Favourite quotations from world religious traditions (mystics, saints, thinkers etc.)

My dear brothers and sisters of all religious persuasions and none :angel1:

Blessings and peace to you!

Today I have been reading through the Mathnawi of Rumi, the great Sufi poet and it inspired me to create a thread devoted to quotations from the Holy Scriptures, devotional writings, saints, mystics and thinkers of all the worlds religious traditions. In this definition I include quotations from deist, agnostic and atheist thinkers for those of us without religious faith.

*Everyone is welcome without exception! *


“…Christian charity truly extends to all without distinction of race, social condition or religion…”

- Ad Gentes 12 (Vatican II)

“…As Catholics we believe that Christ lived, died and rose from the dead for all people and that God’ s plan of love embraces the whole of creation. We can joyfully accept, as was recognised by the Fathers of the Church, that other religions contain elements of the truth we find inChrist. The Fathers of the Church called these elements “seeds of the Word”.The Vatican Council attributed the positive values present in other religious traditions to the active presence of God through his Word, pointing also to the universal action of the Spirit” at work in the world before Christ was glorified”. (Ad Gentes n 4)…The next important point is the clear recognition of the presence of God, in various ways and different degrees, within the world religions. This applies to “primitive relig-ions“, as well as to Hinduism, Buddhism …] Islam and Judaism. We are told that the “Catholic Church rejectsnothing of what is true and holy in these re-ligions.” (2). This means that there are many practices, ways of living, moral and doctrinal teachings within the world religions, which, while not always in agreemen twith Christian teachings, “often reflect thebrightness of that Truth which is the light ofall men and women.” (2)…We have much to leam. We will not compromise our Catholic faith if we, like the bishops, with real respect, reverence and joy, acknowledge the presence of God in the world religions. It is therefore a cause for joy that God, who loves and desires the salvation of all women and men, makes himself present to people of other Faiths…”

  • Bishops Conference of England Wales (Getting to Know People of Other Faiths)

My desire is for members of this forum to share with us words of wisdom that have been beneficial to their spiritual formation. I would ask that we all be respectful of each other, that no one condemn or insult the cherished beliefs of another, and that everyone’s contributions from whatever religious tradition be welcomed in a spirit of brotherhood, mutual sympathy and compassion.

To this end, you may quote from figures, thinkers or the sacred scriptures of your own religious tradition or that of another.

Here is the wondrous Sufi adage - courtesy of the infinite wisdom and insight of Rumi - which really touched me this morning and fired off my imagination:

“Looking at my life, I see that only Love has been my soul’s companion. From deep inside my soul cries out: Do not wait, surrender for the sake of Love…”

- Rumi (1207-1273)

Pope John Paul?

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself

I read this from a Catholic magazine after having submitted two questions to Catholic Answers by email maybe 3 - 4 years back. She offered to send me the magazine because of the interest I showed.

Later on, I found this site.

“Unitarians don’t believe in anything. I am a Unitarian.” - Kurt Vonnegut, founder of Bokononism (the world’s smallest religion)

St. Seraphim of Sarov

Why do we judge our neighbors? Because we are not trying to get to know ourselves. Someone busy trying to understand himself has no time to notice the shortcomings of others. Judge yourself — and you will stop judging others. Judge a poor deed, but do not judge the doer. It is necessary to consider yourself the most sinful of all, and to forgive your neighbor every poor deed. One must hate only the devil, who tempted him. It can happen that someone might appear to be doing something bad to us, but in reality, because of the doer’s good intentions, it is a good deed. Besides, the door of penitence is always open, and it is not known who will enter it sooner — you, “the judge,” or the one judged by you.



Words and Prayers of St. Isaac the Syrian

Let yourself be persecuted, but do not persecute others.
Be crucified, but do not crucify others.
Be slandered, but do not slander others.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep: such is the sign of purity.
Suffer with the sick.
Be afflicted with sinners.
Exult with those who repent.
Be the friend of all, but in your spirit remain alone.
Be a partaker of the sufferings of all, but keep your body distant from all.
Rebuke no one, revile no one, not even those who live very wickedly.
Spread your cloak over those who fall into sin, each and every one, and shield them.
And if you cannot take the fault on yourself and accept punishment in their place,
do not destroy their character.



