This Sunday School has been of help to me, greater perhaps than any other force in my Christian life, and I can ask no better things for you than that you, and all that shall come after you in this great band of workers for Christ, shall receive the same measure of blessedness which I have been permitted to have.
John D. Rockefeller
And he sang to them, now in the Elven tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.
J. R. R. Tolkien
For here we are so blind and foolish that we never seek God until he, of his goodness, shows himself to us. It is when we do see something of him by his grace that we are stirred by that same grace to seek him, and with earnest longing to see still more of his blessedness. So I saw him and sought him; I had him and wanted him. It seems to me that this is and should be an experience common to us all.
Julian of Norwich
It is not merely the multiplicity of tints, the gladness of tone, or the balminess of the air which delight in the spring; it is the still consecrated spirit of hope, the prophecy of happy days yet to come; the endless variety of nature, with presentiments of eternal flowers which never shall fade, and sympathy with the blessedness of the ever-developing world.
Marriage is so unlike everything else. There is something even awful in the nearness it brings. Even if we loved someone else better than - than those we were married to, it would be no use. I mean, marriage drinks up all our power of giving or getting any blessedness in that sort of love. I know it may be very dear, but it murders our marriage, and then the marriage stays with us like a murder, and everything else is gone.
Commit yourself then to God! He will be your guide. He Himself will travel with you, as we are told He did with the Israelites, to bring them step by step across the desert to the promised land. Ah! what will be your blessedness, if you will but surrender yourself into the hands of God, permitting Him to do whatever He will, not according to your desires, but according to His own good pleasure?
Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness. He has a work, a life-purpose; he has found it, and will follow it! How, as a free-flowing channel, dug and torn by noble force through the sour mudswamp of one's existence, like an ever-deepening river there, it runs and flows
Do you know how much energy, how many powers, how many forces, are still lurking behind that frame of yours? What scientist has known all that is in man? Millions of years have passed since man came here, and yet but one infinitesimal part of his powers has been manifested. Therefore, you must not say that you are weak. How do you know what possibilities lie behind that degradation on the surface? You know but little of that which is within you. For behind you is the ocean of infinite power and blessedness.
When we have discovered a continent, or crossed a chain of mountains, it is only to find another ocean or another plain upon the further side. . . . O toiling hands of mortals! O wearied feet, travelling ye know not whither! Soon, soon, it seems to you, you must come forth on some conspicuous hilltop, and but a little way further, against the setting sun, descry the spires of El Dorado. Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.
Robert Louis Stevenson
I'm speaking of the character of human beings, not what they believe in. I'm speaking of those who won't accept a useless life just because they were born to it. I mean those who would be something better. They work, they sacrifice, they do things... " He was moved by this, and I was a little surprised that I'd said it. Yet I felt I'd had hurt him somehow. "There is blessedness in that." I said. "There's sanctity. And God or no God, there is goodness in it. I know this the way I know the mountains are out there, that the stars shine.
I'm speaking of the character of human beings, not what they believe in. I'm speaking of those who won't accept a useless life just because they were born to it. I mean those who would be something better. They work, they sacrifice, they do things..." He was moved by this, and I was a little surprised that I'd said it. Yet I felt I'd had hurt him somehow. "There is blessedness in that." I said. "There's sanctity. And God or no God, there is goodness in it. I know this the way I know the mountains are out there, that the stars shine.
And when, in the evening of life, the golden clouds rest sweetly and invitingly upon the golden mountains, and the light of heaven streams down through the gathering mists of death, I wish you a peaceful and abundant entrance into that world of blessedness, where the great riddle of life will be unfolded to you in the quick consciousness of a soul redeemed and purified.
J. G. Holland
When a mortal man speaks anything of that eternal blessedness of the saints in glory, he is like a blind man discoursing about the light which he has never seen, and so cannot distinctly speak anything concerning it. He also said that "In a way it is akin to a man writing a travel guide for a land he has never visited or seen. It is to attempt to describe the indescribable with words which cannot come close to expressing the glory of heaven.
Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness. He has a work, a life-purpose. ... Get your happiness out of your work or you will never know what real happiness is. ... Even in the meanest sorts of labor, the whole soul of a man is composed into a kind of real harmony the instant he sets himself to work.
Everything that from eternity has happened in heaven and earth, the life of God and all the deeds of time simply are the struggles for Spirit to know Itself, to find Itself, be for Itself, and finally unite itself to Itself; it is alienated and divided, but only so as to be able thus to find itself and return to Itself...As existing in an individual form, this liberation is called 'I'; as developed to its totality, it is free Spirit; as feeling, it is Love; and as enjoyment, it is Blessedness.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
The fault with all religions like Christianity is that they have one set of rules for all. But Hindu religion is suited to all grades of religious aspiration and progress. It contains all the ideals in their perfect form. For example, the ideal of Shanta or blessedness is to be found in Vasishtha; that of love in Krishna; that of duty in Rama and Sita; and that of intellect in Shukadeva. Study the characters of these and of other ideal men. Adopt one which suits you best.
A believer longs after God, to come into his presence, to feel his love, to feel near to him in secret, to feel in the crowd that he is nearer than all the creatures. Ah! dear brethren, have you ever tasted this blessedness? There is greater rest and solace to be found in the presence of God for one hour than in an eternity of the presence of man.
Robert Murray M'Cheyne
And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and all men were hushed. And he sang to them, now in the Elven-tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.
Apart from the positive woes of perdition, an eternity of wretchedness grows from the want of love to Christ as naturally as the oak grows from the acorn, or the harvest from the scattered grain. It is not that love to Christ merits heaven; it does far better, it makes heaven. It is, as it were, the organ of sensation that takes note of heaven's blessedness.
Andrew Kennedy Hutchison Boyd
When God calls a man, He does not repent of it. God does not, as many friends do, love one day, and hate another; or as princes, who make their subjects favourites, and afterwards throw theminto prison. This is the blessedness of a saint; his condition admits of no alteration. God's call is founded upon His decree, and His decree is immutable. Acts of grace cannot be reversed.God blots out His people's sins, but not their names.
To-day the whole Christian world prostrates itself in adoration around the crib of Bethlehem and rehearses in accents of love a history which precedes all time and will endure throughout eternity. As if by an instinct of our higher, spiritual nature, there well up from the depths of our hearts, emotions which challenge the power of human expression. We seem to be lifted out of the sphere of natural endeavor to put on a new life and to stretch forward in desire to a blessedness which, though not palpable, is eminently real.
We were enclosed, O eternal Father, within the garden of your breast. You drew us out of your holy mind like a flower petaled with our soul's three powers and into each power you put the whole plant, so that they might bear fruit in your garden, might come back to you with the fruit you gave them. And you would come back to the soul, to fill her with your blessedness. There the soul dwells like the fish in the sea and the sea in the fish.
St. Catherine of Siena
If the divine Logos of God the Father became son of man and man so that He might make men gods and the sons of God, let us believe that we shall reach the realm where Christ Himself now is; for He is the head of the whole body (cf. Col. 1:18), and endued with our humanity has gone to the Father as forerunner on our behalf. God will stand 'in the midst of the congregation of gods' (Ps. 82:1 LXX) - that is, of those who are saved - distributing the rewards of that realm's blessedness to those found worthy to receive them, not separated from them by any space.
Maximus the Confessor
It is by loving, and not by being loved, that one can come nearest the soul of another; yea, that, where two love, it is the loving of each other, that originates and perfects and assures their blessedness. I knew that love gives to him that loveth, power over over any soul be loved, even if that soul know him not, bringing him inwardly close to that spirit; a power that cannot be but for good; for in proportion as selfishness intrudes, the love ceases, and the power which springs therefrom dies. Yet all love will, one day, meet with its return.
He was dimly angry with himself, he did not know why. It was that he had struck his wife. He had forgotten it, but was miserable about it, notwithstanding. And this misery was the voice of the great Love that had made him and his wife and the baby and Diamond, speaking in his heart, and telling him to be good. For that great Love speaks in the most wretched and dirty hearts; only the tone of its voice depends on the echoes of the place in which it sounds. On Mount Sinai, it was thunder; in the cabman's heart it was misery; in the soul of St John it was perfect blessedness.
