Archive for October 26th, 2020

Marks of Spirituality


Written by Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), an English writer and pacifist known for her numerous works on religion and spiritual practice. This is an excerpt from her book “The Spiritual Life.”

St. John of the Cross says that every quality or virtue which that Spirit really produces in our souls has three distinguishing characters—as it were a threefold National Mark—Tranquility, Gentleness, Strength. All our action—and now we are thinking specially of action—must be peaceful, gentle, and strong. That suggests, doesn’t it, an immense depth, and an invulnerable steadiness as the soul’s abiding temper; a depth and a steadiness which come from the fact that our small action is now part of the total action of God, whose Spirit, as another saint has said, “Works always in tranquility.” Fuss and feverishness, anxiety, intensity, intolerance, instability, pessimism and wobble, and every kind of hurry and worry—these, even on the highest levels, are signs of the self-made and self-acting soul; the spiritual parvenu. The saints are never like that. They share the quiet and noble qualities of the great family to which they belong.


Written by Jay McDaniel, a contemporary an American professor of religion.

In this century and in any century,

Our deepest hope, our most tender prayer,

Is that we learn to listen.

May we listen to one another in openness and mercy

May we listen to plants and animals in wonder and respect

May We listen to our own hearts in love and forgiveness

May we listen to God in quietness and awe.

And in this listening,

Which is boundless in its beauty,

May we find the wisdom to cooperate

With a healing spirit, a divine spirit

Who beckons us into peace and community and creativity.

We do not ask for a perfect world.

But we do ask for a better world.

We ask for deep listening. Amen.

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