Celestial Lands The Religious Crossroads of Politics, Power, and Theology

Category Archives: Care Of The Soul

Pema Chodron

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”

James Freeman Clark

“THE worst of hells is doubting the love of God, and we turn away from the face of our Father when we do wrong. But, if hell is always near, heaven is equally near.”– from “Messages” for March 14th.

John Donne

“God is so omnipresent… God is an angel in an angel, and a stone in a stone, and a straw in a straw.”

Geddy Lee

“You can surrender without a prayer, but never really pray without surrender.”

The Dalai Lama

“There is only one important point you must keep in your mind and let it be your guide. No matter what people call you, you are just who you are. Keep to this truth. You must ask yourself how is it you want to live your life. We live and Read more →

Gutama Siddartha, the Buddha

“It is not the case that one would live eternally by holding the view that the world is eternal. Nor is it the case that one would live the spiritual life by holding the view that the world is not eternal. Whether one holds that the world is eternal, or Read more →


“Empty are the words of that philosopher who offers no therapy for human suffering. For just as there is no use in medical expertise if it does not give therapy for bodily diseases, so too there is no use in philosophy if it does not expel the suffering of the Read more →

Khoren Arisian

“To learn to be in touch with this fundamental life force, this depth dimension of reality that cannot be weighed or measured, is to sanctify one’s existence, and, through its working out, to establish the grounds for lasting affection between people and the earth at large. It’s the new kind Read more →

Walt Whitman

“I believe in you my soul… the other I am must not abase itself to you, And you must not be abased to the other.”

Thomas Moore

“Observing what the soul is doing and hearing what it is saying is a way of “Going with the symptom”.

Thomas Moore

“Care of the soul requires acceptance of dying. The temptation is to champion our familiar ideas about life right up to the last second, but it may be necessary in the end to give them up, to enter into the movement of death.”

Alice Steinbach

“Has it ever occurred to you, that we are shaped more by our sorrows than our joys? When I look back, it’s not the happy times that still have power over my life. It’s the places where things went wrong.”

Eva Burrows

“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.”

Henry Miller

“The Earth is a Paradise, the only one we will ever know. We realize it the moment we open our eyes. We don’t have to make it a Paradise – it is one. We have only to make ourselves fit to inhabit it.”

William James

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will create the fact.”

Parker J. Palmer

“On the inward and downward spiritual journey, the only way out is in and through”

Parker J. Palmer

“One dwells with God by being faithful to one’s nature. One crosses God by trying to be something one is not.”

Barbara Pescan

“Men create elaborate rituals in order to be able to touch each other.”

Joanna Russ

“Faith is not contrary to the usual ideas, something that turns out to be right or wrong, like a gambler’s bet: it’s an act, an intention, a project, something that makes you, in leaping into the future, go so far, far, far ahead that you shoot clean out of time Read more →

Anne Frank

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst Read more →

Joseph Campbell

“The role of the artist I now understood as that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul, and the great agent to assist the artist was the myth.”

Carl Jung

“There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”

Mark Twain

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Emily Dickinson

“If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain. If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain.”

Maya Angelou

“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

Winston Churchill

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Karen Mooney

“Life is living in ambiguous tensions.”

Black Elk

“One should pay attention to even the smallest crawling creature, for these too may have a valuable lesson to teach us, and event hte smallest and even the smallest ant may wish to communicate with a (human).”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

“In order to develop love ~ universal love, cosmic love, whatever you would like to call it ~ one must accept the whole situation of life as it is, both the light and the dark, the good and the bad. One must open oneself to life, communicate with it.”

Thomas Moore

“One who cares for the soul becomes someone at ease with idiosyncrasies and the unexpected.”

Joseph Campbell

“People say what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive […] so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s all finally about.”

