Pearls amid junk

Wisdom is where you find it.

Most of us have seen wise little sayings, such as “Live, Love, Laugh.”

Recently, at a flea market, I found a large wooden plaque with a whole lot of sayings on it. I share them with you here in the hopes that a few of them at least might be helpful to you. I’ll comment on my favorites at the end.

Live your dream.

Show compassion.

Create your own happiness.

Follow your heart.

Enjoy the little things.

Laugh out loud.

Be your best self.

Cherish every moment.

Dream big.

Embrace every possibility.

Discover your passion.

Believe in miracles.

Create peace.

Be spontaneous.

Remember to breathe.

Fall in love.

Today is the day.

What are my favorites? While all of them have something to offer, I like some better than others.

Show compassion. Compassion comes from two Latin words which literally mean to “suffer with.” When we share someone else’s burden, we help them and ourselves. As another saying goes; “Love has a way of dividing sorrow and multiplying joy.”

Enjoy the little things. Life is filled with little things, not big things. We often think we have to go “somewhere else,” or on an expensive vacation. But in truth all that we need is right here and right now. Look – at the grass, the trees, the clouds – as if you were seeing them for the first time.

I’ve told this story before. When I was 17, I nearly died of a kidney infection. They didn’t have separate rooms for adolescents in hospitals in those days, so I shared a room with three other men. The old man in the corner bed had been a farmer all his life. All he kept repeating was: “I just want to see green grass again.” Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t miss the miracles all around you.

Laugh out loud. Over the years we’ve seen all kinds of pills and diets and exercise programs come and go. But laughter turns out to still be the best medicine. Laughter is jogging for the intestines, with no known bad side effects.

Cherish every moment. Each moment of life really is a gift.

Believe in miracles. Life itself is a miracle. We have clean drinking water, medical care and adequate housing. Much of the world doesn’t even have clean drinking water. We can cure diseases today in ways that would be considered a miracle in almost any previous age.

Fall in love. Yes, I hope you experience the joy of romantic love. More importantly, I hope you fall in love with God.

When you look at infinite space and countless solar systems and stars and galaxies, we’re part of a creation that is truly worthy of God. And yet you and I, small as we are in this vast universe, are still loved personally by God. God has become one of us that you and I might become one with God.

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Father Joseph Breighner

Father Joseph Breighner

Father Joseph Breighner is a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and a columnist for the Catholic Review.