sitting in the front row as they always did.  Grandpa had never said a word about this.  When Mom had asked his opinion about marrying Dad, Grandpa had said “I’ll respect whatever you decide.” Mom was furious to learn about this story from the past but the pastor was long gone.
   Grandpa’s library spoke to me of a different set of values.  To begin with, he owned and treasured books!  A whole room of walls quietly filled with inspiring books – biographies and autobiographies of great people, books of quotes and jokes he used in public speaking, Bible study books he used in his fifty years of teaching adult Sunday school.  In my house, though we had money, I cannot remember seeing any book around the house except an unused Bible on the coffee table of the parlor.  For Christmas we got hair dryers, petticoats, roller skates, nice things for teenage girls but not books.  When I went into Grandpa’s sunny quiet library I felt my body lifted in surprise and delight.  Grandpa let me borrow from his books and these were food for me in a way our family kitchen didn’t provide.
     One Easter morning I was home from college when Grandpa stopped on his way to his church.  He didn’t usually do this.  He said in his cheerful simple way, “I’ll be teaching the adult Sunday School this morning!” I froze.  It was Easter.  How special!  What I heard was an unspoken invitation to come and hear him teach.  I longed to say to my parents, “Can I go with Grandpa?”  But such was my fear of my parents’ disapproval that I did not say a word and Grandpa cheerfully hurried on. 
     I’ve lived under the shadow of my father’s temper and opinions most of my life, though I followed Grandpa’s path into the world of religious studies, spiritual practice, and service.  I endured a lack of understanding and support from my father because I never earned much money on this path.  But I’ve come to see that Grandpa has been the father of my adulthood, the example of walking humbly and cheerfully over the earth doing worthwhile things. I know my grandfather’s mentor was Jesus Christ and Grandpa did his mentor proud.  I hope in the end I may also do Grandpa proud.

Summer Catechism, an early religious experience


     Perhaps I was eight years old, perhaps it was June.  Not too hot yet, but summer vacation.  Our small town Catholic church, St. Bartholomew’s, had the honor of nuns coming out from the city to teach us catechism for a week.  We brought our breakfasts – this is what I remember with joy!  There was a grove of trees with picnic tables throughout, sun shining through.  The grass was still a bit dewy.  My mother sent my younger sister and I with little boxes of cereal and milk.  The boxes, rice krispies or cornflakes, would open along dotted lines forming a bowl with waxed paper lining; we’d open the milk cartons, pour the milk in, and have our breakfast.  All the tables were filled with children together eating this special outdoor breakfast.  Everything seemed shiny and lovely.
     After breakfast we went to class outdoors, which also seemed special.  We sat on folding chairs on the grass in the open sunshine.  I’d barely ever seen a nun before.  They seemed alright, not mean or scary, but not as personal as our classroom teachers at school.  They were intent on teaching us ideas they felt were very important, and those as much and clearly as possible in this short time.  We memorized the catechism and were given holy cards with pictures of saints as rewards. The catechism explained all about life and how we should live.  They told us how Jesus had suffered because Adam and Eve had eaten an apple when they were told not to and so we were all born in sin and couldn’t go to heaven when we die.  Jesus had made things OK for us with God again by his terrible death.
     After class we went into the church to do the Stations of the Cross alone and go to confession.  Doing the Stations was very painful for me physically.  I didn’t know if it was the same for everyone else.  I did it because I was told to.  I’d go to the first picture on the wall:  “Jesus is tried by Pilate”, and read the story, then kneel down as the book said to and read the prayer of love for Jesus. I’d stand up and move to the next picture, “Jesus is whipped”, look at the picture, read the story, kneel down and say the prayer of thanks to Jesus.  There were fourteen pictures, each more gory and sad than the one before. 
     After doing this spiritual exercise I’d try to go to Confession.  I was raised to be a “good girl” so I didn’t do much of anything others’ thought wrong, so going to Confession was hard.  I usually had to repeat the same sins over each time:  “I forgot to say my night prayers.  I was mad at my sister.”  Maybe I’d add a general “I disobeyed my parents”  but actually I never did this.  Confession was also lots of kneeling and physically hard for me, but I never told anyone about how my body hurt. I supposed everyone experienced their bodies the way I did.  Besides, I’d learned that it pleases God for us to suffer silently.  The example of Jesus’ suffering and dying to please God made this clear.
Many years later when I was sixteen it was finally discovered that I have a severe curvature in my lower back; my spine was almost falling off my pelvis!  Many, many times I had to do things that felt too much and were painful and exhausting, but I had meditated many times on the story of Jesus’ sufferings so I never complained about my own suffering.
     At summer catechism, after confessing our sins we were done for the morning and my mom would pick us up for lunch.  I did like learning about life and religion and the promise that God loves and cares for us.  It was fascinating to be close to these unusual women all covered in black with only their faces showing.  I dreaded doing the Stations of the Cross though the story touched me deeply. Confession made me feel guilty because I mostly had to lie to do it, not seeing anything clearly sinful in the way I lived.  Eating breakfast outdoors in the sunshine and dewy grass with other children still brings me joy to remember.
    All of these experiences were the ground upon which much thinking happened as the years went forward.  I endured suffering I should not have.  Finally it became too much and I spoke my true experience of my body and was able to get relief through surgery.  It took much more suffering yet to learn that The Source of my Life really is trying to lead me towards happiness and out of lifestyles and beliefs that value suffering for its own sake.  It would take much, much more experience and reflection to figure this out….

