Quintessential Quaker

A quote chosen by a member for discussion each Sunday.


November 20th “For a Quaker, religion is not an external activity, concerning a special ‘holy’ part of the self. It is an openness to the world in the here and now with the whole of the self. If this is not simply a pious commonplace, it must take into account the whole of our humanity: our attitudes to other human beings in our most intimate as well as social and political relationships. It must also take account of our life in the world around us, the way we live, the way we treat animals and the environment. In short, to put it in traditional language, there is no part of ourselves and of our relationships where God is not present.” ~
 Harvey Gillman, 1988


November 13th “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now. Love mercy now.Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” ~The Talmud


November 8th “The people whom I know who live a truly nonviolent life are in touch with the source of power, call it what you will; the Light, the seed, God, the holy spirit. Many others of us find this wellspring when we need it, and lose it again, find it and lose it, find it and lose it. Regrettably, I am one of the latter. When I have something very difficult to face that I know I can’t cope with, then I turn desperately to the source. One of the things I find most infuriating about myself is that I often let the contact go when the emergency is over and flounder along without it for months on end when my everyday existence could be transformed by it. It is as if I opened the blinds in my house for only an occasional hour when – for example – I had an important visitor, or a cable arrived, or I had to sweep up some broken glass; and afterwards allowed the blinds to fall closed again. So that for ninety-per-cent of the time I bumble around, do my housework in semi-darkness, strain my eyes trying to read and can scarcely discern the features of those to whom I talk. More than anything I want to learn to live in the Light. So I think, anyway, but in fact I perhaps don’t altogether want to take the demands involved, don’t want to see all the dust in my life.” ~ Jo Vellacott, 1982


November 1st “Somehow, in our busy lives we must take time to read and reflect. So often we feel helpless about situations beyond our immediate control. But we can become informed about issues, and by becoming informed we find our concerns are sharpened and we are made more open to the leadings of the Spirit.” ~ Arnold Ranneris, 1971


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