And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7
I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your offspring may live. Love the Eternal One, your God, by heeding God's call and being faithful to God. Deuteronomy 30:19-20.
I, the highest and fiery power, have kindled every living spark and I have breathed out nothing that can die (...) I flame above the beauty of the fields, I shine in the waters; in the sun, the moon and the stars, I burn (...) All living things take radiance from me; and I am the life which remains the same through eternity, having neither beginning nor end (...). God through St. Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.266.
God, who made the world and everything in it, is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in man-made temples. Nor does he need anything that we can supply by working for him, since it is he himself who gives life and breath and everything else to everyone. From one man he created all races of mankind and made them live throughout the whole earth. He himself fixed beforehand the exact times and the limits of the places where they would live. He did this so they would look for him, and perhaps find him as they felt around for him. Yet God is actually not far from anyone of us; as someone has said, 'In him we live and move and exist.' (...). Acts of Apostles, 17:24-28
O Son of Man! I loved thy creation, hence I created thee. Wherefore, do thou love Me, that I may name thy name and fill thy soul with the spirit of life. Baha'u'llah, The Hidden Words, 4.
For the Father, who is the source of life, has made the Son the source of life (...) John 5:26
Jesus said, "Look to the living one as long as you live, or you might die and then try to see the living one, and you will be unable to see." Gospel of Thomas, 59.
I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst. John 6:35
As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me. John 6:56-57
It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. John 6:63
What gives life is God's Spirit; man's power is of no use at all. The words I have spoken to you bring God's life-giving Spirit. John 6:63
As scripture says: From his breast shall flow fountains of living water. John 7:38
I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full. John 10:10
For You are, O Lord, the life-giving delight of the pure in heart. St. Augustine, Confessions, XIII.21
Seek the Lord, and your soul shall live. Ps 68:33
You will show me the path of life; in your presence is the fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures for evermore. Ps 16:11
Let me not be my own life; of myself, I have lived badly; to myself, I was death and in You do I live again. St. Augustine, Confessions, XII.10
When once I shall be united to You with my whole self, then shall I nowhere meet with sorrow or labor, and my life shall be truly alive being full of You. St. Augustine, IX.28
Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
Another man, one of his disciples, said to him, "Sir, let me go and bury my father first." But Jesus replied, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their dead." Matthew 8:21-22
For man, the right to life is the fundamental right. (...) The right to life means the right to be born and then continue to live until one's natural end. John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, P.204-5.
(...) love and desire constitute the life of the spirit. And the spirit abides where its love abides as surely as it abides in the body which it fills with life. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.127.
He is your being and in him, you are who you are, not only because He is the cause and being of all that exists, but because He is your cause and the deep center of your being. Therefore, in this contemplative work think of your self and of Him in the same way: that is, with the simple awareness that He is as He is, and that you are as you are. (...) Yet keep in mind this distinction between yourself and Him: He is your being but you are not his. The Book of Privy Counseling, P.150.
Even though we may not be able to halt the [nuclear] race toward death, one must nevertheless choose life, and the things that favor life. This means respect for every living thing, but especially for every man, made in the image of God. Respect for man even in his blindness and in his confusion, even when he may do evil. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P. 199. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Each true child of God is mild, perfect, docile, and alone.
His consciousness springs up, in the Spirit of the Lord, at the precise
point where he feels himself to be held in being by a pure gift, and act
of love, a divine command. The freedom of God's gift of life calls
for the response of our own freedom - an act of obedience, hidden in the
secrecy of our deepest being. We find the Lord when we find His gift
of life in the depths of ourselves. We are fully alive in Him when
the deepest roots of life become conscious that they live in Him.
