Tag Archives: wisdom

Deo Gratias

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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  1. Guan, a high school senior, I’m tutoring. She’s planning to go to North America to college she’s such a fine young lady, enthusiastic, smart and polite. It’s so encouraging to be around a young person who’s on the right track and brought up well. She appreciates books and ideas as well as numbers, her main love.
  2. The warm days. Yesterday it was in the 80s.
  3. The magnolia trees. Their flowers decorated our landscape all last week.
  4. Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I just finished it and soon will write about it. It’s not her best work, but gosh, it’s good.
  5. The strength from God and wisdom from scripture and Christian writers to deal with the small conflicts that come my way. I think I’m getting better at it. Not sure.

The Pope Tweets


Daniel Berrigan’s 10 Commandments

These commandments from Jesuit Daniel Berrigan don’t eliminate or replace the original ten, but do offer wisdom. Since Buddhists have 108 sins, I think Christians can handle 20 commandments and 8 Beatitudes.

1) Call on Jesus when all else fails. Call on Him when all else succeeds (except that never happens).

2) Don’t be afraid to be afraid or appalled to be appalled. How do you think the trees feel these days, or the whales, or, for that matter, most humans?

3) Keep your soul to yourself. Soul is a possession worth paying for, they’re growing rarer. Learn from monks, they have secrets worth knowing.

4) About practically everything in the world, there’s nothing you can do. This is Socratic wisdom. However, about of few things you can do something. Do it, with a good heart.

5) On a long drive, there’s bound to be a dull stretch or two. Don’t go anywhere with someone who expects you to be interesting all the time. And don’t be hard on your fellow travelers. Try to smile after a coffee stop.

6) Practically no one has the stomach to love you, if you don’t love yourself. They just endure. So do you.

7) About healing: The gospels tell us that this was Jesus’ specialty and he was heard to say: “Take up your couch and walk!”

8) When traveling on an airplane, watch the movie, but don’t use the earphones. Then you’ll be able to see what’s going on, but not understand what’s happening, and so you’ll feel right at home, little different then you do on the ground.

9) Know that sometimes the only writing material you have is your own blood.

10) Start with the impossible. Proceed calmly towards the improbable. No worry, there are at least five exits.


From Merton’s No Man is an Island

No Man is an Island is such a well written, wise book. Here’s just a few quotations:

p. 194 #7

Your idea of me is fabricated with and from yourself. What you think of me depends on what you think of yourself. Perhaps you create your idea of me out of material that you would eliminate from your own idea of yourself. Perhaps your idea of me is a reflection of what other people think of you. Or perhaps what you think of me is simply what you think, I think of you.

p. 195

The arguments of religious men are so often insincere and their insincerity is proportionate to their anger. Why do we get angry about what we believe? Because we do not really believe it. Or else what we pretend to be defending as the “truth” is really our own self-esteem. A man of sincerity is less interested in defending the truth than in stating it clearly, for he thinks that if the truth can be clearly seen it can very well take care of itself.