"In the spiritual life, nothing goes away. There is no heavenly garbage dump. It's all here, wherever we are. Everything belongs. Even forgiveness does not mean it goes away. It means we forgive it for being there, nothing more. Even our demons do not go away. As Robert Bly wisely said: You don't get rid of demons, you just educate them."
— Quest for the Grail
The Risk of Being a Bridge-Builder
"Anyone who builds bridges always runs the danger of being trampled from both sides, of being misunderstood by both sides."
Loving the Leper Within
"God calls all of you to take the path of the inner truth — and that means taking responsibility for everything that's in you: for what pleases you and for what you're ashamed of, for the rich person inside you and for the poor one. Francis of Assisi called this, 'loving the leper within us.' If you learn to love the poor one within you, you'll discover that you have room to have compassion 'outside' too, that there's room in you for others, for those who are different from you, for the least among your brothers and sisters."
"One outcome of the present predicament is that we despise the poor, however we may describe them. We marginalize them, push them to the periphery, try to keep away from them. The poor — today it's the mentally or physically handicapped, minorities, refugees, the addicted, homosexuals, prisoners, anybody who has failed to meet the expectations of the majority in the economic or social success system — represent what we are most afraid of and deny in ourselves.
"Because we are so afraid of nonsuccess, of being a refugee, not having a home, afraid of the opposite masculine or feminine parts of our own souls, we marginalize whoever represents those parts of our soul that we deny. We hate in them what we are afraid to admit in ourselves. We keep ourselves at a distance from handicapped people because every one of us fears our own handicaps. We separate ourselves from retarded people. They're a threat to our supposedly rational world. We surround ourselves, unfortunately, with clones of ourselves."
— Job and the Mystery of Suffering
The Mystery of Forgiveness
"It is a mystery we are dipped into. Two-thirds of Jesus' teachings are about forgiveness. A good third of Jesus' parables are about forgiveness, directly or indirectly. Forgiveness has nothing to do with logic. It is the final breakdown of logic. It is a mystical recognition that human evil is something we are all trapped by, suffering from, and participating in. It calls forth weeping, humility, and healing much more than feverish attempts to root out the evil. The transformation happens through the tears much more than through threats and punishments."
— Everything Belongs
The Problem of Hate
"Hate settles the dust and ambiguity that none of us like. Hate is much more common, and more immediately effective than love. Hate, as we will sadly see below, makes the world go 'round.
"You could say, in fact, that Jesus came to resolve the central and essential problem of hate. There is no other way to save us from ourselves, to save us from one another and therefore to 'save us' unless we are saved from our need to hate. We have produced so much utopian talk about Jesus and love, but Jesus had a very hard time getting to the issue of love. First he had to expose and destroy the phenomenon of hate. Once he exposed the lie and illusion of hate, love could show itself clearly — and it did."
— Hope Against Darkness
"We are already spiritual beings. That is God's gift. Our desperate and needed task, the one we have not succeeded at very well after all these centuries, is how to become human! Jesus literally turns religion on its head. He is always moving down, descending into the fully human, identifying freely with our tragic and finite situation. We miss him entirely when we are always running up the down staircase. Our task is to follow and imitate him, not offer him incense, titles, and shrines that he never once asked for. Again, all we need to do is to take his lead. Most of the world is so tired of 'spiritual people.' We would be happy just to meet some real human beings. They always thrill the heart, just as he did."
— Soul Brothers
Hear the Lord Speaking Everywhere
"To have an attitude of faith is to hear the Lord speaking everywhere and all the time, in the concrete and ordinary circumstances of our lives. Then religion and life have become one, and we are never far from God. That's why people of faith never grow old and never grow tired. They don't need signs and wonders, apparitions and visions. God has quietly broken through and stands perfectly revealed in the now of things."
— Radical Grace