L'Chaim November 23, 2023
There is no such thing as pure freedom. Every freedom is conditioned by something else, and it seeks its own essence in the midst of manifold life constraints. The secret of true freedom is to recognise these constraints and accept them in order to consciously use them as a »working servant« for the personal goal.
from: Henri Boulad, Dimensions of Love
L'Chaim November 9, 2023
For in the end, it is all about memory, its sources and its magnitude, and, of course, its consequences.
L'Chaim September 9th, 2023
Therefore, every creative work makes the human soul happiest; humans have the impression of creating something out of NOTHING, a divine action. The poet writes something, the architect builds something, the teacher educates something (she creates education), the woman bakes something, the seamstress sews something - and they are all creators! ... Creative activity gives extraordinary pleasure to the human soul, so God has shuffled the cards for us and added his creative spirit to the mix.
Henri Boulad SJ
L'Chaim August 31st, 2023
Conversation in its true meaning isn't all wagging the tongue; sometimes it is a deeply shared silence.
L'Chaim August 15th, 2023
»and rejoice in all that your hands have made« (Dt 12, 18)
We must not forget how to live from joy.
Joy means the enrichment of existence.
In joy there is illumination and upliftment....
Joy opens the doors of our existence.
In joy there is an embracing and a being gifted and a giving.
L'Chaim July 31st, 2023
The moment of the window
Someone pours light
out of the window.
The roses of the air
and in the street
the children raise their eyes
while at play.
of its sweetness.
The girls become beautiful
and men gentle
by this light.
But before the others tell them,
the window has been closed
by someone again.
L'Chaim June 22nd, 2023
Our tales do more than dismantle social standings and generate camaraderie and entertainment. They create a space for one’s past, touching its flesh through memory and shedding a light that illuminates ourselves to ourselves and to others. Without those stories we’re only half ourselves; without them that other half lurks inside like a shadow yearning for the sun.
Donna Morrissey, Pluck
L'Chaim May 25th, 2023
I pour all kinds of juices into myself,
I fill myself up with experiences,
I'm in a good mood, I'm in a good place,
I know where to find the elixirs.
Many masters give me to drink
and prolong life
and adorn my appearance and strengthen
and loosen the soul and drip love into me
and heal the diseases.
And know nothing against death.
and know nothing against death.
Bubble over with vitality
and know nothing against death.
Restless drinking and growing thirst,
that cannot be quenched,
it cannot be sated
unless I find the well
which thou hast made in thy land,
L'Chaim March 30th, 2023
There are no dead points that cannot become turning points - without dying there is no resurrection, without death there is no new life. This sometimes also applies to our personal lives, that some things just pass by in order to give rise to something new.
Alfred Delp 1944
L'Chaim March 16th, 2023
Human beings and human things
must be known in order to be loved.
God and divine things
must be loved in order to know them.
L'Chaim March 2nd, 2023
In Italian it is said that something is »ugly like hunger«, but actually that's not true. Hunger can be infinitely productive. It can drive us. Those who are hungry for success can achieve an incredible amount. Those who have a hunger for knowledge can learn an incredible amount. Finally, those who have a hunger for life can live and experience a great deal, can live incredibly.
Heiner Wilmer, Mose
L'Chaim February 16th, 2023
»It is a subtle form of disbelief when you have become accustomed to what you believe. It is powerless. An awakened faith cannot become accustomed to God or to the world. For in becoming accustomed, the soul is without hope and the mind without questions.«
Martin Schleske, »Der Klang«
L'Chaim February 2nd, 2023
»Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.«
Martin Luther King, Jr.
L'Chaim January 19th, 2023
»The pearl - wonderful, precious!
It grows out of pain.
It is formed when a mussel is injured.
When a foreign body, such as a grain of sand, enters it and it becomes contaminated, it begins to form a substance with which it protects its body. A beautiful, shiny pearl forms. Without an injury, a mussel could not produce a pearl, because the pearl is a wound hat is now scarred over.
How many wounds we carry around with us, how many unattractive, impure things dwell within us!...The only way out is to wrap our wounds in that substance which makes them scar over, yes, which even enables us to experience how pearls can grow from them. The substance is - love.«
December 24th, 2022
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the Baby, who was lying in the manger. After they had seen the Child, they spread the message they had received about Him. And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
Lk 2,15 -18
December 23rd, 2022
Journeys end in lovers meeting.
December 22nd, 2022
It is better to journey than to arrive, as long as we journey in firm faith and for selfless ends.