From this consent to exist in dependence upon His gift and upon His freedom
interior life." Merton, Thomas. No Man Is An Island. PP 242-243. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn mailto:email@example.com
(...) But in a deeply religious culture people know that the deep level of prayer and of divine attendance is the most important thing in the world. It is at this deep level that the real business of life is determined. The secular mind is an abbreviated, fragmentary mind, building only upon a part of human nature and neglecting a part - the most glorious part - of a human being's nature, powers, and resources. The religious mind involves the whole person, embraces his or her relations with time within their true ground and setting in the Eternal Lover. It ever keeps close to the fountains of divine creativity. In lowliness it knows joys and stabilities, peace and assurances, that are utterly incomprehensible to the secular mind. It lives in resources and powers that make individuals radiant and triumphant, groups tolerant and bonded together in mutual concern, and is bestirred to an outward life of unremitting labor. Kelly, Thomas. A Testament of Devotion. PP.35-36
The only true joy on earth is to escape from the prison of our own false self, and enter by love into union with the Life Who dwells and sings within the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls. In His love we possess all things and enjoy fruition of them, finding Him in them all. Merton, Thomas. New Seeds of Contemplation. P. 25. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn firstname.lastname@example.org
Even though we may not be able to halt the [nuclear] race toward death,
one must nevertheless choose life, and the things that favor life.
This means respect for every living thing, but especially for every man,
made in the image of God. Respect for man even in his blindness and
in his confusion, even when he may do evil. For we must see that
the meaning of every man has
been totally changed by the Crucifixion: every man is Christ on the Cross, whether he realizes it or not. But we, if we are Christians, must learn to realize it. That is what it means to be a Christian: not simply one who believes certain reports about Christ, but one who lives in a conscious confrontation with Christ in himself and in other men. Merton, Thomas. Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander. P. 199. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn email@example.com
The life which Christ gives to the world is the life which He receives from the Father, the life of the Father in Him. We need see no further than Christ Himself in order to "see" the invisible source of Life. The simplicity of the Gospels, if kept in mind, makes false mysticism impossible. Christ has delivered us forever from the esoteric and strange. He has brought the light of God to our own level to transfigure our ordinary existence. Merton, Thomas. The Living Bread. P. 105. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn firstname.lastname@example.org
See, little children, how nature opens itself and gives life and fruit. In the same manner I call you also to life with God and abandon yourselves completely to Him. Our Lady of Medjugorie, May 25, 1989. Words from Heaven, P.77.
Pray to discover the greatness and the beauty of life that God gives you. Our Lady of Medjugorie, May 25, 1989. Words from Heaven, P.77.
Little children, rejoice in God the Creator because He has created you so wonderfully. Our Lady of Medjugorie, August 25, 1988. Words from Heaven, P.78.
Dear children, today I invite you to decide for God once again and to choose Him before everything and above everything, so that He may work miracles in your life and that day by day your life may become joy with Him. ( ) Pray to be able to comprehend greatness and the beauty of the gift of life. ( ). Our Lady of Medjugorie, January 25, 1990. Words from Heaven, P.256-7.
If you pray, a source of life will flow from your hearts. If you pray with strength, if you pray with faith, you will receive graces from this source ( ) Our Lady of Medjugorie, October 24, 1983. Words from Heaven, P.348.
God is not fully known when He is only "known" by the understanding. He is best known by us when He takes possession of our whole being and unites us to Himself. Then we know Him not in an idea but beyond ideas, in a contact of love, in an experience of Who He is, in a realization that He and He alone is our life and that without Him we are nothing. It is our joy to be nothing, and to know that He is all. Merton, Thomas. Bread In The Wilderness. P.166. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn email@example.com
The essence of the Jewish concept of life seems to me to be the affirmation of life for all creatures. For the life of the individual has meaning only in the service of enhancing and ennobling the life of every living thing. Life is holy; i.e., it is the highest worth on which all other values depend (...). Alberta Einstein, The Sanctification of Life, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.218.
Each cell and tissue in the nervous system is a living, intelligent structure. Life energy can always renew it. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.100.
The difficulty about this motion picture of life is that all unrealities seem real, and all realities seem unreal. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.182.
Life is everything. Life is God. Everything changes and moves to and from, and that movement is God. And while there is life there is joy in consciousness of the Godhead. To love life is to love God. Pierre Bezuhov in Tolstoy's War & Peace. Submitted by Robert Moore.
Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy. Abraham Joshua Heschel, I Asked for Wonder: A Spiritual Anthology. P. 65. Submitted to merton-L Discussion Group by Melanie Mattson.