Christ is building His kingdom with earth's broken things. Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken, in building their kingdoms; but God is the God of the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. Heaven is filling with earth's broken lives, and there is no bruised reed that Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty. He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise. He can lift earth's saddest failure up to heaven's glory.
It is almost impossible to overestimate the value of true humility and its power in the spiritual life. For the beginning of humility is the beginning of blessedness and the consummation of humility is the perfection of all joy. Humility contains in itself the answer to all the great problems of the life of the soul. It is the only key to faith, with which the spiritual life begins: for faith and humility are inseparable. In perfect humility all selfishness disappears and your soul no longer lives for itself or in itself for God: and it is lost and submerged in Him and transformed into Him.
Either to die the death or to abjure For ever the society of men. Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires; Know of your youth, examine well your blood, Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice, You can endure the livery of a nun, For aye to be in shady cloister mew'd, To live a barren sister all your life, Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon. Thrice-blessed they that master so their blood, To undergo such maiden pilgrimage; But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd, Than that which withering on the virgin thorn Grows, lives and dies in single blessedness.
If your love leads to misery, it was from the ego. If your love leads to a beautiful benediction, a blessedness, it was from nature. If your friendship, even your meditation, leads you to misery, it was from the ego. If it were from nature everything would fit in, everything would become harmonious. Nature is wonderful, nature is beautiful, but you have to work it out.
There are many themes found in the Book of Psalms that are generally not found in modern music. These include the fear of God, the righteousness and justice of God, the sovereignty of God, the judgement of God, the evil of sin, spiritual and physical warfare, the arch enemies of the Christian, the destruction of the wicked, the reality of hell, the blessedness of the church, the vicious attacks upon the church, the commandments of God, the dominion of David's son, and so on. Without the backdrop of these truths, the themes of love, mercy, faith, and salvation become largely meaningless.
Christ is like a river in another respect. A river is continually flowing, there are fresh supplies of water coming from the fountain-head continually, so that a man may live by it, and be supplied with water all his life. So Christ is an ever-flowing fountain; he is continually supplying his people, and the fountain is not spent. They who live upon Christ, may have fresh supplies from him to all eternity; they may have an increase of blessedness that is new, and new still, and which never will come to an end.
We have no way of knowing, of course, why some are born in health and affluence, while others enter broken bodies or broken homes, or emerge into a realm of war or hunger. So we cannot give definite meaning to our place in the world, or to our neighbor's. But Plato's reflections should give us pause and invite both humility and hope. Humility, because if we chose our lot in life, there is every reason to suspect merit, and not disfavor, is behind disadvantaged birth. A blighted life may have been the more courageous choice-at least it was for Plato... So how can we feel pride in our own blessedness, or condescension in another's misfortune? And Plato's reflections should give us hope, because his myth reminds us that suffering can be sanctifying, that pain is not punishment , and that the path to virtue is fraught with opposition.
In Anton Chekhov's play the Three Sisters, sister Masha refuses 'to live and not know why the cranes fly, why children are born, why the stars are in the sky. Either you know and you're alive or it's all nonsense, all dust in the wind.' Why? Why? The striving to know is what frees us from the bonds of self, said Einstein. It's the striving to know, rather than our knowledge-which is always tentative and partial- that is important. Instead of putting computers in our elementary schools, we should take the children out into nature, away from those virtual worlds in which they spend unconscionable hours, and let them see an eclipsed Moon rising in the east, a pink pearl. Let them stand in a morning dawn and watch a slip of a comet fling its trail around the Sun... Let the children know. Let them know that nothing, nothing will find in the virtual world of e-games, television, or the Internet matters half as much as a glitter of strs on an inky sky, drawing our attention into the incomprehensible mystery of why the universe is here at all, and why we are here to observe it. The winter Milky Way rises in the east, one trillion individually invisible points of light, one trillion revelations of the Ultimate Mystery, conferring on the watcher a dignity, a blessedness, that confounds the dull humdrum of the commonplace and opens a window to infinity.