How Can I Serve?

For the past few days, I have been editing a manuscript of guided meditations I wrote somewhere between 15 and 18 years ago. I have re-titled the collection In the Shadow of the Divine: Meditating with Masters and Mystics.

The meditations are my impressions and interpretations of the writings and teachings of Meister Eckhart, Julian of Norwich, Hildegard of Bingen, Francis of Assisi, Francis de Sales, and others.

I am finding that this manuscript is speaking to me in a much deeper way, and it seems the messages imparted and received are precisely the ones I need to hear at this moment.

All of these mystics lived their lives in service in one way or another. I thought of that, as I reflected on the following quotes from the Inner Journey Newsletter, which spoke to me, as they often seem to do. They address this very notion of service and its role...

"God has no other hands but ours."
- Dorothee Solle
(Note: While this is attributed to Solle,
St. Teresa of Avila wrote a prayer with this very sentence.)

"One act of beneficence,
one act of real usefulness,
is worth all the abstract sentiment
in the world."
- Ann Radcliffe

"To learn to get along without,
to realize that what the world
is going to demand of us
may be a good deal more important
than what we are entitled
to demand of it -
this is a hard lesson."
- Bruce Catton

"Past the seeker as he prayed
came the crippled and the beggar
and the beaten.
And seeing them he cried:
'Great God, how is it
that a loving Creator can see such things
And yet do nothing about them?'
God said, 'I did something.
I made you.'"
- Sufi Teaching

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