Leaves of Faith

Make Us Fearless

Author: 
Arthara Veda XIX

From that which we fear, make us fearless.
O bounteous One, assist us with your aid.

May the atmosphere we breathe
breathe fearlessness into us:
fearless on earth
and fearless in heaven!
May fearlessness surround us
above and below!

May we be without fear
by night and by day!
Let all the world be my friend!

Teach Your Children

Author: 
Attributed to Chief Seattle

Teach your children what we have taught our children,

that the Earth is our mother.

Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the children of the Earth.

If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.

This we know:

the Earth does not belong to us -

we belong to the Earth.

This we know:

All things are connected like the blood which unites one family.

All things are connected.

Whatever befalls the Earth -

befalls the children of the Earth.

We did not weave the web of life - 

We are merely a strand in it.

Whatever we do to the web,

we do to ourselves.

The Imperfectionist

Author: 
Forrest Church

The reason I’ve been able to produce

so much is that I’m not a perfectionist

– I’m an imperfectionist.

 

I’m confident that everything I say

can be improved upon by others,

and that’s my great strength,

because I know that it won’t been improved upon by others

unless I take the first step.

 

When we only do things which please us,

or don’t frighten us,

after a while fewer and fewer things please us.

 

Over time, our circle of options diminishes

until we are prisoners in gardens of our own making.

 

The more decisions you make in your life,

the more times you act,

the more certain it is that you will be wrong.

 

To be fulfilled we need to recognize,

all of us,

that the world doesn’t owe us a living

– rather we owe the world a living.

 

And in the brief time that is given us,

we must somehow learn to give ourselves away.

If You Knew

Author: 
Ellen Bass

If You Knew

What if you knew you'd be the last
to touch someone?
If you were taking tickets, for example,
at the theater, tearing them,
giving back the ragged stubs,
you might take care to touch that palm,
brush your fingertips
along the life line's crease.

When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase
too slowly through the airport, when
the car in front of me doesn't signal,
when the clerk at the pharmacy
won't say Thank you, I don't remember
they're going to die.

A friend told me she'd been with her aunt.
They'd just had lunch and the waiter,
a young gay man with plum black eyes,
joked as he served the coffee, kissed
her aunt's powdered cheek when they left.
Then they walked a half a block and her aunt
dropped dead on the sidewalk.

How close does the dragon's spume
have to come? How wide does the crack
in heaven have to split?
What would people look like
if we could see them as they are,
soaked in honey, stung and swollen,
reckless, pinned against time?

Immigration Prayer

Author: 
Rev. Mark Belletini

O Love,
I come into your presence,
and the presence of this gathering,
as the grandchild of immigrants.
Immigrants who were not joyfully welcomed
by many inhabitants of this nation,
but ridiculed and accused of being a threat.
Immigrants who came to this land
in poverty and never became wealthy.
Immigrants whose English was never
as good as they wanted it to be.
Immigrants who were honest,
thrifty, hardworking, and who loved
this nation, even though many in this
nation despised their nationality of origin,
mocked their religion,
and pointed accusing fingers at them.
I am their grandchild, O Love,
and know this:
all human beings are inherently worthy,
and are worthy of respect and fair dealing.
All human beings, no matter their origin,
skills, education, language abilities or
religion, live lives as important to them
as my life is to me.
O Love, may I walk through this world,
where conversations about immigration
are often aflame with the exact same
disrespect and misunderstanding
leveled at my beloved grandparents,
with my head held high,
my memory strong,
my courage loud,
my solidarity secure.
May I give a voice to the voiceless,
and hold up a mirror of honesty
to the twists and distortions of the age.
O Love, set us free to serve you in peace. Amen.

This Is Our Earth

Author: 
Rev. Mark Belletini

This is our earth.
It falls through heaven like a pearl in a glass of plum wine.
There are no other earths that I know of.
There are no other skies that we have mapped.
This is our earth.
The Oneness who gave birth to it
remains nameless.
There was no midwife then
to bring us word of the birth-cry.
We only rejoice that it is.
This is our earth.
Ice caps its head. Glaciers clasp its feet.
Warm wind, like the breath of a lover,
breathes around its breast.
Mountains thrust up to the clouds, brining joy.
Storms blow across its shores, bringing fear.
Silvery fish capture sunlight and haul it down
into the deep, as on shore, valleys spread
with ripening fruit. Cities teem with the
Poor and disenfranchised in the shadow of
golden towers. Children live and also die.
Highways throb. Monks sit in silence. Mothers
work. Crickets chirp. Teachers plan. Engineers
design. Fathers write letters.
People marry
with and without the blessings of law.
People cry.
They laugh, and brood, and worry and wait.
This is our earth.
There are no other earths.
Before its wonder, philosophers fall silent.
Before its mystery,
poets admit their words are shadow, not light.
And all the great names religious teachers
have left to us
Ishtar, Shekinah, Terra Mater, Suchness, Wakan Tanka, Gaia
suddenly refuse to announce themselves.
And so we too fall silent,
entering the time where words end
and reality begins.

What Is Hope?

Author: 
Rubem Alves

What is hope?

It is a presentiment that imagination is more real

and reality less real than it looks.

It is a hunch

that the overwhelming brutality of facts

that oppress and repress is not the last word.

It is a suspicion

that reality is more complex

than realism wants us to believe

and that the frontiers of the possible

are not determined by the limits of the actual

and that in a miraculous and unexpected way

life is preparing the creative events

which will open the way to freedom and resurrection…

The two, suffering and hope, live from each other.

Suffering without hope

produces resentment and despair,

hope without suffering

creates illusions, naivete, and drunkenness…

Let us plant dates

even though those who plant them will never eat them.

We must live by the love of what we will never see.

This is the secret discipline.

It is a refusal to let the creative act

be dissolved in immediate sense experience

and a stubborn commitment to the future of our grandchildren.

Such disciplined love

is what has given prophets, revolutionaries and saints

the courage to die for the future they envisaged.

They made their own bodies

the seed of their highest hope.


Rubem A. Alves, Tomorrow’s Child, 1972

Self Portrait

Author: 
David Whyte

It doesn't interest me if there is one God or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need
to change you.
If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand.
I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

- David Whyte

Cultivate the Habit of Being Grateful

Author: 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Grant That I May Pass Through the Coming Year

Author: 
Dr. Howard Thurman

Grant that I may pass through the coming year with a faithful heart.
There will be much to test me and make weak my strength before the year ends.
In my confusion I shall often say the word that is not true
and do the thing of which I am ashamed.
There will be errors in the mind and great inaccuracies of judgment...
In seeking the light, I shall again and again find myself
walking in the darkness.
I shall mistake my light for Your light
and I shall drink from the responsibility of the choice I make.
Nevertheless, grant that I may pass through the coming year with a faithful heart.
May I never give the approval of my heart to error, to falseness, to vanity, to sin.
Though my days be marked with failures, stumblings, fallings,
let my spirit be free so that You may take it
and redeem my moments in all the ways my needs reveal.
Give me the quiet assurance of Your Love and Presence.
Grant that I may pass through the coming year with a faithful heart.

Pages

Latest Wizduum Blog Posts

Forum Activity

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 08:11
Mon, 06/16/2014 - 07:09
Tue, 10/01/2013 - 22:01

Acknowledgments

wizdUUm.net is made possible in part by generous support from the Fahs Collaborative