Here is the wisdom for this week.
5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
5:39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;
5:40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well;
5:41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.
5:42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
5:45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.
5:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
5:47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
5:48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Don’t Set Out to Save the World
When we are training in the art of peace, we are not given any promises that, because of our noble intentions, everything will be okay. In fact, there are no promises of fruition at all. Instead, we are encouraged to simply look deeply at joy and sorrow, at laughing and crying, at hoping and fearing, at all that lives and dies. We learn that what truly heals is gratitude and tenderness.
It isn’t that we say, “It doesn’t matter about me all that much, but if I changed the world, it would be better for other people.” It’s less complicated than that. We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.
Vincent van Gogh
I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things. Love a friend, a wife, something, whatever you like, and you will be on the right way to knowing more about it; that is what I say to myself. But one must love with a lofty and serious intimate sympathy, with strength, with intelligence, and one must always try to know deeper, better, and more. That leads to God, that leads to unwavering faith.
Source: The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh
You have yourself, your existence as a human being, and you can work with what you have. You can develop the sense of basic instinct, which is pure and absolutely immaculate. There will be obstacles—questions, criticisms, moral and ethical choices—but you can overcome the obstacles by acting as a true human being. This is bound to be good. You are a dignified and capable person already. So why don’t you do it?
The Ravensbruck Prayer
The following prayer was found at Ravensbruck death camp where 92,000 men,
women and children died. It was scrawled on wrapping paper near a dead child.
Lord, remember not only the men
and women of good will
but also those of ill will.
But do not remember
only the suffering they have inflicted on us.
Remember the fruits we have brought, thanks
to this suffering–our comradeship, our loyalty,
our humility, the courage, the generosity, the
greatness of heart which has grown out of all this.
And when they come to judgment, let all the fruits
we have borne be their forgiveness.