H.U.G Corner: Thought of the Week 5/25

Location : South Houston Hospice

Quiet Mind: One-Minute Retreats from a Busy World

“In proportion as our inward life fails, we go constantly and desperately to the post office.”

-Henry David Thoreau

“You many depend on it,” Thoreau continues, “that poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from himself this long while.”

I think I know the cause of our cultural, spiritual, and social problems today, just as Thoreau knew 150 years ago. Our inward life is failing.

Many of us know this, of course, and just knowing it doesn’t change things. But what if someone, maybe you, could convince ten or twenty people to stop going to the post office for their information, and instead to stay quiet and recollected for a few minutes or even an hour a day to attend to their “inward lives”? What if I could do the same?

I used to think that what we needed was a saint or a prophet: a modern-day Francis of Assisi who would call us to our senses by the power of his example and love; or a Joan of Arc to inspire us with her disdain for the acceptable, her single-mindedness, and her devotion to her voices.

But we have saints; we’ve always had saints, canonized or not. We’ve always had prophets who are well attuned to their inward lives, who have voices of passion and love, voices of virtue and wisdom, who live lives of example and service, and who call us to the same.

And still many of us keep stumbling to the post office.

Today, find a way to redirect your trip to the post office to a journey to your inward life.

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