It is so much easier to observe the rituals and rules than to live the message of the gospel. It is so much easier to be self-satisfied because we have covered all prescribed obligations than to live this radical message. It is so much easier to live a superficial piety than to risk a painful conversion that leads to real inner change. It is so much easier to stay in the comfortable niche of old information than to move into an unfamiliar place. It is so much easier to be pleasant than to be prophetic.
Lead me, O Lord, to follow you with honesty and self-knowledge.
How do I view my own spiritual practice? In what do I base my pattern of living? Where do I see a divide between Jesus’ message and its practice in our public and religious arenas? What would it mean if I answered the real challenge of Jesus’ teaching in the context of 21st century revelations?
After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He
entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The
Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside
of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands? He answered and said to them, “Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
People who are suffering right now are not into piety, … They need to experience God through people.
Beware, so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance.
Jean de La Fontaine
Grown men can learn from very little children—for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show them many things that older people miss.
A day of courage and earnest striving is better than a hundred years of idleness and weakness.
It’s easy to believe in the Way, and difficult to keep it.
It was not by any accident that the greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious souls.
Old ideas give way slowly; for they are more than abstract logical forms and categories. They are habits, predispositions, deeply ingrained attitudes of aversion and preference.
Faced with changing one’s mind, or proving that there is no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.
John Kenneth Galbraith