The World Breaks Us All — Sermon by the Rev. David Pyle

Last preached October 6th, 2013 This is the second time our congregation has reached the theme of Brokenness, in our cycle of monthly themes for the worship life of our congregation.  Actually, as of last month, we have completed our cycle of worship themes, and have begun now to re-explore Read more →

Oneness in Transformation — Sermon by the Rev. David Pyle

Last preached on July 21, 2013   Next month, while on vacation from the church, I will be serving the “2-weeks per year” that I owe to the United States Army as a Reserve military chaplain. Luckily this year I will not be going out to the field for those Read more →

The Lost Meanings of Love — Sermon by the Rev. David Pyle

Last preached on February 12th, 2012   My Great-grandparents, my mother’s grandparents, were married for a little over seventy-five years before my great-grandfather, my “Da-da”, passed away. Seventy-five years.  When they got married, he was seventeen years old, and my “Ma-maw” was only fifteen. Getting married so young was pretty Read more →

Love is Always Tough — Sermon by the Rev. David Pyle

Last preached on February 9th, 2012   One of my experiences when I first joined this liberal faith tradition of Unitarian Universalism is that Love was often spoken of in ways I had never imagined before… and quite frankly had trouble finding credible. From Unitarian Universalist pulpits, including when I Read more →

The Difference Between Grace and Forgiveness — Sermon by the Rev. David Pyle

Last preached on December 11th, 2011 For many years my family celebrated Christmas alone, for the sole reason that as a military family, we were often far from all our other relatives for most of the year.  Occasionally someone would come to visit us at Christmastime… but most Christmases were Read more →

Must Not Fear — Sermon by the Rev. David Pyle

Last preached on July 17th, 2011   Yogi Berra once said that “The Key is authenticity… once you can fake that, you’ve got it made!”   As I was thinking and feeling about this sermon, I kept coming back to that intentionally funny quote from the baseball legend… no, not Read more →

Staycation and Mr. Bean

This week is Candidating Week for the congregation that I am serving as an Interim Minister.  Now, by all indications Candidating Week has gone well, and the congregation will vote tomorrow on whether to call Jeff Liebmann as their new settled minister.  What will be with that will be… and Read more →

Happy Birthday Dad…

This is a repost of an article from each of the last two years. This is a hard time of year for me. I guess we all have these times of the year, where the past experiences of our lives fill up the time we spend living today… times in Read more →

I Am an Appalachian-American

Yesterday, I was driving home from an ordination in Rockville Maryland, and I took a route that carried me through the Appalachian Mountains of Western Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania… and I felt at home. I felt at home in a way that is hard to describe. As I spent Read more →

Equality in our Endings — Sermon by Rev. David Pyle

Last preached on August 8th, 2010   Reading   Excerpt from “Love and Death” by Rev. Forrest Church   When grandparents, parents, even children died at home, death was an inescapable presence in our lives. Today, shielded from intimacy with death by the cold, mechanically invasive and antiseptic chambers of hospitals, Read more →

The Liminal Space of Intentional Not-Knowing

The last month has been a liminal space for me, as I have intentionally stayed in a space of not-knowing when it comes to what the next few years will bring. Perhaps there is a key to understanding our faith tradition in such liminality. Read more →

My Friend, Grief

I have come to the belief that what makes our culture so afraid of grief is that we often have buried within us layer upon layer of losses, one piled on top of another, the way that sand piles up upon the ruins of ancient cities, gets packed down, and Read more →

How to Listen to Me, A Veteran

1.  Telling the stories about our military service helps, but we veterans are taught that it does not. Almost every program for helping veterans come to terms with their military service is based upon learning to tell our stories, and yet the model of the veteran in our society is Read more →

Emotion, Reason, and Pastoral Care

I want to posit a few aspects of my theory of the primacy of human emotion. The purpose for this article is that I am currently developing, as a part of my Clinical Pastoral Education Residency, both a theory and theology of Pastoral Care. I am well aware that this Read more →

Happy Birthday Dad

This is a repost of an article from the last 2 years. This is a hard time of year for me. I guess we all have these times of the year, where the past experiences of our lives fill up the time we spend living today… times in which what we live Read more →

Standing on the Side of Reflection and Practice

I want to be very clear at the beginning of this article that it applies to the religious right, the religious center, and the religious left, and I’m going to focus on the religious left. This is something within human nature, not within specific religious traditions. If there is a difference Read more →

The Idolatry of Identity Part 1: Wondrous Not-Knowing and Magical Boxes

At the beginning o Shakespeare’s Henry V, many of the characters are struggling with what they perceive to be the transformation of young, wild, party-boy Prince Harry into the warrior-king they are now encountering. One of the characters expresses that tension to the Prince Dolphin of France in this way: Read more →

Post Navigation