Birthday Joy

   Enclosed here is a poem and a link (hopefully) in celebration of my 70th birthday.  The address will take you to YouTube video of 80 happy people singing their hearts out in fun, plus the marvelous cake with cannoli rum filling and buttercream frosting with the little gypsy dancers on top.  You can also see pics of the beautiful worship space of Unity Temple, the Frank Lloyd Wright church in which the party was held.
   The  poem is from Carolyn Aguila, a neighbor from many, many years ago in Chicago when we took in Kevin Price Sanchez and Kelly Price Jorgensen as foster children one winter.  Carolyn has a wonderful published book of her own Chicago/family/literature based poems:  “Flirting with Rhyme and Reason,  EM Press, Channahon, IL 2006.
     YouTube:   Marti’s 70th Birthday          

      by Kevin Sanchez

Marti’s Matthew’s 70th Birthday – Dec 27, 2014

   

 
GRATITUDE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT
By Carolyn S. Aguila ~ December 27, 2014
 On the occasion of Marti Matthews’ 70th Birthday—
 City moms have different worries,

but all moms worry,
about all children,
all the time.
It’s always been so.

In ancient ages,

young boys and girls were sent
to uncles and aunts for fostering,
particularly when mothers grew tired
from the fretting.
Sometimes a family needs a rest from itself—
–or an urgent matter must be tended to
far from a child’s daily life.

I would not learn

until many years latter
that my own bricked city street
harbored such a mother
who mothered without question
the child of another,
a woman who understood
the sacred mission of tending to children
who were not her own,
but who were in need.

This is ancient,

this type of generosity,
and it is passed on and between and among
the bones and blood of motherhood.
We are finer, brighter, and sturdier because of these mothers—
   –and one is named, Marti.

                         Happy Birthday.
 
