Reflection, Rebellion or Excuses?

Five Days Before Christmas, 2010

Reflection, Rebellion or Excuses, and my response that follows, explores how I as one person reacted to Eckhart’s and Kelly’s quotes below.

Meister Eckhart wrote: “ There are plenty to follow our Lord half-way, but not the other half.” They will give up possessions, friends, and honors, but it touches them too closely to disown themselves.”

Thomas Kelly, wrote about giving oneself over fully to God as “Holy Obedience” said: “Holy Obedience is wholly different from mild, conventional religion which, with respectable skirts held back by dainty fingers, anxiously tries to fish the world out of the mud hole of its own selfishness. Our churches, our meetinghouses, are full of such respectable and amiable people…”

In some, says William James, “religion exists as a dull habit, in others as an acute fever. Religion as a dull habit is not that for which Christ lived and died.”


Reflection, rebellion or excuses? Who knows. 
What I do know is that I’ve received holy communion while
inches nearer the divine, joining arms and hearts
with others, who join others and still others
to make that circle round.

Some possessions bring joy and gift through beauty,
word and image, unnecessary to some and life
sustaining to others.
Which of these would Jesus have me do without?

Kevin Lee


A Testament of Devotion, by Thomas R. Kelly, 1941, Harper and Row, New York, NY p.52-53

Author: Kevin Lee

In a nutshell, Kevin fesses up to the following: He's a retired youth advocate-counselor, a blogger, writer, photographer, rower, Friends Minister, grandpa of six and married to a terrific woman for 43 years and counting!

2 thoughts on “Reflection, Rebellion or Excuses?”

  1. Thank you for posting this, Kevin. I struggle with attachment to the material world and need a nudge to simplify my life and opt out of the “getting and spending.”
    The world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
    Little we see in Nature that is ours;
    We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
    This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
    The winds that will be howling at all hours,
    And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
    For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
    It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
    A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
    Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
    Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
    ~William Wordsworth

  2. Ah…”getting and spending,” now there’s a great heading for for a story or poem! Thank you for sharing Wordsworth’s piece. It’s interesting to note too that Pagan creeds,” at lest in terms of modern pagans, have exhibited more honest spirituality and have practiced far greater tolerance for those of other faith traditions than most of the so-called mainstream religions of our day.
    Happy holidays to you and yours!

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