Saint Francis De Sales

“Do everything calmly and peacefully. Do as much as you can as well as you can. Strive to see God in all things without exception, and consent to His will joyously. Do everything for God, uniting yourself to him in word and deed. Walk very simply with the Cross of the Lord and be at peace with yourself.”


"And God said to the soul:
I desired you before the world began.
I desire you now
As you desire me.
And where the desires of the two come together
There love is perfected.

How the Soul speaks to God
Lord, you are my lover,
My longing,
My flowing stream,
My sun,
And I am your reflection.

How God answers the Soul
It is my nature that makes me love you often,
For I am love itself
It is my longing that makes me love you intensely,
For I yearn to be loved from the heart.
It is my eternity that makes me love you long,
For I have no end."

– Mechthild of Magdeburg, “God Speaks to the Soul” (from Teachings of the Christian Mystics, ed. Andrew Harvey, Boston: Shambhala Publications, 1998)

“In the case of a nun who has received the treasury of the true Dharma eye through transmission, if [the monks of] the four fruitions, pratyeka-buddhas [those who attain enlightenment on their own], and even those of the three wise stages and of the ten holy stages pay homage to her and seek the Dharma from her, she should receive their obeisance. By what right are only males noble? The empty sky is the empty sky, the four elements are the four elements, the five skandas [aggregates composing human appearance] are the five skandas. To be female is exactly the same: as for the attainment of the Way, both [male and female] can attain the Way. Hence both should have high regard for the attainment of the Dharma, and not argue about differences between male and female. Such is the most marvelous law of the Buddha-way.”

–Zen Master Dogen, founder of the Soto Zen school, about not discriminating against women (as quoted in Women in Religion by Mary Pat Fisher, Toronto: Pearson-Longman, 2007)

I have more, but I have to find them.

“The present moment holds infinite riches beyond your wildest dreams, but you will only enjoy them to the extent of your faith and love…To discover God in the smallest and most ordinary of things, as well as in the greatest, is to possess a rare and sublime gift…The will of God is manifest in each moment, an immense ocean which only the heart fathoms insofar as it overflows with faith, trust and love. We cannot become truly good in a better, more marvelous, and yet easier way than by the simple use of the means offered us by God: the ready acceptance of all that comes to us at each moment of our lives.”

- Jean Pierre de Caussaude, “The Sacrament of the Present Moment”, Catholic mystic of the 17th century

From Archbishop Fulton Sheen

"What is true remains TRUE even if nobody believes it
What is a lie, remains a lie even IF eveyone believes it"

God Bless you,

Einstein when asked if there was a god.

There has to be.

[FONT=Courier New]A Muslim prayer…[/FONT]

[FONT=Courier New]I asked for Strength…[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]And Allah gave me Difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom…
And Allah gave me Problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity…
And Allah gave me Brain and Brawn to work.
I asked for Courage…
And Allah gave me Danger to overcome.
I asked for Love…
And Allah gave me Troubled people to help.
I asked for Favours…
And Allah gave me Opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted
I received everything I needed
My Prayer has been answered.[/FONT]

Saint Isaac the Syrian

To bear a grudge and pray, means to sow seed on the sea and expect a harvest


‘‘After God, the Priest is all’’ -St. John Vianney

From someone who was Unitarian and, unlike Vonnegut, did believe in something:

“May your life preach more loudly than your lips.” ~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)



One of my favorite thoughts on a humorous ancecdote.

'A visitor to a Quaker meeting stands up after five minutes of silence and asks, “When does the service begin?” An old Friend rises after a brief reflection and says,** "Service begins when the worship ends”**

It was either St Franis of Assissi or St Augustine who said- Go out and evangelize the world, use words if necessary.

"Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."

-Jesus of Nazareth

“A man who governs his passions is master of his world. We must either command them or be enslaved by them. It is better to be a hammer than an anvil.”-Quote of St. Dominic de Guzman

I go back to-“Make me a channel of your peace-” the prayer of St Francis.


Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence

“Good when He gives, supremely good;
Nor less when He denies:
Afflictions, from His sovereign hand,
Are blessings in disguise.”


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