"Salvation is not a private deal with God. We are bound by the action of God in Christ to the entire creation that 'waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God' (Rom. 8:19). Any understanding of salvation that separates us from others is false and sooner or later cripples our participation in what God in Christ is doing in history, saving the world."
In the Bible, we read of encounters with God by ancient peoples, in their times and places, asking their questions, and expressed in language and ideas familiar to them. Those encounters with God were, I believe, genuine, authentic, and real. . . . All of us on a journey of faith encounter God from our point of view. . . we meet God as people defined by our moment in the human drama, products of who, where, and when we are. We ask our questions of God and encounter God in our time and place in language and ideas familiar to us, just like the ancient pilgrims of faith who gave us the Bible. . . . This Bible, which preserves ancient journeys of faith, models for us our own journeys. We recognize something of ourselves in the struggles, joys, triumphs, confusions, and despairs expressed by the biblical writers."
“I didn't need to understand the hypostatic unity of the Trinity; I just needed to turn my life over to whoever came up with redwood trees.”
"We’ve got to let the awkwardness be there. Then we see God on the street corner and we see God in the people who look like they’re not having the best day. We see God over and over and over again until we realize that what we’re seeing is ourselves. We wouldn’t have the capacity to see God if that wasn’t who we are in every moment, every day."
"Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while peeling potatoes. Zen is just peeling potatoes."
"And what is this? I put my question to the earth, and it replied, 'I am not he'; I questioned everything it held, and they confessed the same. I questioned the sea and the great deep, and the teeming live creatures that crawl, and they replied, 'We are not God; seek higher.' I questioned the gusty winds, and every breeze with all its flying creatures told me, 'Anaximenes was wrong: I am not God.' To the sky I put my question, to sun, moon, stars, but they denied me: 'We are not the God you seek.' And to all things which stood around the portals of my flesh I said, 'Tell me of my God. You are not he, but tell me something of him.' Then they lifted up their mighty voices and cried, 'He made us.' My questioning was my attentive spirit, and their reply, their beauty."
"To conclude, therefore, let no man upon a weak conceit of sobriety or an ill-applied moderation think or maintain that a man can search too far, or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or the book of God's works, divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavor an endless progress or proficience in both; only let men beware that they apply both to charity, and not to swelling; to use, and not to ostentation; and again, that they do not unwisely mingle or confound these learnings together.
"Don't shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you, others can see Him."
"What many of us miss, in our physical dis-ease, is that our bodies remain God’s best way of getting to us. . . . Deep suffering makes theologians of us all. The questions people ask about God in Sunday school rarely compare with the questions we ask while we are in the hospital."
"On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn."
“Before God, our wounds are our glory,”
"And in everything that I saw, I could perceive nothing except the presence of the power of God, and in a manner totally indescribable. And my soul in an excess of wonder cried out: This world is pregnant with God!"
"God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things."
"That which we cannot speak of is the one thing about whom and to whom we must never stop speaking."
“A deeper enlightenment and wider experience than mine is necessary to explain the dark night through which a soul journeys toward that divine light of perfect union with God that is achieved, insofar as possible in this life, through love. The darknesses and trials, spiritual and temporal, that fortunate souls ordinarily undergo on their way to the high state of perfection are so numerous and profound that human science cannot understand them adequately. Nor does experience of them equip one to explain them. Only those who suffer them will know what this experience is like, but they won’t be able to describe it.”
"The gospel of Jesus—the good news of Jesus’ own message—is that there is a way of being that moves beyond both secular and religious conventional wisdom. The path of transformation of which Jesus spoke leads from a life of requirements and measuring up (whether to culture or to God) to a life of relationship with God. It leads from a life of anxiety to a life of peace and trust. It leads from the bondage of self-preoccupation to the freedom of self-forgetfulness. It leads from life centered in culture to life centered in God."
"What paralyzes life is lack of faith and lack of audacity. The difficulty lies not in solving problems but expressing them. And so we cannot avoid this conclusion: it is biologically evident that to gain control of passion and so make it serve spirit must be a condition of progress. Sooner or later, then, the world will brush aside our incredulity and take this step : because whatever is the more true comes out into the open, and whatever is better is ultimately realized. Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
"Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity (it did not need changing)! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God."
And if by prayer
Incessant I could hope to change the will
Of Him who all things can, I would not cease
To weary Him with my assiduous cries.
(Paradise Lost, Book XI, line 307)
"The focus of prayer is not the self. [...] It is the momentary disregard of our personal concerns, the absence of self-centered thoughts, which constitute the art of prayer. Feeling becomes prayer in the moment in which we forget ourselves and become aware of God. [...] Thus, in beseeching Him for bread, there is one instant, at least, in which our mind is directed neither to our hunger nor to food, but to His mercy. This instant is prayer. We start with a personal concern and live to feel the utmost."