Man Praying, Van Gogh, 1883
Private Collection [Web Gallery of Art]

Do you seriously believe that such horrors are indispensable to a man who wants to do what I want to do: give peace to poor creatures and reconcile them to their existence on earth?
– Vincent van Gogh, Artist (1853 – 1890)

Statue of St Paulinus in Nola, near Naples [Wikipedia]

I pray that we may be found worthy to be cursed, censured, and ground down, and even put to death in the name of Jesus Christ, so long as Christ himself is not put to death in us. The Christian must not only accept suffering: he must make it holy.

St Paulinus of Nola (c.354 – 431)

Holy Trinity, Andrei Rublev, c.1411
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow [Web Gallery of Art]

Take two heaping cups of patience,
One heartful of love,
Two handfuls of generosity,
A dash of laughter.
One headful of understanding.
Sprinkle generously with kindness
And plenty of faith, and mix well.
Spread over a period of a lifetime
And serve everybody you meet.

    – J. Maurus, Living Moments of Sunshine

    Sophie Scholl – The Final Days (Trailer)

    I’m still so remote from God that I don’t even sense his presence when I pray. Sometimes when I utter God’s name, in fact, I feel like sinking into a void. It isn’t a frightening or dizzying sensation, it’s nothing at all – and that’s far more terrible. But prayer is the only remedy for it, and however many devils scurry around inside me, I shall cling to the rope God has thrown me, even if my numb hands can no longer feel it.

    Sophie Scholl (1921-1943)

    So much violence in our world is the result of not facing the shadow within. It’s there, straining to express itself. Rather than acknowledge it, many find it easier to project part of it onto others, despise them for it, then hurt them for what we’re really not facing in ourselves. The ugliness of racism is often due to unacknowledged tendencies within, like cruelty, or callousness, which are ‘seen’ in people of another color, whom we then ‘punish’ as a subconscious way of correcting our own inner imbalance.

    – Words of Peace: Gerard A. Vanderhaar on Personal Nonviolence, Our Shadow Side

    Fondaco dei Tedeschi, Venice
    Constructed by Fr Giovanni [Wikipedia]

    No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in the present instant. Take peace.
    The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within reach, is joy. Take joy.

    – Fra Giovanni Giocondo OFM, 1513

    Cowardice asks the question: is it safe?
    Expediency asks the question: is it politic?
    Vanity asks the question: is it popular?
    But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular – but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.  

    – Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968)