 
 
 

Tom’s Inspirations

    Today, Sept. 17, 2014, is the fifth anniversary of the return to spirit of my son, Tom Dix.
    In memory of him, I’ve posted this list of 65 inspirational quotes that Tom had put into an oatmeal box, apparently to pull out now and then to inspire himself. There are a great variety; some are like fortunes..You could print the page out, cut them separate for yourself, even add your own and get yourself an oatmeal box . Do this fun discipline to keep your spirit going.
       You might also like to read the previous posting here:”After-Death Communication with my Son” and the posting for Sept.17, 2013:”Death is not the End”, a long and excellent reading of Tom’s presence through a medium.
  • . You ask me how I can remain calm and not become agitated when those around me are bustling about. What can I say to you? I didn’t come into the world to upset it. Isn’t it disturbed enough already?
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  • Limits and markers make travel possible for people: circumscribe our lines of sight and we can really get somewhere.
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  • First and foremost, remember that you are unique. Your life is a once-told tale, an unrepeatable drama. No one has your mixture of passion and inhibitions, sensuality and fears, generosity and greed. No-body has identical erogenous zones or ways of expressing love.
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  • Solitude is the nurse of enthusiasm, and enthusiasm is the true part of genius.
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  • The best remedy for dispute is to discuss it.
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  • No one can solve problems for someone whose problem is that they don’t want their problems solved.
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  • God, grant me patience for the changes that take time; an appreciation for all that I have; tolerance for those with different struggles; and the strength to get up and try again, one day at a time.
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  • There/here is the ‘Same-old-you’ and here is the ‘Same-old-me’: What we do together is new-born, in between. It has never happened before. Will never again.
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  • Better to pray for yourself than to curse another.
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  • It is only in solitude that men and women can come to know the happiness that is like the delight of children in nothing at all.
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  • Forcing someone to do something religious is useless.
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  • Those who want to know everything become old while they are young.
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  • It is far better to withhold our judgment on something we do not understand than to condemn it. We can leave understanding until later.
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  • He who has placed himself in God’s hand stands free vis-a-vis man: he is entirely at his ease with them, because he has granted them the right to judge.
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  • Speak from your heart and you will speak to God.
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  • Fear is tangled with humility and humility is tangled with grace.
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  • The only independent element in ourselves is the attention of our mind.
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  • The capacity to be alone is a valuable resource when changes of mental attitude are required.
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  • The “great” commitment is so much easier than the ordinary one – and can all too easily shut our hearts to the letter. A willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice can be associated with, and even produce, a great hardness of heart.
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  • Tears smash through the gates and doors of heaven.
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  • You are much loved.
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  • You will not obtain what you love if you do not bear a great deal that you hate, and you will not be released from what you hate if you do not bear a great deal from what you love.
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  • The courage to not betray what is noblest in oneself is considered, at best, to be pride. And the critic finds his judgment confirmed when he sees consequences which, to him, must look very like the punishment for a mortal sin.
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  • In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action.
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  • Forgiveness is unconditional, or it is not forgiveness at all…Only because (of) this, does forgiveness make love possible. We cannot love unless we have accepted forgiveness, and the deeper our experience of forgiveness, the greater our love.  We cannot love where we feel rejected, even if the rejection is done in righteousness.”                -Paul Tillich
  • An American disease…is forgetfulness. A person or people who cannot recollect their past have little point beyond mere animal existence: it is memory that makes things matter.
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  • It is better for the health of the soul to make one person good than “to sacrifice oneself for all humanity.”
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  • The purer the eye of her attention, the more power the soul finds within herself. Strive, then, constantly to purify the eye of your attention until it becomes utterly simple and direct.
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  • Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by giving up their ideals.
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  • If we are dependent on each other for the order that makes life possible, we are even more dependent on each other for the kind of disorder that makes life human.
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  • “Whether somebody is praising you or blaming you, renounce your feelings for either. Only then will you find the highest. To go higher, have equal vision.”
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  • It was when Lucifer first congratulated himself upon his angelic behavior that he became the tool of evil.
