"Much of our life may be a wandering in the desert lands, but we do find springs of water. If what is called 'God' means in the language of experience the ultimate Source of Meaning, then those moments that quench the thirst of the heat are moments of prayer."
David Steindl-Rast (b. 1926), an Austrian-born Benedictine monk, is one of the most influential spiritual teachers in the world. Founder of the Mount Savior Monastery in Elmira, New York, he was an early pioneer in the field of Buddhist-Christian dialogue. As a leading figure in the House of Prayer movement, he contributed to a broad renewal of religious life. In classic books such as Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer, and A Listening Heart, he advanced the notion of "grateful living." Gratefulness, he wrote, is "the inner gesture of giving meaning to our life by receiving life as a gift."