Life is the light of God, the expression of Divinity. It is divine. It is the stream of eternal Being, a flow of existence, of intelligence, of creativity, of purity, and of bliss. Life is unity. (...) Life is unity in God consciousness. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. (1963). Transcendental Meditation. London: New American Library.
And Jesus answered: Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scripture is dead. (...) The law is living word of living God to living prophets for living men. In everything that is life is the law written. You find it in the grass, in the tree, in the river, in the mountain, in the birds of heaven, in the fishes of the sea, but seek it chiefly in yourselves. (...) They are in your breath, your blood, your bone; in your flesh, your bowels, your eyes, your ears, and in every little part of your body. They are present in the air, in the water, in the earth, in the plants, in the sunbeams, in the depths and in the heights. (...) God wrote not the laws in the pages of books, but in your heart and in your spirit. (..) They all speak to you that you may understand the tongue and the will of the living God. (...) For I tell you truly, all living things are nearer to God than the scripture which is without life. The Essene Gospel of Peace.(1981), P.13.
You are alive - by Solomon Ibn Gabirol, 11th Century
Who could return your goodness
in sending breath through the body
to invest it with life,
in revealing a way of life to guide it
and save it from evil's contrivance:
Out of the ground you formed it,
and into the blood breathed soul-
and you sent the spirit of wisdom along it,
which sets us apart from swine,
and allows for ascent on high...
You've shut us inside your world,
while you look in from beyond and observe;
and all that we try to conceal
within or without you reveal.
XXXI by Gabirol (11th Century). Quoted after: Cole, Peter (Trans.) (2001). Selected Poems of Solomon Ibn Gabirol. Princeton, Oxford: Princeton University Press. P.174.
One day the highwayman came to the Baal-Shem-Tov and said: "We know a shortcut to the Holy Land - through caverns. If you come with us, we'll show you the way." So the Baal-Shem-Tov went with them. And as they walked, they came to a pit filled with clay and water, and a plank lay across the pit. And they leaned on the beam that stood in the water. The highwayman went first. But when the Baal-Shem-Tov was about to go, he saw the "flaming sword which turned every which way to keep the way of the tree of life" (Genesis 3:24). And the Baal-Shem-Tov stepped back, for it was dangerous for him to go any further. No Star Too Beautiful, P.102.
This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment
First, to let go of life.
In the end, to take a step without feet.
Heart, I said, what a gift it has been
to enter this circle of lovers,
to see beyond seeing itself,
to reach and feel within the breast.
My soul, where does this breathing arise?
How does this beating heart exist?
Rumi, To Take a Step Without Feet, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.29.
Life comes without warning. Lieh Tzu, quoted in: Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.215.
Even though one may not be able to halt the race toward death, one must nevertheless choose life, and the things that favor life. This means respect for every living thing, but especially for every man, made in the image of God. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.219.
"I am sure we honour God more," writes Bonhoffer (...) "if we gratefully accept the life he gives us with all its blessings, loving it and drinking it to the full. grieving deeply and sincerely when we have belittled or thrown away any of the precious things of life ..." Quoted in: Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.316.
If you aspire to incorruptibility and immortality, pursue with faith and reverence whatever is life-giving and does not perish; (...). St. Theognostos (VIII Century of the C.E. ?), quoted in: (1981). The Philokalia. Vol. II., P.363.
In our ever present need for thee, Beloved, let us know your peace. ( ) And give us our inheritance of divine love so that we can forgive like you. ( ) And what sadness in this world could endure if it looked into your eyes? God is like a honeybee, He doesnt mind me calling Him that; for when you are kind sweet he nears, and can draw you into Himself. What is there to understand of each other: ( ). We are all in mourning for the experience of our essence we knew and now miss. ( ) Yes, I will console any creature before me that is not laughing or full of passion for their art or life; for laughing and passion beauty and joy is our hearts truth, all else is labor and foreign to the soul. ( ) St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.45.
Last updated: 2008/10/30
See the related pages: Aliveness, Awakenings,