December 21st, 2022
If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine - it's lethal.
December 20th, 2022
Thus say the Lord: “Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths: ‘Where is the good way?’ Then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls."
December 19th, 2022
Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love.
December 18th, 2022
Ancient Biblical word (to Gen 12, 1)
out of the well-rehearsed
than you think
beyond your sight
you have to
show it to you.
December 17th, 2022
Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
December 16th, 2022
Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. Make a level path for your feet, and all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your feet away from evil.
Proverbs 4, 25-27
December 15th, 2022
Humour and patience are the two camels with which you can cross any desert.
December 14th, 2022
“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
December 13th, 2022
The geographical pilgrimage is the symbolic acting out an inner journey. The inner journey is the interpolation of the meanings and signs of the outer pilgrimage. One can have one without the other. It is best to have both.
December 12th, 2022
So our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, ‘Take provisions in your hand for the journey, and go to meet them and say to them, “We are your servants; now then, make a covenant with us.”’ This our bread was warm when we took it for our provisions out of our houses on the day that we left to come to you; but now behold, it is dry and has become crumbled. These wineskins which we filled were new, and behold, they are torn; and these our clothes and our sandals are worn out because of the very long journey."
Joshua 9, 11-13
December 11th, 2022
In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself astray in a dark wood where the straight road had been lost sight of.
December 10th, 2022
When setting out on a journey do not seek advice from someone who never left home.
December 9th, 2022
All journeys have a secret purpose that the traveller does not suspect.
December 8th, 2022
Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no path to a city in which to dwell. They were hungry and thirsty; their soul fainted within them. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress. He led them on a straight path to reach a city where they could live.
Ps 107, 4-7
December 7th, 2022
We do not receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.
December 6th, 2022
Life is a journey. When we stop, things don’t go right.
December 5th, 2022
The only journey is the one within.
Rainer Maria Rilke
December 4th, 2022
Then they said to him, »Please inquire of God whether our journey will be successful.« He replied, »Go in peace. The Lord is with you on your journey.«
December 3rd, 2022
The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.
Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe
December 2nd, 2022
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
December 1st, 2022
Wisdom rewarded God's people for their hardships; she guided them along a marvelous way, and became a shelter to them by day, and starlight through the night.
Wisdom 10, 17
L'Chaim July 19th, 2022
Through me sweeps the vision of a psychic energy field created in a continual present by the many, in word and deed constantly praying, living in the holy will.
L'Chaim July 15th, 2022
I have often asked myself and found no answer,/ where the good and the gentle come from,/ I still don't know to this day and must now leave.
L'Chaim June 29th, 2022
Good life teachers are unpretentious and can stand the fact that there are others beside them who may be more competent than they are or that their students will even surpass them one day. Every person needs life teachers who do not focus on themselves but point beyond themselves. Good life teachers are not gurus who want to be worshipped. Rather, they are people who give the right advice at important crossroads in life. Sometimes it is important to realise that you are at an important crossroads. Then you learn from these important people the art of distinguishing between sense and nonsense, good and evil, opportunity or pitfall. And the courage to turn back once you have made the wrong decision.
L'Chaim June 1st, 2022
»Your whole evil is that you do not know how beautiful you are.«
L'Chaim May 16, 2022
»I am I, and that is good. You are you, and you should become you. Then I am happy.«
- Carmen Kimm
L'Chaim October 15, 2021
»There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal. I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge - even wisdom. Like art.«
- Toni Morrison
L'Chaim August 13, 2021
»Sincerity is most likely the most daring form of valor.«
L'Chaim July 29, 2021
A refined thought for the human masses:
»There wouldn’t be a sky full of stars if we were all meant to wish on the same one.«
Frances Elliott Clark (1860-1958)
L'Chaim July 23, 2021
»We will never regret
having been born in this
for we recognize it
for what it is:
the time of fullness of heart.«
Alice Walker, Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart
L'Chaim July 14, 2021
»The truth that Corona teaches makes clear once and for all: no one is the lord and master of his own life. We are all indissolubly integrated into a comprehensive network of natural and social life, which we can neither ignore with our narcissism nor dominate with our egoism.«
Christoph Quarch in March 2020,12 Lessons from Corona
L'Chaim April 2, 2020
»What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?«
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
L'Chaim March 19, 2020
for God holds you in his hand
in such a way
that you in no way
need to buttress yourself
upon your own security.
Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179
L'Chaim March 6, 2020
Power of Light
To make of heaven
and of earth
of their power of light
can draw a star
L'Chaim February 20, 2020
God does not say to human beings:
You need to change in order that I may accept you.
