20th Century
Words of Wisdom
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"You must not lose faith in humanity.  Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."  Mahatma Gandhi
"No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge. . . . If he is indeed wise he [the teacher] does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind." Kahil Gibran

"If in your thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons, and let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing." Kahil Gibran

"An artist can take a few bits of colored glass
And fit them together with infinite pains
Into a design of symmetry.
When he is finished, his colors so blend together
That he has created a picture in glass.
It is a mosaic.

You are God's mosaic,
A distinctive, original design.
The way you fit each "piece" of you together:
Your dreams, your education,
Your lifework, and your total personality,
Will determine whether the "Design For Your Tomorrow"
Will be the masterpiece God has in mind." Anonymous

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. (-John Donne, 1624 - Meditation XVII)

The great deeds for human betterment must be done by individuals--they can never be done by the many. George Peabody.

We must not hope to be mowers,
And to gather the ripe gold ears,
Unless we have first been sowers
And watered the furrows with tears.

It is not just as we take it,
This mystical world of ours,
Life's field will yield as we make it
A harvest of thorns or of flowers.
---Johann W. von Goethe

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
--Langston Hughes

No vision and you perish;
No ideal, and you're lost;
Your heart must ever cherish
Some faith at any cost.

Some hope, some dream to cling to,
Some rainbow in the sky,
Some melody to sing to,
Some service that is high.
--Harriett du Autermont

Come and Find the Quiet Center

Text Shirley Erena Murray

Music B.F. White (BEECH SPRING)


Come and find the quiet center in the crowded life we lead,

            Find the room for hope to enter,

            Find the frame where we are freed:

Clear the chaos and the clutter.

            Clear our eyes that we can see

                        all the things that really matter,

            Be at peace, and simply be.


Silence is a friend who claims us,

            Cools the heat and slows the pace,

God it is who speaks and names us,

            Knows our being, touches base,

            Making space within our thinking,

            Lifting shades to show the sun,

            Raising courage when were shrinking,

            Finding scope for faith begun.


In the Spirit let us travel, open to each others pain,

            Let our loves and fears unravel,

            Celebrate the space we gain:

There's a place for deepest dreaming,

            There's a time for hearts to care,

In the Spirits lively scheming

there is always room to spare.




Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait!"

"'Wait?', you say, wait!" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By FAITH I have asked, and am claiming your Word.

"My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes,' a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

"And Lord, you promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!"

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting. . ..for what?"

He seemed then to kneel and His eyes wept with mine,
And he tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want--but, you wouldn't know ME.

"You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.

"You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of my Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I give and I save. . .(for a start),
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of my heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night.
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for thee.'
Yes, your dreams for your loved ones overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss! if I lost what I'm doing in you!

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
And though oft may my answers seem terribly late,
My wisest of answers is still but to WAIT."

~Author Russell Kelfer ~


Who Am I? (from "Letters and Papers from Prison")

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (18 July 1944)


Who am I? They often tell me

I step from my cell’s confinement

Calmly, cheerfully, firmly

like a squire from his country-house.

Who am I? They often tell me

I talk to my warders

Freely and friendly and clearly,

as though it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me

I bear the days of misfortune

Equably, smilingly, proudly,

like one accustomed to win.


Am I then really all that which other men tell of?

Or am I only what I know of myself,

restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,

struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat,

yearning for colours, for flowers, for the voices of birds,

thirsting for words of kindness, for neighbourliness,

tossing in expectation of great events,

powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,

weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,

faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?

Am I one person today, and tomorrow another?

Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,

and before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?

Or is something within me still like a beaten army,

fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?


Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.

Whoever I am, though knowest, O God, I am thine.



20th Century