Thank You, God

What God Asks of Us

Not long after the end of World War II, an American writer named Paul Gallico, repelled by the materialism of the post-war years, stopped on impulse to see the tomb of Saint Francis in Assisi. Though he knew little about Francis and did not come as a pilgrim, he left as a devotee, profoundly changed and inspired. Walking the cobbled … Read More

Thank You, God

“Without a Breath of Censure”

One evening, for a “movie night,” the Ananda Village monks watched Into Great Silence, a documentary film about a very strict French Catholic monastery. The monks live in complete silence, praying long hours in their cells, coming together only for meals and formal worship. Over time one monk seems to be sinking deeper into dementia. His monastic brothers treat him … Read More

Thank You, God

God! God! God!

At the close of Ananda’s celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, Jyotish urged us to memorize Yoganandaji’s poem “God! God! God!”—and to so train our minds that whatever comes our way we turn within and call on God: When boisterous storms of trials shriek, And when worries howl at me, I will drown their noises, loudly chanting: God! God! God! The … Read More

Thank You, God

“I am always here.”

Soon after Ophelia left her body, mid-May of 2019, the Ananda community gathered to celebrate her life and to affirm our eternal friendship in God — with Ophelia, and with one another. A deeply devoted Mexican Catholic, Ophelia came often to Ananda to keep a watchful maternal eye on the two of her eleven children who were members of the community. At … Read More

Thank You, God

“God’s light has descended”

“‘America! Surely these people are Americans!’ This was my thought as a panoramic vision of Western faces passed before my inward view.” And just after this vision, Yoganandaji cries joyfully to young Bimal (who has found his hiding place), “I have news for you: the Lord is calling me to America!” And so begins our Master’s sacred journey to America, … Read More

Thank You, God

Offer a Prayer of Gratitude

Early in the twentieth century, a young Anglo-Indian named Jim Corbett lived and served in the jungles of the Himalayan foothills. A true kshatriya, he faithfully carried out whatever responsibilities he was given, leading large crews of native workers in the endless struggle to keep the trains running, to keep supplies moving uninterruptedly through a complex network of rail- and … Read More

Thank You, God

Gaze Upon This Light

A burning candle, offered on the altar of our devotion, symbolizes the luminous presence of God’s love, the descent of His light into our little human lives. As celebrants during the Festival of Light, as we gaze reverently at the candle’s flame, we pray to know God, to choose Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength — God alone. It … Read More

Thank You, God

A Window to the Infinite

Flower in the crannied wall, I pluck you out of the crannies, I hold you here, root and all, in my hand. Little flower — but if I could understand What you are, root and all, and all in all, I should know what God and man is. (Alfred, Lord Tennyson) A child born into slavery, growing up during and after the … Read More

Thank You, God

The Transforming Power of Grace

As we kneel before those acting as channels for our great line of Masters, we each one pray aloud, “I seek purification by the grace of God.” And the answer comes, “The Master says, ‘Open your heart to me, and I will enter and take charge of your life.’” * * * * * * * The Roman emperor Tiberius, … Read More

Divine Love, Spiritualizing Relationships

Gifts of the Magi

In a recent seclusion, this one in a little bungalow below the Ananda monastery, I felt especially close to Christ and our line of Masters. Occasionally footsteps could be heard approaching, then receding— outside the door I would find food, and an aura of kindness, self-offering and divine friendship so palpable that tears would come to my eyes. Into my … Read More