[T]he concern of man is not his future but his present, not the world but his soul. We must be just, we must strive, we must engage ourselves with the business of the world for our own sake, because through that, and through contemplation in equal measure, our soul is purified and brought closer to the divine. ... Thought and deed conjoined are crucial. ... The attempt must be made; the outcome is irrelevant. Right action is a pale material reflection of the divine, but reflection it is, nonetheless. Define your goal and exert reason to accomplish it by virtuous action; successs or failure is secondary.
Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering.... The love of God did not protect His own Son.... He will not necessarily protect us - not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.
Suffering often draws us closer to God. Instead of being a sign of God's punishment or distance, suffering can purify us, lead us into the heart of God, and transform our souls.
Lobbing hand grenades on the bride of Christ takes zero talent or effort. I also think this really ticks God off. My five-year-old child complains and whines when things aren't the way she wants them, but courageous men and women roll up their sleeves and get busy. I want to be an active participant in putting back together the broken pieces.
Oh external worshiper, know that worship without heart is motions. Oh seeker of knowledge, know that knowledge without purification is a dangerous weapon of the ego. Oh activist, know that work without orientation of heart is fruitless. Oh lover, know that love without God is pain.
We live in the age of Noah (a.s.) in the sense that a flood of distraction accosts us. It is a slow and subtle drowning. For those who notice it, they engage in the remembrance of God. The rites of worship and devotion to God's remembrance (dhikr) are planks of the ark. When Noah (a.s.) started to build his ark, his people mocked him and considered him a fool. But he kept building. He knew what was coming. And we know too.