What we do not nourish
within ourselves
cannot exist in the world around us
because we are its microcosm.

We cannot moan the loss
of quality in our world
and not ourselves
seed the beautiful in our wake.

We cannot decry the loss of the spiritual
and continue ourselves to function
only on the level of the vulgar.

We cannot hope for fullness of life
without nurturing fullness of soul.
We must seek beauty, study beauty
surround ourselves with beauty.

To be contemplative
we must remove the clutter of our lives,
surround ourselves with beauty,
and consciously, relentlessly,
persistently give it away
until the tiny world
for which we are responsible
begins to reflect
the raw beauty that is God.

–Joan Chittister