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"The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands."

— Robert M. Persig

(Source: sojo.net)

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"Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We would like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet, it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability — and that it may take a very long time. Above all, trust in the slow work of God."

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

(Source: sojo.net)

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Optimist vs. Pessimist

I love this quote because it summarizes how I feel about trying to change the world for the better. The challenges are grave, but amazing people are everywhere doing their best.

When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world.Paul Hawken

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A primary concern says the Rev. Jenne’ Gilchrist, vice president of the Virginia Council of Churches, is the expansion of Medicaid to about 400,000 low-income Virginians.

“We don’t see this as a religious issue so much as a common decency and compassion issue,” Gilchrist says. “It may be reflective in the doctrines we upheld in our varied beliefs, but overall it’s not even a partisan issue rather than a humanitarian issue.”

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"Spirituality is not to forget the world and become closer to Him. It is to be in and a part of this world and remember Him."

— Tariq Ramadan, Reviving the Islamic Spirit (via storyseldomtold)

(Source: mardhiyya, via tariqramadan)

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"To the true servant of God every place is the right place and every time is the right time."

— Catherine of Siena

(Source: sojo.net)

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With rising anti-Muslim sentiment across the country, an untold story is raising greater awareness about the Muslim faith and the teachings of the Quran. That awareness comes from an unlikely source: a small Jewish congregation in Creve Coeur. 

Temple Emanuel is premiering a groundbreaking exhibit of photos that reveals Albanian Muslims who saved 2,000 Jews during World War II. 

It’s a story you’ve likely never heard. It is a story told through the faces of Albanian Muslims who risked their own lives to live by a code of faith and honor called Besa. 

"They were among the people who at great personal risk sheltered Jews and protected them in their homes and did so out of a religious obligation," said Rabbi Justin Kerber, Temple Emanuel. 

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"Never think that you need to protect God. Because anytime you think you need to protect God, you can be sure that you are worshipping an idol."

Stanley Hauerwas

This is mad deep. Many people of faith may sometimes feel a reflexive need to defend their religion from perceived attacks. These reflexes often lead to an overreaction to the perceived attacks. Reminding ourselves about how quickly we can create idols out of our faiths is a sobering thought.

(Source: sojo.net)

Tags: religion faith
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"Strategy is better than strength"

Nigerian proverb

Having a plan to improve your life will more than compensate for any disadvantages/challenges you think you have. This is what comes to mind when God says in the Quran: 

"And We charge no soul except [with that within] its capacity, and with Us is a record which speaks with truth; and they will not be wronged." (Quran 23:62)