left Quote

(c. 35 AD – 108 AD)

It is not people I want you to gratify, but God…. I shall never have a better chance than this of coming to God; and you on your part will never have a finer piece of work to your credit, if only you will keep your lips sealed.  For by staying silence and letting me alone, you can turn me into an intelligible utterance of God, but if your affections are only concerned with my poor human life, then I become a meaningless cry once more.  This favour only I beg of you: allow me to be a libation poured out to God, while there is still an alter ready for me.  Then you may form a loving choir around it and sing hymns of praise in Jesus Christ to the Father, for permitting Syria’s bishop, summoned from the realms of the morning, to have reached the land of the setting sun.  How good it is to be sinking down below the world’s horizon towards God, to rise again later into the dawn of his presence. 

(1207 – 1273)

Death is not bitter to those who know.
If an earthquake opens the prison walls,
do you think an escaping prisoner
will complain of the damage done
to the stone and marble-work?

No prisoner yet has talked such nonsense.
The soul soars when it's freed from the body,
like a convict in his cell sleeping,
dreaming of a rose garden….


A treasure follows behind your doing daily work.
Don’t postpone that with ‘ifs”!
“If this had happened,” or ‘If I could have …. “
Hypocrites die saying those sentences,
and such a death is the deepest grief there is.

right quotation

In their many different idioms the classical spiritual writers have attempted to throw light on the eternal question of union with God. 
Every month we give you a brief passage from a spiritual classic.