the only unfailing guide I’ve ever found through the innumerable blind alleys of my life as a writer, man, husband, father, citizen, steward, or believer, is the love burning in my heart. for me, prayer is about one thing: making contact with that love. though it burns in there like a candle flame, hot, bright, beautiful, love’s flame is so fragile… keeping one’s love burning, and living in accord with that burning: this, to me, is prayer.
Religious laws, in all the major religious traditions, have both a letter and a spirit. As I understand the words and example of Jesus, the spirit of the law is all-important whereas the letter, while useful… becomes lifeless and deadly without it. In accord with this distinction a yearning to worship on wilderness ridges or beside rivers rather than in churches could legitimately be called evangelical… if your words or deeds harmonize with the example of Jesus, you are evangelical in spirit whether you claim to be or not. When the non-Christian Ambrose Bierce wrote, “War is the means by which Americans learn geography,” his words are aimed at the same antiwar end as “Blessed are the peacemakers.