Spirit of Harmony

Profound spiritual experiences can provide a common ground for those of different faiths, giving rise to mutual understanding and tolerance as the fruit of divine love.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness [and] self-control.

~ Galatians 5:22-23

Let us not be justices of the peace, but angels of peace.

~ St. Teresa of Lisieux (1873-1897; French Carmelite nun, canonized in 1925; ‘the Little Flower’)

The sage has no self to call his own;

He makes the self of the people his self.

To the good I act with goodness;

To the bad I also act with goodness;

Thus goodness is attained.

To the faithful I act with faith;

To the faithless I also act with faith;

Thus faith is attained.

~ Tao Te Ching, XLIX (sacred book of the Taoists, left to the world by Lao-tse, c. 604-531 B.C., the great Chinese sage and founder of Taoism)

He who does not love does not know God; for God is love… He who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

~ 1 John 5:8, 16

Christ is all, and in all.

~ Colossians 3:11

Hence there is a single religion and a single creed for all beings endowed with understanding, and this religion is presupposed behind all the diversity of rites.

~ Nicholas of Cusa (1401-64; cardinal and bishop of Brixen in the Tyrol, and philosopher in the domain of Christian gnosis)

Dost thou tell me that he who has not the sacraments of God cannot be saved? I tell thee that he who has the virtue of the sacraments of God cannot perish. Which is greater, the sacrament or the virtue of the sacrament – water or faith? If thou would speak truly, answer, ‘faith’.

~ Hugh of Saint-Victor (1096?-1141; b. Saxony; great mediaeval theologian, mystic philosopher, and a founder of Scholasticism)

His Vedanta is the same as our Sufism.

~ Jahangir, referring to his Hindu teacher Jadrup (1569-1627; Moghul Emperor of Hindustan)

All is One.

~ Xenophanes (6th Century BC; Greek philosopher and reputed founder of the Eleatic School)

If ‘other’ and ‘others’ are before your eyes,

Then a mosque is no better

Than a Christian cloister;

But when the garment of ‘other’ is cast off by you,

The cloister becomes a mosque.

~ Shabistari (d. 1320; one of the greatest Persian Sufi poets)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

~ John 1:1-5

He is the Word of whom the whole human race are partakers.

~ St. Justin (100?-165?; Martyr; Church Father who taught Platonic doctrines and opened the first Christian school in Rome)

One word spoke the Father, which Word was His Son, and this Word He speaks ever in eternal silence, and in silence must it be heard by the soul.

~ St. John of the Cross (1542-1591; leading figure in Spanish mysticism, doctor of mystic theology)

Be still and know that I am God.

~ Psalms 46:10

For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.

~ Psalms 62:5

Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee.

~ Isaiah 26:3

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.

~ John 14:27

Before Abraham was, I am.

~ John 8:58

Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

~ Luke 17:20-21

Do not think you are going among infidels. Muslims attain to Salvation. The ways of Providence are infinite.

~ Pope Pius XI, to his Apostolic Delegate to Libya

Let him who desires to see God wipe his mirror and cleanse his heart.

~ Richard of Saint-Victor (d. 1173; Scot; mystic philosopher and one of the foremost scholastic theologians)

You never know yourself till you know more than your body. The Image of God was not seated in the features of your face, but in the lineaments of your soul.

~ Thomas Traherne (1637?-1674; English contemplative poet, religious writer, chaplain)

Know thyself.

~ Inscription to Apollo at Delphi

The prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘He who knows himself verily knows his Lord.’

~ Tradition ascribed to the prophet Muhammad (570-632, the Prophet of Islam)

Man must first of all know his own soul before he can know his Lord; for his knowledge of the Lord is as the fruit of his knowledge of himself.

~ Ibn al-Arabi (1165-1240; from Murcia, Spain; renowned pole of
Sufi metaphysics, known as ‘the Great Shaykh’)

No one can be saved without self-knowledge.

~ St. Bernard (1091-1153; French Doctor of the Church, known as ‘Thaumaturgus of the West’; founder of Cistercian monastery of Clairvaux)

He who sees by illumination
Discerns God first in everything.

~ Shabistari (d. 1320; one of the greatest Persian Sufi poets)

Our whole business therefore in this life is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen.

~ St. Augustine (354-430; Church Father and Doctor; renowned philosopher and theologian; bishop of Hippo)

Now that which is one according to the literal sense, is however three according to the mystical and spiritual sense. For in all the books of Holy Writ in addition to the literal sense, which the words express outwardly, there is a conception of the threefold spiritual sense, namely the allegorical, whereby we learn what we should believe concerning Godhead and manhood; the moral, whereby we learn how we should live; and the anagogical, whereby we learn in what manner we must cling to God. Whence the Holy Writ teaches these things, namely the eternal begetting and incarnation of Christ, the order of living, and the union of God and the soul.

~ St. Bonaventura (1221-1274; Italian Scholastic philosopher, cardinal, mediaeval writer and contemplative, ‘the Seraphic Doctor’)

Many call Thee Father, who

Will not own me as brother too:

They speak deep words from shallow meditation.

Mankind arises from one origin;

We are alike both outward and within…

Christians, Jews, and heathens serve Him all,

And God has all creation in His care

~ Walther von der Vogelweide, (1170-1230) Middle High German lyric poet and minnesinger

The pathway of love is the ordeal of fire.

The fearful turn away from it.

Those who take the plunge into the fire attain eternal bliss.

Those who stand afar off, looking on, are scorched by the flames.

Love is a priceless thing, only to be won at the cost of death.

Those who live to die, these attain; for they have shed all thoughts of self.

~ Gujarati Hymn

Whoso has burned in the mighty Fire of Love could never bear to cool himself with any kind of sin.

~ Mechthild of Magdeburg (1210-1297; a foremost German contemplative in the realm of Christian gnosis)

As a bee collects nectar and departs without injuring the flower, or its color or scent, so let a sage dwell in his village.

~ Dammapada (Buddhist Pali canon; famous utterances ascribed to the Buddha)

Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.

~ Isaiah 60:20

But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.

~ Luke 9:27

It is extremely foolish to think that one must wait till after one’s death in expectation of obtaining all these benefits. It is also the most culpable negligence.

~ Hakuin (1683-1768, renovator of Japanese school of Zen Buddhism)

Because you love the burning ground,

I have made a burning ground of my heart –

So that you, Dark One,

hunter of the burning ground,

May dance your eternal dance.

~ Bengali Devotional

All such as lived according to the divine word in them, which was in all men, were Christians, such as Socrates and Heraclitus, and others among the Greeks… Such as live with the word are Christians, without fear or anxiety.

~ St. Justin

What then is all the harvest of this workshop of generation and corruption? Not much.

Bring wine then for all the world’s provisions don’t amount to much.

Five days or so you rest here: rest well, my friend. Your stay is short.

We wait on the lip of the Sea of Nothing. O Saki, one cup! What space between the lip and mouth? Not much.

~ Hafez (d. 1389; Persian Sufi master and mystical poet)