But rather, because he accepts them, human beings can change.
Klaus Hemmerle (1929 - 1994), Catholic Theologian, Bishop of Aachen
L'Chaim February 6, 2020
If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!
Ralph Waldo Emerson
L'Chaim January 22, 2020
I would like to become food to satisfy the hungry;
Clothing to cover the naked;
Drink to refresh the thirsty;
Medication to strengthen the stomach of the weak;
A soft bed, that the weary might rest;
Remedy and care to alleviate the suffering of the sick;
Light to illuminate the blind;
Life, in order to reawaken the dead.
Saint Vincent Pallotti
L'Chaim January 9, 2020
In a skiff of night
And drifted to a shore.
On clouds I leaned against the rain.
On sand hills against the furious wind.
Nothing was to be trusted.
I ate the green fruits of desire,
Drank from the water that makes for thirst.
A stranger, mute in the face of unexplored areas,
I froze my way through the dark years.
As my home I chose love.
L'Chaim December 12, 2019
I give you an emptiness,
I give you a plenitude,
unwrap them carefully -
one's as fragile as the other -
and when you thank me
I'll pretend not to notice the doubt in your voice
when you say they're just what you wanted.
Put them on the table by your bed.
When you wake in the morning
they'll have gone through the door of sleep
into your head. Wherever you go
they'll go with you and
wherever you are you'll wonder,
smiling about the fullness
you can't add to and the emptiness
that you can fill.
L'Chaim November 29, 2019
There are no words for the deepest things.
Words become feeble when mystery visits
and prayer moves into silence.
L'Chaim November 14, 2019
»Do you actually believe in God, Mr. Bermann?, she once asked me at the beginning. First I was astonished, and then I said: If I am to be honest, not really. Then what are you doing here in the synagogue? He believes in me, I said, and I do not want to disappoint him.«
From: Michel Bergmann, Die Teilacher, 2010
L'Chaim October 29, 2019
The manner in which God speaks to us is similar to the revelation of the light in flowers. It is the warmth and the brightness that opens them to the light. And the kindness, closeness and trust with which we are met, is the manner in which God reveals himself as person in the background of every act of human affirmation.
L'Chaim October 16, 2019
I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created; I have a place in God’s counsels, in God’s world, which no one else has; whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man, God knows me and calls me by name.
St. John Henry Newman
L'Chaim September 26, 2019
The secret of reaping the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously.
(Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900)
L'Chaim September 11, 2019
And it's a human need to be told stories. The more we're governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible.
L'Chaim August 28, 2019
»The desert is beautiful,« the little prince added.
And that was true. I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams . . .
»What makes the desert beautiful,« said the little prince, »is that somewhere it hides a well . . .«
Antoine de St. Exupéry, The Little Prince
L'Chaim July 30, 2019
Prayer is not a stratagem for occasional use, a refuge to resort to now and then. It is rather like an established residence for the innermost self. All things have a home, the bird has a nest, the fox has a hole, the bee has a hive. A soul without prayer is a soul without a home.
Weary, sobbing, the soul, after roaming through a world festered with aimlessness, falsehoods and absurdities, seeks a moment in which to gather up its scattered life, in which to divest itself of enforced pretensions and camouflage, in which to simplify complexities, in which to call for help without being a coward. Such a home is prayer. Continuity, permanence, intimacy, authenticity, earnestness are its attributes. For the soul, home is where prayer is.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
L'Chaim April 27, 2019
I am the warmth of your hearth
on cold winter nights.
I am the shade that shields you
from the hot summer sun.
My fruits and my vitalizing drinks
slake your thirst on your journey.
I am the beam that holds your house,
the door to your home,
the bed in which you lay
and the frame which carries your boat.
I am the handle on your rake,
the wood of your cradle
and the shell of your coffin.
Discovered on an ash tree at the Abbey of Marienstatt.
L'Chaim March1st, 2019
The God, who does not exist,
within me, a dark crack,
is close to my soul,
as often as I miss him.
(Christian Lehnert: Windzüge, Frankfurt 2o15)
L'Chaim February 13, 2019
Never has a portion of well-being grown out of hardness.
