All posts tagged “quote

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The body as means to salvation

How tempting it is to disdain what God has created, and to retreat into a comfortable gnosticism. The members of the Heaven’s Gate cult regarded their bodies as obstacles to perfection, mere ‘containers’ to be discarded on their way to what they called ‘a level beyond human.’ The Christian perspective could not be more different; it views the human body as our God-given means to salvation, for beyond the cross God has effected resurrection. We want life to have meaning, we want fulfillment, healing and even ecstasy, but the human paradox is that we find these things by starting where we are, not where we wish we were. We must look for blessings to come from unlikely, everyday places—out of Galilee, as it were—and not in spectacular events, such as the coming of a comet.

– Kathleen Norris, The Quotidian Mysteries

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Henri Nouwen on the spiritual life

To live a spiritual life does not mean that we must leave our families, give up our jobs, or change our ways of working; it does not mean that we have to withdraw from social or political activities, or lose interest in literature or art; it does not require severe forms of asceticism or long hours of prayer. Changes such as these may in fact grow out of our spiritual life, and for some people radical decisions may be necessary. But the spiritual life can be lived in as many ways as there are people. What is new is that we have moved from the many things to the kingdom of God. What is new is that we are set free from the compulsions of our world and have set our hearts on the only necessary thing. What is new is that we no longer experience the many things, people, and events as endless causes for worry, but begin to experience them as the rich variety of ways in which God makes his presence known to us.”

(Making All Things New, pp. 56-7)