Catalyst Quotes

Compiled by Alex Pena ~ ‘Catalyst’: “to spark, to ignite, energize, mobilize; something that accelerates a reaction (DDI)." Thought-provoking & motivational quotes and stories for you to read, reflect on and move forward in making creative and positive changes in your life.

Archive for the category “Gratitude”

“There’s Always a New Chapter in Life”



“Why does life give you nothing when you ask for so little?

That’s why.”    (Robert Brault, Round Up the Usual Subjects, Thoughts on Just About Everything)




“Do more than belong:  participate.  Do more than care:  help.  Do more than believe:  practice.  Do more than be fair:  be kind.  Do more than forgive:  forget.  Do more than dream:  work.”    (William A. Ward)




“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.”    (Thomas Merton)




“Whatever you do, live a life of adventure and meaning so brilliant that, like a Roman candle, it lights up the world.  Dazzle us.  Astonish us.  Be extraordinary.”   (President George H.W. Bush, UT Commencement address, 1990)




“There is always a new chapter in life.  You ride into the sunset and discover it’s the sunrise.”    (Robert Brault, Round Up the Usual Subjects, Thoughts on Just About Everything)



“Thank You”

(Re-post from November 21, 2012)


“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.” (Edward Sandford Martin)



“Encourage one another.  Many times a word or praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept people on their feet.” (Charles Swindoll)




“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” (Brian Tracy)




“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” (Meister Eckhart)




“If you are really thankful, what do you do?  You share.” (W. Clement Stone)




Thanksgiving Day is primarily an American holiday celebrated on November 22; however, Canada has a Thanksgiving Day celebrated in October and many other countries throughout the world set aside a day to give thanks and show gratitude. Regardless of whether there is a formal day to celebrate either as a cultural or religious holiday, giving thanks and showing gratitude is ingrained in all of us. Tell those around you “Thank You.” ~ GM Universe

“Make This Christmas Thing Last”

Once again, I present to you the song, “Old City Bar” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Every time I hear it, I get a bit teary-eyed and I am sure you will also. As you read the lyrics below, the words will hit you hard but try to listen to the song and get the full effect of it.  You can then understand that miracles do happen and that we all have goodness in our hearts.  After the video, is a quote that I find useful during the holiday period.    –  Alex Pena






“Here are a few suggestions for special gifts: a firm handshake to a shaky soul, a kind word to a lonely person, a warm smile to the disheartened, a sincere concern for someone troubled, a feeling of compassion for the neglected, a comforting thought for the bereaved, a respect for the dignity of others, a defense of the rights of individuals, a word of witness to help a seeking soul, a Merry Christmas to all.” (Source Unknown)

“Memorial Day – Celebrate Our Heroes and She-roes”


“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”   (Ambrose Redmoon)



“There was nothing macho about the war at all. We were a bunch of scared kids who had a job to do.”   (E. R. Sledge, WWII, Pacific)



“Have you ever stopped to ponder the amount of blood spilt, the volume of tears shed, the degree of pain and anguish endured, the number of noble men and women lost in battle so that we as individuals might have a say in governing our country?  Honor the lives sacrificed for your freedoms.” (Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)



“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.  Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”   (General George S. Patton)



“Perform, then, this one act of remembrance before this Day passes – Remember there is an army of defense and advance that never dies and never surrenders, but is increasingly recruited from the eternal sources of the American spirit and from the generations of American youth.”   (W.J. Cameron)



“I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day (Memorial Day).  I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it.  We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.”   (Benjamin Harrison)



“Dear Kylie, my old head can’t hold too much anymore but, today, a whole lot came flooding back into it.  You might remember this afternoon as just another Saturday at Opa’s farmhouse.  It wasn’t.  I’ve never liked the word ‘souvenirs’, but I guess that’s what they are. Shards of memory, shrapnel. You take them to help you remember.  What you don’t count on is they don’t let you forget.  Pain.  Happiness.  Friendship.  Death.  Smells of diesel and dead animals.  Eating meals within arm’s length of corpses.  Men you laughed with a day before.  People wonder if leaders are born or made.  All I know is, you can see it in a man’s eyes.  Problem is, leaders end up where they’re needed most.  And eventually, that’s war. You’re special Kylie.  I hope you know that.  I always have.  But I need you to stay strong. People look to guys like us to make decisions.  If you do wear the uniform one day, remember something, when you put it on, you don’t get to choose the war or what happens when you get there. There’s no right or wrong in combat. Here’s only what you did.  You do your best, and you try to live with it.  Some day they’ll take me off this porch for good.  When that happens, what’s left that matters?  Photographs, letters, empty clothes?  No.  It’s the stories behind them, those are what matter.  Stories live forever, but only if you tell them.  I may sound like I’ve known this a long time.  I didn’t know it until today.  I just wanted to say thank you for teaching me that.  It was one hell of a souvenir.”   (Memorial Day movie)



“Lieutenant Bud Vogel:  [letter to parents] Although it’s a danger we all willingly face, so each soldier wishes to meet his end on the field of battle. Yet offered two paths, he would gladly choose death in the name of justice on the last day before victory, over life in the grip of tyranny.  Your son could not choose his time to die, but rest assured on his life, he chose to serve the cause of justice.  Justice will prevail.”   (Memorial Day movie)



“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”   (Maya Angelou)


“Miracles do Happen and We All Have Goodness in Our Heart” 2013

This is a repeat of a post I did in December 2012. It moves me so much during this time that I felt it was needed again. Merry Christmas everyone!  



