Saturday, October 6, 2012


I don't know why, I'm obsessed with the early morning beauty of
the Flyaway Bus waiting area in downtown L.A.'s Union Station
Greetings, dear people. I'm back from my retreat in Tonopah, Arizona, way out at the foot of the mountains. I had no internet and  very spotty 2G so was constantly holding my android up to the sun, breathing on it, rubbing two sticks together, and making the sign of the cross in order to publish my blog comments...

I'm off to teach my class this morn so more on the retreat and the wonderful nuns (Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration or PCPA for your T-shirts and mugs) and their life of prayer. For now, here are some random or rather assorted quotes from the books, pamphlets, and brochures I found in the retreat house.

Handwritten sign [supposedly] found on the wall of Mother Teresa’s room:

"People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends, and some true enemies; be successful anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, others may be jealous; be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will forget tomorrow; do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; give your best anyway.
For you see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. it was never between you and them anyway."

“No-one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is an inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconciliable enemies in the depth of every soul; good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories of the battlefield if we ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?’
--St. Maximilian Kolbe, in his pamphlet/newsletter "The Knight of the Immaculate," a few months before being deported to Auschwitz, 1941

The door of the kingdom is so narrow, it can only be passed through naked.
--The Jerusalem Community Rule of Life, [Passage 68]

“I vividly remember how I had, at one time, become totally dependent on the affection and friendship of one person. This dependency threw me into a pit of great anguish and brought me to the verge of a very self-destructive depression. But from the moment I was helped to experience my interpersonal addiction as an expression of a need for total surrender to a loving God who would fulfill the deepest desires of my heart, I started to live my dependency in a radically new way. Instead of living it in shame and embarrassment, I was able to live it as an urgent invitation to claim God’s unconditional love for myself, a love I can depend on without any fear.”
--Henri Nouwen, Becoming the Beloved


  1. About the handwritten sign supposedly from Mother Teresa's room: Some of those sayings do sound authentically Teresian, if one may use the word; but I can't imagine the blessed one of Calcutta using the very American phrase "ulterior motives," or urging people to "be successful anyway." In fact, wasn't it Blessed Teresa who said, "What matters is not success but fidelity"?

    I cherish the quotations from St Maximilian and from Fr Nouwen; I also cherish your awareness of, and sensitivity to, the unexpected beauty one finds in places urban (or suburban or exurban!).

    Thank you, Heather, for all you do.

  2. Powerful words no matter to whom they are attributed. Yes, Heather, thank you so much for what you do. I only read your entry in Magnificat yesterday...oh, my.....yes, some very powerful words those are, too.
    You are a blessing.

  3. Thanks, Tom and Liz. I agree, somehow that spiel didn't sound entirely Mother Teresian. Nonetheless, I kind of like its Ann Landers-ishness (Landerishian-ness?) You DO all remember Ann Landers, right?...


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