I came across this passage and thought it was beautiful. It points out a reason why human life is sacred- in the young, the elderly, and those disabled to such a degree that the world would declare them useless.
“Was she really as useless as Marianne thought her, wondered Marguerite this morning? She thought that she was not. She knew that in the eyes of the world her life must seem a very trivial thing, just a passing of the time somehow by a woman whose first youth had passed away without her having been able to lay hands upon the blessed employment that the care of husband and children would have given her, but she knew also that what the world sees of the life of any human creature is not the real life; that life is lived in secret, a reality that moves behind the facade of appearance, like wind behind a painted curtain; only an occasional ripple of the surface, a smile, a sudden light or shadow passing on a face, surprising by its unexpectedness, gives news of something quite other than what is seen. And Marguerite believed that her real life was of value, besides being an immense hoy to herself. She assured herself that the practice of the presence of God, that she had learned with self-discipline of thought and will, was not a selfish thing but something absolutely essential if one’s soul was to be of the slightest use. This faith had come to her from the book Reverend Mother had given her on the faraway day of her childhood, that she had picked up and for the first time read with attention soon after William had left the Island, a book of letters written by a barefoot Carmelite brother nearly two centuries ago. Like Brother Lawrence, she had learned by bitter experience that “useless thoughts spoil all”; she had learned to silence the chatter of self, to focus her mind in meditation, until the beauty dwelt upon became not a picture but an opening door.”
Green Dolphin Street
“The practice of the presence of God”…is this another way to say “pray without ceasing”?