Brother David Steindl-Rast takes us on a journey to discover the wisdom preserved in common sense sayings that have been passed down through generations. These timeless words reflect the shared values cherished by people all over the world.
"When you drink from a stream,” says one Chinese proverb, “remember the spring." From these simple words we are reminded to be grateful for even the smallest graces that we receive. Another homespun phrase tells us that "a contented heart is a continual feast," reminding us to look within, rather than without, for the source of our happiness.
Words of Common Sense reveals the thread of human experience expressed in the world’s proverbs and sayings. It helps us connect with cultures other than our own and recognize our shared humanity. These words resonate around the world because they are timeless reflections on how to cultivate a life of love, gratitude, and meaning.
Acknowledgments / ix
Introduction by Thomas Moore / xi
What Is Common Sense? / 3
Proverbs and Common Sense / 13
The Common Sense Sayings of Jesus / 25
Common Sense as Ultimate Authority / 35
The Good News of Common Sense / 45
Obstacles to Common Sense / 73
Cultivating Common Sense / 83
Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB, was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1926. He received his PhD from the University of Vienna in 1952 and moved to the United States. In 1953 he joined a Benedictine monastery in the Finger Lakes area of New York, where he still lives today as a senior member. Brother David has been a contributor for several volumes and periodicals, including the Encyclopedia Americana and New Age Journal. His many books include Gratefulness: The Heart of Prayer, A Listening Heart, and The Music of Silence, which was cowritten with Sharon Lebell, as well as writing the introduction to Words of Gratitude for Mind, Body, and Soul, published in fall 2001 by Templeton Press.