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  • Those who do not grow, grow smaller.
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  • In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes, for they in thee a thousand errors note. But ’tis my heart that loves what they despise.
  • “Forgiveness, human and divine, looks forward. It is the means whereby the future can be different from the past. It is not the same as resignation or acceptance, because of this hope; it believes things can change.” -John Lampen
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  • Namaste – the God in me salutes the God in you.
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  • If you insist you’re right long enough, you’ll be wrong.
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  • Sincerity is, in its origin, a power of the mind that can exist under any conditions of life. All that is needed is a basic discrimination between what is actually within one’s power and what is not.
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  • I believe we should die with decency so that at least decency will survive.
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  • Make your ideas, ideals. Live into your thoughts. Manifest them. Pay attention to your inner world.
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  • Always be on sentry-duty for the chance to do a good deed.
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  • Beware of mirages. Do not run or fly away in order to get free; rather dig in the narrow place which has been given you; you will find God there and everything, God does not float on your horizon, he sleeps in your substance. Vanity runs, Love digs. If you fly away from yourself, your prison will run with you and will close in because of the wind of your flight; if you go deep down into yourself, it will disappear in paradise.” -Gustave Thibon
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  • “Time is the beauty of the road being long.” -J. Popper, Blues Traveler, song: “Just Wait”
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  • Those who are compassionate when they should be stern end up being stern when they should be compassionate.
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  • The fulfillment of every individual vocation demands not only renouncement of what is bad in itself, but also of all the precise goods that are not willed for us by God in our particular calling.
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  • If I am not for myself, who will be? But if I am only for myself, what am I?
  • To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance. -Oscar Wilde
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  • Truth cannot be found in appearances.
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  • When a baby is born a mother is born, too. At birth, and for months thereafter, her needs for contact exceed those of the infant.
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  • When the focus is shifted from the outer to the inner, true contentment arises. True Love is found.
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  • The price you must pay for your own liberation through another’s sacrifice is that you in turn must be willing to liberate in the same way, irrespective of the consequences to yourself.
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  • Our life is like a tapestry. And by the tapestry’s nature, it demands that we work on it from the back. In a blind. The Sabbath is a reminder that one day in seven, or one hour in seven, we should step back and turn our tapestry over so we can see the larger pattern of who we are, the implications of our efforts, and the world wherein we work.
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  • Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.
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  • Romantic love is often a case of mistaken identity.
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  • What I’ve come to cherish I’ve come to slowly, usually blindly, not seeing it for some time…
  • There is nobody from whom you cannot learn. Before God, who speaks through all people, you are always in the bottom class of nursery school.
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  • Love is an irresistible desire to be irresitably desired. -attributed to Robert Frost
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  • We have to try to cure our faults by attention and not by will.
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  • Most of humanity’s grievous suffering is brought about by our desire for what is unnecessary.
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  • Love your enemies in case your friends turn out to be a bunch of bastards. -R.A.Dickson
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  • Seeing is believing but feeling is the truth.
  • Once you tell somebody the way that you feel, you can feel it beginning to heal.
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  • In an encounter with Divine Reality we do not hear a voice but acquire one – and the voice we acquire is our own.
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  • The heart has its reasons, which reason cannot understand.
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  • Leave a good name behind, in case you return.

comments

Re: poems on Daffodils

From Pamela Timme    Thank you so much, Marti. I am going to the Arboretum to see the daffodils on Saturday, so especially enjoyed reading Tom’s piece. They’re all lovely!

*****
Thank you so much Marti, I read your poem – such an eloquent description of that traumatic time – and Tom’s writing – I felt “with him” again, after so long. I had no idea he wrote that much after his stroke. And the Wordsworth poem is an old favorite of mine – I had it memorized at one point!
Love,
Marilyn Myles
******

Thank you for sharing those wonderful poems. I just finished from doing our taxes all day and reading the poems helped me return to a more peaceful, present state of being,

Sweet dreams, Vanessa
********

Marti,

I’ve always liked that Wordsworth poem, too. Ecstasy that seeps into our souls….such a lovely way of putting how beauty enters us. And your tender poem, marking that difficult, beautiful winter….then love claims the body…..that line washed over me. Thanks for sending these splashes of brightness into my morning.
Carol Tyx