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Silent and Radiant

What the Quakers taught me about the power of quiet virtues.

This past Summer I spent time reading several Quaker writers. I started with the biography of George Fox (the founder of the movement back in the 17th century) and then moved on to some of the works of Isaac Pennington, Robert Barclay, John Woolman (an American hero), Rufus Jones, Douglas Steere, and Elton Trueblood.

Good people. We should all know them better. I think they have a word for many of us. They certainly did for me.

Looking back on these writers, some of the descriptors that come to me are centeredness, self-regulation, dignity, intellectual acuity, generosity, and humility.

Somewhere in my summer readings I came across a comment made by Marius Grout, a 20th century French Quaker who said,

"I believe in the influence of silent and radiant men and I say to myself that such men are rare. They, nevertheless, give savor to the world …. Nothing will be lost here so long as such men continue to exist."

I am captured by this thought. Silent and radiant … giving savor to the ...

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