Friday, May 15, 2020

Five On Friday: A Prayer And Five Lovely Book Quotes

Image by TProud from Pixabay

" Lord, give me an open heart to find You everywhere,
to glimpse the heaven enfolded in a bud, and experience
eternity in the smallest act of love. "

Before I share those lovely book quotes I gathered for today's post, there's something else I feel the need to say. The other morning, I was reading a passage from Common Prayer, A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals. Centuries earlier, Catherine of Siena, a 14th century mystic, had written down the words she felt God had spoken to her. And now these very words, preserved through the ages, speak to me (I've written them in my own journal):
"Beloved daughter, everything I give to you comes from the love and care I have for (you). I desire to show my mercy to the whole world and my protective love to those who want it. My care is constant. I did this so that they will know me and rejoice to see me forever."
That italicized phrase really grabbed my heart. It's exactly what we need in these times—His protective love. Yes please, I want it and need it. I want it not only for myself, but for every single person I care about. That, dear friends, is my heart prayer for you as well these days.

So now back to our regularly scheduled programming....

While we go about our days doing what we need to, possibly caring for those who need care, coping with unusual routines, I believe it is so needful for us to always come back to a place where our own souls can be refreshed and renewed. I find I have sweeter sleeps on those days when I take a deliberate few moments to fill my mind with beautiful images and lovely, hopeful thoughts. Refreshing words from the Psalms. Comforting words from familiar stories. Delicious, evocative words from books and blog posts that make my heart leap for joy or cheer.

That is why I am so grateful for the poetic language of certain books, for the beautiful imagery, photography and artwork found in magazines and online, for the familiar handwriting of a loved one in an old cherished note of encouragement. Sometimes we just don't have the words we need, but aren't we glad when we find someone else who says it perfectly for us. Perhaps the words from Catherine of Siena do fit into this blog post after all, for they have given me life and light this week.

In difficult times you should always carry something beautiful in your mind. So said 17th century French mathematician, philosopher and theologian, Blaise Pascal. How often these days I have taken this now familiar line to heart. And so, it's with those words in mind that I offer Five on Friday: five lovely book quotes I take delight in, paired with photos I took when we were in Oxford (UK) a few years ago. I hope you enjoy....  

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life


" Maybe this is why we read, and why in
moments of darkness we return to books:
to find words for what we already know. "

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life


" She reads books as one would breathe
air, to fill up and live. "

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life


" You know you've read a good book
when you turn the last page and feel a
little as if you have lost a friend. "

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life


"Poetic language is a way of giving the sense
of an answer, just a sense of one,
that the story itself is unable to provide. "

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life


"Reading gives us someplace to go
when we have to stay where we are. "

* * *

Wishing you a beautiful weekend. Stay safe.

Heart Hugs,


  1. The church teaches that protective love is there for all who want it. You don't have to "earn" it or be worthy of it. We live in a state of grace. Knowing this dispels fear. You sent me on a journey to read more quotes from Pascal. Your photos are beautiful. I agree that when we fill our days with beautiful images and words, we live our best lives in spite of our circumstances.

  2. Oh yes, I need beautiful words and images always. love, Love, LOVE this post today. Each quote touched a different part of me that needed it. And the photos were the cherry on top of the whipped cream on top of the icing on the cake. Thank you. Joy

  3. Dear Brenda, I thrive on beautiful words and things, which is why I'm always reading another book or looking out the window, hoping to discover some new thing beyond the four walls. Because I am shut in most of the time, and not just now because of the pandemic, I have to look for things to occupy my time. I am thankful that God has enabled me to enjoy the simple things in life because I am housebound ninety-nine per cent of the time. I love quotes and thoroughly enjoyed yours today. I am quite familiar with Pascal because my son is a mathematician and he introduced me to him when he won a Pascal award for math in high school. I always enjoy stopping by here, although lately I haven't done a lot of visiting in Blogland. Glad I made it today. Wishing you a perfectly lovely day, my friend! Hugs...Sandi

  4. Hello Brenda...Oh, such a lovely, well written and evocative post. Loved the photos, too. The last photo was especially powerful and the words are perfect during this pandemic. I am so happy you have been posting more frequently. Susan

  5. Brenda, I got to the end of this inspiring post and then realized that all the pictures were your own. They were so lovely that I assumed you found them online! I will follow Blaise Pascal's advice and carry them with me. Anything that I've ever read by Pascal has been wonderful and I know this advice will be too. I also love the Annie Dillard quote and count myself among those of which it is true. Your note from a loved one made me think of the card I recently came across in an old book that my mother sent me decades ago. Her handwriting brought her so close to me again and I put the card on my bed table to see every day.

    Thank you for your prayer of protective love for your blog friends. Another good idea for something that I can do, even though I can't do much to help those of you I cherish online. Have a blessed weekend.

  6. Oh My Gosh! What a heart felt blog, filled with touching words, that turned into hugs.

  7. I really enjoyed the delicate beauty of each flower.

  8. Dear Brenda ~ what a lovely, encouraging post. The prayer and quotes were wonderful and the photos beautiful! I love to read, and during this pandemic have ordered 14 books, spiritual food. The last two ordered are Placemaker and Roots and Sky, and I so look forward to reading these. Thanks for the recommendation for Placemaker. ~ Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

  9. I'm catching up on my blog feed and almost skipped this post, but decided not to. I'm so glad I did not. What lovely book quotes, especially the one by Annie Dillard. Yes, reading is like breathing for me. I'm so glad for our Father's protective love for us.
    Do have a wonderful weekend, Brenda.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo