Friday, December 30, 2016

From My Commonplace, Selections from 2016

In 2016, I used my Commonplace notebook, but not as often as I would like.  I spent a little time this afternoon reading through what I did write, and that little review was an encouraging reminder of the value of this practice.

I thought I'd share a selection of quotes from my Commonplace and finally join Celeste's Keeping Company link up.  In the new year I hope to return to blogging regularly and I want the Keeping Company posts to be a monthly occurrence.

"Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your freedom!  I hope you will make good use of it."   John Adams, in a letter to Abigail Adams, as quoted by Natalie S. Bober in Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution
"'What species is that?' is one of the first questions many people ask of nature. [...] The name is not the thing.  Identifying a species is only the tip of the iceberg of inquiry.  It is not necessary to know something's name to ask an interesting question or make a discovery about it. "  John Muir Laws, Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling
"Relationships with the land that are intensely metaphorical, like Kent's, are a lofty achievement of the human mind. They are a sophisticated response, like the creation of maps, or the development of a language that grows out of a certain landscape.  The mind can imagine beauty and conjure intimacy. It can find solace where literal analysis finds only trees and rocks and grass."   Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams
"The goal of science is to make the most useful and accurate explanations possible, based on the available evidence.  To have scientific integrity is to approach this process with humility and with the awareness that it is possible, even quite likely, you will be wrong. " John Muir Laws,  Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling
"Tears often release us from a great internal burden. Our weeping releases the grop we are trying to hold on ourselves by remaining 'strong', not letting ourselves feel some pain, not admitting our powerlessness and brokenness in face of some terrible loss or suffering."  Fr. Sylvester Kwiatkowski, church bulletin
"The key here is finding the glory of God within the practice or work and not only in the final product." Megan Hoyt, A Touch of the Infinite
"What distinguishes the work of someone like Vivaldi from another who, perhaps, remains lost forever?  The goodness of God? The patronage of other composers or benefactors? History can be brutal, and the quest for fame can be an enormous wild goose chase. I think we can safely say that any artistic endeavor is best performed to the glory of God, and not in pursuit of fame and fortune. History may forget your contribution, but God never forgets." Megan Hoyt, A Touch of the Infinite
"How imperishable are all the impressions that vibrate one's life! We cannot forget anything. Memories may escape the action of will, may sleep a long time, but when stirred by the right influence, though that influence be light as a shadow, they flash into full stature and life with everything in place." John Muir, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf, excerpted in the Wild Muir by Lee Stetson
"The Psalter is the vicarious prayer of Christ for his Church.  Now that Christ is with the Father, the new humanity of Christ, the Body of Christ on earth, continues to pray his prayer to the end of time. This prayer belongs, not to the individual member, but to the whole Body of Christ. Only in the whole Christ does the whole Psalter become a reality, a whole which the individual can never fully comprehend and call his own. That is why the prayer of the psalms belongs in a peculiar way to the fellowship.  Even if a verse or psalm is not one's own prayer, it is nevertheless the prayer of another member of the fellowship; so it is quite certain the prayer of the true Man Jesus Christ and his body on earth."  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
"The person who comes into a fellowship because he is running away from himself is misusing it for the sake of diversion no matter how spiritual this diversion may appear. He is really not seeking community at all, but only distraction which will allow him to forget his loneliness for a brief time, the very alienation that creates the deadly isolation of man."  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
"The prayer of the morning will determine the day."  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
"Whenever escape is necessary, there is a great necessity for prayer." St. Augustine, Catena Aurea, St. John's Gospel 
"Personal sanctity, after which he had striven with such desperation ever since his sojourn in the Irish monastery, was not enough.  He had been regarding it as an end in itself instead of that which determines the quality of what a man can do for his fellow men." Elizabeth Goudge, Gentian Hill 

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