I don’t always choose the books I read. They usually choose me, calling out to me from the shelf of a bookstore and I often buy them without knowing why. Each one always leaves me with something important, though. I recently opened a few volumes from my small library for no apparent reason. Below are some of the passages that I underlined when I first read them.
Epithet and Control: “Of all the things that exist, some are within our reach, and some are not. Those that are within our reach are the thoughts, impulses and desires, that is, whatever the result is of our own actions. But there are things that arise that we cannot interfere with, and in those cases, we must look with wisdom to know what is going on.
What disturbs the spirit of man are not the facts, but the decisions we make about them. Do not pray for everything in life, follow the path of your will. Pray that things happen as they need to happen, by doing so, things will be much better than what was expected.”
Manuel Bandeira and the River:
Be like the river that overflowed
Silent in the night
Do not fear the darkness of night
If there are stars in the sky, reflect on them
And if the heavens are full of clouds
It is as the river, the clouds are water
I thought of them too without sorrow
And felt the depths of calm.
Chico Xavier and one text: “When you can overcome serious relationship problems, do not remember the difficult times, but think of the joy of having gone through that phase in life. When you escape a serious accident, do not be thinking about the trauma it may have caused, but of the miracle that helped you get away. When walking away from a health scare, do not think of the suffering that was faced, but the blessing of God that allowed the cure. Make sure you put in your memories of life the good things that emerged in the midst of difficulties. They are a testament to your ability to win races and will give you confidence… which will help in any situation, at any time, before any obstacle.”
Khalil Gibran and the Art of Giving: You say, “I give, but only to those who deserve it.” “Trees do not say that, nor do the flocks. They give so they can continue living; to retain is to die. He who is worthy to win God’s day and night is also worthy of getting everything he needs. He who deserves to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his bowl from the little stream…
Why demand that a man expose his heart and reveal his pride, so that you can decide whether he deserves help? Seek, rather, see if you deserve to. And you, who receives these things, do not assume any debt of gratitude, lest they create a loop domain with their benefactors. If we become too concerned with these debts, we will end up doubting the end of the generosity of the earth and the Father — and that was really where these donations came from.”