Although today’s post is a bit longer than my previous ones, I couldn’t excerpt parts of this without destroying the meaning of the story. Please bear with me and read the whole story. This story is a song by Trans-Siberian Orchestra and every time I hear it, I get a bit teary-eyed. Reading the lyrics below will hit you hard but try to listen to the song and get the full effect of it and understand why one can get a bit teary-eyed and understand that miracles do happen and that we all have goodness in our hearts. ~ GM Universe


In an old city bar, that is never too far

From the places that gather, the dreams that have been

In the safety of night with its old neon light
It beckons to strangers and they always come in

And the snow it was falling; the neon was calling
The music was low, and the night Christmas Eve

And here was the danger, that even with strangers
Inside of this night it’s easier to believe

Then the door opened wide and a child came inside
That no one in the bar had seen there before

And he asked did we know that outside in the snow
That someone was lost standing outside our door

Then the bartender gazed through the smoke and the haze

Through the window and ice to a corner streetlight

Where standing alone, by a broken pay phone
Was a girl the child said could no longer get home

And the snow it was falling, the neon was calling
The bartender turned and said, not that I care
But how would you know this?
The child said I’ve noticed, if one could be home, they’d be all ready there

Then the bartender came out from behind the bar, and in all of his life he was never that far
And he did something else that he thought no one saw when he took all the cash from the register draw

Then he followed the child to the girl cross the street and we watched from the bar as they started to speak

Then he called for a cab and he said J.F.K., put the girl in the cab and the cab drove away

And we saw in his hand that the cash was all gone from the light that she had wished upon

If you want to arrange it this world you can change it
If we could somehow make this Christmas thing last

By helping a neighbor or even a stranger
And to know who needs help you need only just ask

Then he looked for the child but the child wasn’t there
Just the wind and the snow waltzing dreams through the air

So he walked back inside, somehow different I think
For the rest of the night no one paid for a drink

And the cynics will say that some neighborhood kid
Wandered in on some bums in the world where they hid

But they weren’t there so they couldn’t see
By an old neon star on that night, Christmas Eve

When the snow it was falling the neon was calling
And in case you should wonder, in case you should care

Why we’re on our own
Never went home
On that night of all nights
We were already there. ” (‘Old City Bar’ lyrics, Trans-Siberian Orchestra)


“Here are a few suggestions for special gifts: a firm handshake to a shaky soul, a kind word to a lonely person, a warm smile to the disheartened, a sincere concern for someone troubled, a feeling of compassion for the neglected, a comforting thought for the bereaved, a respect for the dignity of others, a defense of the rights of individuals, a word of witness to help a seeking soul, a Merry Christmas to all.” (Source Unknown)

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“Thank You, Part II”


“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you,

it will be enough.”

(Meister Eckhart)




“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought;

and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

(G. K. Chesterton)


“Land of the Free, Home of the Brave”

"Land of the Free, Home of the Brave"

“Friends / Just the Way You Are”

“No matter where life takes you – big cities, small towns, you will inevitably run across small minds; people who think they are better than you, people who think that being pretty or popular automatically makes you a worthwhile human.  None of these things matter as long as you have strengths of character, integrity, sense of pride.  So when you meet someone for the first time, don’t judge them by their situation in life, because you never know, they may end up being your very best friend.”    (Dawson’s Creek)



“A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities.”    (William Arthur Ward)



“When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.  The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate now knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”    (Henri Nouwen)



Just The Way You Are

“Don’t go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don’t imagine you’re too familiar
And I don’t see you anymore

I would not leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times
I’ll take you just the way you are

Don’t go trying some new fashion
Don’t change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care

I don’t want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you.

I said I love you and that’s forever
And this I promise from the heart
I couldn’t love you any better
I love you just the way you are.”   
(Billy Joel)



“All life is an experiment.   The more experiments you make the better.”    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


“When God Created Mothers”

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said.  “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”

And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?”  She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts … all replaceable.   Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up.  A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair.  And six pairs of hands.”

The angel shook her head slowly and said.  “Six pairs of hands …. no way.”

“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”

“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.  God nodded.

One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows.  Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”

“God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest, tomorrow….”

“I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself.  Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick … can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger … and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower.”

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly.  “It’s too soft,” she sighed.

“But tough!” said God excitedly.  “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.”

“Can it think?”

Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.

“There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”

“It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”

“What’s it for?”

“It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”

“You are a genius,” said the angel.

 Somberly, God said,   …  “I didn’t put it there.”       (Erma Bombeck, ‘When God Created Mothers) 


“Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.”     (William Thackeray)


Happy Mother’s Day Mom! 

As you look on us from Heaven, know that we miss you and love you.

(Your Loving Son)

“Mom – Mother – Supermom; There is No One on Earth …”


“24/7; once you sign on to be a mother, that’s the only shift they offer.”    (My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult)



“Supermom wasn’t a bad job description.  The pay was lousy if you were talking about real money.  But the payoff was priceless in so many other ways.”    (Roxanne Henke)



“Motherhood is a choice you make every day, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is … and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”      (At Home on Ladybug Farm, Donna Ball)



“Motherhood is near to divinity.  It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind.”   (Howard W. Hunter)



“The terrible things that happen to us in life never make any sense when we’re in the middle of them, floundering, no end in sight.  There is no rope to hang on to, it seems.  Mothers can soothe children during those times, through their reassurance.  No one worries about you like your mother, and when she is gone, the world seems unsafe, things that happen unwieldy. You cannot turn to her anymore, and it changes your life forever.  There is no one on earth who knew you from the day you were born; who knew why you cried, or when you’d had enough food; who knew exactly what to say when you were hurting; and who encouraged you to grow a good heart. When that layer goes, whatever is left of your childhood goes with her. Memories are very different and cannot soothe you the same way her touch did.”    (Big Stone Gap, Adriana Trigiani)


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