A spiritually robust foundation for not losing hope, no matter how grim the evidence

June 16, 2014

Excerpts from the Wisdom Literature

The Mennonite relationship of btw prayer, G*D and ourselves :

“Pray as if your work means nothing at all,
and work as if your prayers mean nothing at all.”

Buddhist saying:

Before Enlightenment – chopping wood, carrying water.
After Enlightenment – Chopping wood, carrying water.
Now wash, and dry, and put away your breakfast bowl
And, being of good cheer, go on with your day.

A Course In Miracles ~ page 1006

Prayer is a stepping aside, a letting go, a quiet time of listening and loving …… a way of remembering your holiness. It is to Love you go in prayer.

The secret to true prayer is to forget the things you think you need. In prayer you overlook your specific needs as you see them, and let then go into G*D’s Hands. They become your gifts to him, for they tell Him you would have no gods before Him; no love but His.

What can His answer be but your remembrance of Him? Can this be traded for a bit of trifling advise about a problem of an instant’s duration? G*D answers only for Eternity.

Etz Chayim’s Siddur, pages 49 & 50 (previous edition)

Alternative G’ulah / Redemption #1

Tzedakah is really just another form of T’shuvah – change, returning, repentance

It serves as a reminder of who we are,
in essence, human beings with awesome power
to act, move, make changes in the world.

Tzedakah allows us to re-establish our balance, and our sense of meaning and value.

The good will of good people
Can bring about great changes in the world,
And these changes can be far more dazzling and extensive
Than we would normally think of as possible
In that sense there is something mysterious and mystical,
About the extent of what Tzedakah

Giving of our resources in a righteous way — can achieve.
But the actual doing of the mitvah
is the simplest of simple things:

We just do it, and marvelous things happen.

Alternative Redemption #3

Who will bring redemption? Both we and G*D.
We make the world worthy of redemption:
G*D redeems the world and history.

If we believe that we alone can bring redemption,
we fall in to the error of false messianism.

If we believe that G*D alone will bring it, we fall into
the error of despair and inaction.

What can we do?

We can work for redemption by increasing
the good in the world, by acts of loving-kindness, and justice.

We can avoid schemes which promise instant salvation and utopian fulfillment.

And most of all, we can pray and hope in Adonay Who in the end will redeem us all.

Alternative Redemption #4:

Many night we’ve prayed with no proof anyone could hear.
In our hearts a hopeful song we barely understood
Now we are not afraid, although we know there is much to fear
We were moving mountains long before we knew we could

There can be miracles when you believe;
[even] though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill
Who know what miracles you can achieve?
When you believe, somehow you will,
You will when you believe!

In this time of fear when prayer so often proves in vain
Hope seemed like the summer birds too swiftly flown away
Yet now I’m standing here my heart’s so full, I can’t explain
Seeking faith and speaking words I never thought I’d say 

There can be miracles when you believe;
[even] though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill
Who know what miracles you can achieve?
When you believe, somehow you will,

You will when you believe!