J.R.R. Tolkien on the purpose of life

J.R.R. Tolkien, Myth, Morality, and Religion:

The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks.

(Thanks to Joshua Dubois’ The President’s Devotional.)

Seeking silence

“After the earthquake came fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.” (1 Kings 19:12)

You, O Lord, are the subtle inspiration hidden in our deepest instincts to seek out goodness and love and content us with the whisper of truth and presence.

Lord, if we desire you to be a part of our busy lives we need to find some cave of Aloneness where we can heed your voice and ponder your word with a clean heart.

Enable us and our children not to be afraid of silence.

Only from silence can come the depth of expression, the well-spring of beauty and common language that will help us interpret all the sounds of our noisy world.

Lord, help us to keep silent so we may listen better. Help us to abide in the silence of prayer so prayer can live in us—now and forever. Amen.

– Rev. Daniel P. Coughlin,
prayer at the opening session of Congress, April 23, 2009

(From Josh Dubois’ The President’s Devotional.)