Quotes by Evelyn Underhill

Evelyn Underhill (6 December 1875 – 15 June 1941) was an English Anglo-Catholic writer and pacifist known for her numerous works on religion and spiritual practice, in particular Christian mysticism. (Wikipedia)

The Fundamental Verb

We mostly spend our lives conjugating three verbs: to Want, to Have and to Do. Craving, clutching, and fussing, on the material, political, social, emotional, intellectual, even on the religious plane, we are kept in perpetual unrest, forgetting that none of these verbs have any ultimate significance, except so far as they are transcended by and included in the fundamental verb, to Be, and that Being, not wanting, having and doing, is the essence of the spiritual life.

To Be

We mostly spend [life] conjugating three verbs: to Want, to Have and to Do. Craving, clutching and fussing, on the material, political, social, emotional, intellectual, even on the religious plane, we are kept in perpetual unrest: forgetting that none of these verbs have any ultimate significance, except so far as they are transcended by and included in, the fundamental verb, to Be: and that Being, not wanting, having and doing, is the essence of the spiritual life.

Spiritual Progress

Do not entertain the notion that you ought to advance in your prayer. If you do, you will only find you have put on the brake instead of the acceleration. All real progress in spiritual things comes gently, imperceptibly, and is the work of God. Our crude efforts spoil it. Know yourself for the childish, limited and dependent soul you are. Remember that the only growth which matters happens without our knowledge and that trying to stretch ourselves is both dangerous and silly. Think of the Infinite Goodness, never of your own state.