Highest Joy – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

To go one’s way under the sign of the cross is not misery and desperation, but peace and refreshment for the soul, it is the highest joy.  Then we do not walk under our self-made laws and burdens, but under the yoke of him who knows us and who walks under the yoke with us.  Under his yoke we are certain of his nearness and communion.

From: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Public Worship – Thomas Mergon

The liturgy cannot fulfill this function if we misunderstand or underestimate the essentially spiritual value of Christian public prayer. If we cling to immature and limited notions of “privacy,” we will never be able to free ourselves from the bonds of individualism. We will never realize how the Church delivers us from ourselves by public worship, the very public character of which tends to hide us “in the secret of God’s face.”

From:  Thomas Merton, Seasons of Celebration, p. 27.

Very Rest – Julian of Norwich

For this is the cause why we be not all in ease of heart and soul: that we seek here rest in those things that are so little, wherein is no rest, and know not our God that is All-mighty, All-wise, All-good. For He is the very rest. God willeth to be known, and it pleaseth Him that we rest in Him; for all that is beneath Him sufficeth not us. And this is the cause why that no soul is rested till it is made nought as to all things that are made. When it is willingly made nought, for love, to have Him that is all, then is it able to receive spiritual rest.

from: Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love

Sunrise Music – Thomas Merton

Sunrise is an event that calls forth solemn music in the very depths of our nature, as if one’s whole being had to attune itself to the cosmos and praise God for the new day, praise him in the name of all the creatures that ever were or ever will be. I look at the rising sun and feel that now upon me falls the responsibility of seeing what all my ancestors have seen, in the Stone Age and even before it, praising God before me. Whether or not they praised him then, for themselves, they must praise him now in me. When the sun rises each one of us is summoned by the living and the dead to praise God.

From: Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

Spaciousness – Gerald May

We know we need rest, but we can no longer see the value of rest as an end in itself; it is only worthwhile if it helps us recharge our batteries so we can be even more efficient in the next period of productivity…

The ancients knew the value of spaciousness for its own sake…Sabbath was meant to be a day of spaciousness in form, time and soul. It was to be an uncluttered day, a day not filled up, a day of rest and appreciation, a day of freedom just to be.

From: Gerald May, The Awakened Heart