Quotes for the Soul

“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”

– Anne Sexton


“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”

– Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch


“If I keep a green bough in my heart the singing bird will come.”

– Chinese proverb


“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.”

– Carlos Santana


“Vulnerability – the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome – is our greatest measure of courage.”

– Brené Brown


“Patience is a form of wisdom. It demonstrates that we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time.”

– Jon Kabat-Zin


“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance.  The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.”

– An Ancient Chinese Proverb


“Jack pines…are not lumber trees and they won’t win many beauty contests either.  But to me this valiant old tree, solitary on its own rocky point, is as beautiful as a living thing can be… In the calligraphy of its shape against the sky is written strength of character and perseverance, survival of wind, drought, cold, heat, disease…In its silence it speaks of … wholeness…an integrity that comes from being what you are.”

– Douglas Wood


“As we move closer to the truth that lives within us-aware that in the end what will matter most is knowing that we stayed true to ourselves – institutions start losing their sway over our lives.”

– Parker Palmer


“And when we are writing the life of a woman, we may, it is agreed, waive our demand for action, and substitute love instead. Love, the poet has said, is a woman’s whole existence… ”

– Virginia Woolf


“Love will never be anywhere except where equality and unity are….. And there can be no love where love does not find equality or is not busy creating equality. Nor is there any pleasure without equality. Practice equality in human society. Learn to love, esteem, consider all people like yourself. What happens to another, be it bad or good, pain or joy, ought to be as if it happened to you.”

– Meister Eckhart


“For me, policy is best when connected to the roots, and roots are best when connected to policy. So I encourage you all to stay connected…and walk with real people while doing the activism. Lord knows we need folks who are engaged.”

– Sister Simone Campbell


“If indignity tears us apart, dignity can put us back together again.”

– Donna Hicks


“Don’t worry about wearing the sign; be the sign. You don’t have to wear a sandwich board saying, “I am religious and spiritual and know what you should do.” You do have to be the best of the mystical presence that your tradition brings. Certainly in Christianity, that means that you begin to go through life putting on the mind of Jesus, trying to see the world as Jesus saw the world.”

– Joan Chittister


“Our growing addiction to the Internet is impairing precious human capacities such as memory, concentration, pattern recognition, meaning-making, and intimacy. We are becoming more restless, more impatient, more demanding, and more insatiable, even as we become more connected and creative. We are rapidly losing the ability to think long about any- thing, even those issues we care about. We flit, moving restlessly from one link to another.”

– Margaret Wheatley


“There is no delight in owning anything unshared.”

– Seneca


“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

– Mother Teresa


“It is not physical solitude that actually separates one from others, not physical isolation, but spiritual isolation. It is not the desert island nor the stony wilderness that cuts you off from the people you love. It is the wilderness in the mind, the desert wastes in the heart through which one wanders lost and a stranger. When one is a stranger to oneself, then one is estranged from others, too.”

– From Gift From the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh


“My relationship and my journey with God is not going to be yours, and that is beautiful. Each of us walks on a parallel path, but God relates to each of us differently, uniquely. So, I must look at you with wonder and say that wherever you are is the right place. Wherever I am is the right place for me. God unfolds in us, God becomes in us. At what point is a rose a rose? The seed? The flower? It is all rose. I cannot preach to you about what you need to do, and you do not look at me and say, “She’s there, she’s got it.” It does not matter. We must be where we are.”

“We cannot separate other people from our own becoming. I have learned more from African people and from women in prostitution than ever I could have taught them. They have been my gift.”

– From Whispers: Conversations with Edwina Gatelely,  by Edwina Gateley


“ I have learned that we must rediscover the inherent call to wholeness in the experience of being a mother or a father.  When I find myself missing my desert and mountain tops I have to be brought back to earth and realize that my son’s smiles, tears, games and little crises are as significant as the big revelations or insights in the overall plan of things.”

“We are all called to stretch in different directions.  Some of us (like me) need more violent stretching than others.  And what stretches us will be different for each one. One may have five kids to bring up, another may have all kinds of broken-heartedness, or be battling cancer or drug addiction.  Whatever the case, we must be open to growth that these experiences offer us, and deepen our compassion towards others.”

– “Whispers: Conversations with Edwina Gateley”


I feel as if I were a guardian of a precious slice of life with the responsibility that it entails. There are moments when I feel like giving up or giving in but I rally again and do my duty as I see it: to keep the spark of life inside me ablaze.

– Etty Hillesum


The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

– Eleanor Roosevelt


We must shine with hope, stained glass windows that shape light into icons, glow like lanterns borne before a procession. Who can bear hope back into the world but us…

– Marge Piercy


If the imagination is to transcend and transform experience it has to question, to challenge, to conceive of alternatives, perhaps to the very life you are living at the moment.

– Adrienne Rich


Spirituality tends to be perceived a sub-system or offshoot of formal religion. In practice it is really quite different. Spirituality is, and always has been, more central to human experience than religion, a fact that is borne out in the growing body of knowledge accumulated by cultural anthropology and the history of religious ideas.

This new upsurge of spirituality is itself one manifestation of a world undergoing global transformation on a scale not known to humanity for many millennia. Spirituality is a natural birthright, which over the millennia have been weaving a tapestry of elegance, grandeur and beauty, with the inevitable scars of an evolving universe. At this time of global transition, we need to reconnect with that great tradition and reclaim it afresh in the context of our new evolutionary moment. Could any task be more exciting? Could any be more relevant? And could any be more urgent for the changing times in which we live?

– Diarmuid O’Murchu, From In the Stillness You Will Know: Exploring the Paths of Our Ancient Belonging


Ananda, the beloved disciple of the Buddha, once asked his teacher about the place of friendship in the spiritual journey.

“Master, is friendship half of the spiritual life?” he asked. And the teacher responded, “Nay, Ananda, friendship is the whole of the spiritual life.”

A rabbi always told his people that if they studied the Torah, it would put the Scripture on their hearts. One of them asked, “Why ‘on’ our hearts, and not ‘in’ them?”

The rabbi answered, “Only God can put scripture inside. But reading sacred text can put in on your hearts, and then when the heart breaks, the holy words will fall inside.”

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