Erik Riechers SAC
L'Chaim January 17, 2019
»Why do so few ever see the star? Only because so few are looking for it. Some occasionally resolve to do so, but then always have something cheaper that counts and takes precedence… What are we looking for anyway? And where does this genuine passion of the heart smolder, that shy away neither from desert nor from the unknown, neither from loneliness nor from the knowing smile of those who always consider the believer to be a fool? Only with this passion, to which the heart has prescribed itself, does the tirelessness grow, that then still sinks to its knees, wisely and royally, when the end of the long journey is only found in the stall. They see deeper and grasp the definitive. A hundred hardships of the spirit and the heart have enabled them to believe.«
(From: Alfred Delp, Fest der Menschenfreundlichkeit Gottes, hrsg. von Roman Bleistein, Frankfurt am Main: Verlag Josef Knecht 1985. Translation E. Riechers.)
L'Chaim December 13, 2018
When the smell
upon the rocks
when you taste the sand
like freshly baked
like the wax of a candle
when the Bedouin
to the earth
with his prayers
to the oases
for the voice
of the beginning
it sings anew
L'Chaim December 6, 2018
»What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.«
(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
L'Chaim November 9, 2018
The greatest danger any civilisation faces is when it suffers from collective amnesia. We forget how small beginnings lead to truly terrible endings. A thousand years of Jewish history in Europe added certain words to the human vocabulary: forced conversion, inquisition, expulsion, ghetto, pogrom, Holocaust. Once hate goes unchecked, the road to tragedy is short.
L`Chaim October 12, 2018
Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.
(Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
L`Chaim October 1, 2018
on which our glances wandered upwards,
there are engraved
songs of lamentation
of the elders
the stone skin
on which our glances
there are inscribed
of the elders
the breath of all those
who were here before us,
with nothing but their lives,
Burga Gripekoven, Treibsand, 2014
L`Chaim September 13, 2018
True humanity is more precious than all the beauty of this earth.
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, 1746-1827
L`Chaim April 18, 2018
My God, my God,
may it never end –
the sand and the sea,
the rustle of the water,
the brilliance of the sky,
the prayer of man.
From Hannah Szenes’s Poem,
A Walk To Caesarea
L`Chaim March 22, 2018
If stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown. But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.
Ralph Waldo Emerson,
L`Chaim February 25, 2018
at home outside
where birds of sorrow
build their nests
in the mouths
of the weeping
from Wilhelm Bruners, »ZUHAUSE IN ZWEI ZELTEN«, p. 42
L`Chaim February 4, 2018
»Art can move and alter people in subtle ways because, like love, it speaks through and to the heart.«
Martin Luther King Jr. in a letter to Sammy Davis Jr., Dec. 20, 1960
L`Chaim January 9, 2018
How simple for me to live with You, O Lord!
How easy for me to believe in You!
When my mind opens unto doubt or falters,
when the most clever of the clever
see no further than this day’s end
and do not know what must be done tomorrow,
You grant me the clarity and the confidence that You exist
and that You will take care that not all the paths of good be closed.
At the peak of my earthly fame,
I gaze back with wonderment at that path
through hopelessness - to this place,
from whence I, too, could send
a reflection of Your radiance to humanity.
And however much time is required
to mirror your radiance,
You will grant it to me.
And what I will no longer be able to accomplish,
means that You have predestined it for others.
Prayer by Alexander Solschenizyn, composed between 1958 and 1963.
[quoted from: Alexander Solschenizyn, Was geschieht mit der Seele in der Nacht. Kurzerzählungen.
We come from afar
and must go further yet
have no fear
all are with you
who were before you
and all who were before them
long long ago
all are with you
have no fear
we come from afar
and must go further yet
May 8, 1985
Heinrich Böll (1917-1985)
Best I love September's yellow;
Morns of dew-strung gossamer,
Thoughtful days without a stir,
Rooky clamours, brazen leaves,
Stubbles dotted o'er with sheaves, -
More than spring’s bright uncontrol
Suit the autumn of my soul.
Alexander Smith (1829-1867)
Just as a mother with her own life
Protects her child, her only child, from harm,
So within yourself let grow
A boundless love for all creatures.
Let your love flow outward through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.
Then, as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
Your life will bring heaven to earth.
L'Chaim July 25, 2017
»Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by humankind.« (Rudyard Kipling)
L`Chaim July 18, 2017:
If you are reasonable, prove yourself to be a bowl, rather than a canal
that simultaneously receives and passes on,
while the bowl waits until it is filled. . . .
I do not wish to become rich, if it means you must become empty.
If you treat yourself poorly,
whom will you do any good?
If you can, help me out of your fullness,
if not, then spare yourself.
(From a letter of Bernhard of Clairvaux)