Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. - Mrs. Whatsit
It might be a good idea if, like the White Queen, we practiced believing six impossible things every morning before breakfast, for we are called on to believe what to many people is impossible. Instead of rejoicing in this glorious impossible which gives meaning and dignity to our lives, we try to domesticate God, to make his might actions comprehensible to our finite minds.
In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there's no danger that we will confuse God's work with our own, or God's glory with our own.
We live by revelation, as Christians, as artists, which means we must be careful never to get set into rigid molds. The minute we begin to think we know all the answers, we forget the questions, and we become smug like the Pharisee who listed all his considerable virtues, and thanked God that he was not like other men.Unamuno might be describing the artist as well as the Christian as he writes, Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.
A great ring of pure & endless lightDazzles the darkness in my heartAnd breaks apart the dusky clouds of night.The end of all is hinted in the start.When we are born we bear the seeds of blight;Around us life & death are torn apart,Yet a great ring of pure and endless lightDazzles the darkness in my heart.It lights the world to my delight.Infinity is present in each part.A loving smile contains all art.The motes of starlight spark & dart.A grain of sand holds power & might.Infinity is present in each part,And a great ring of pure and endless lightDazzles the darkness in my heart.
Love of music, of sunsets and sea; a liking for the same kind of people; political opinions that are not radically divergent; a similar stance as we look at the stars and think of the marvelous strangeness of the universe - these are what build a marriage. And it is never to be taken for granted.
We do learn and develop when we are exposed to those who are greater than we are. Perhaps this is the chief way we mature.
When I start a new seminar I tell my students that I will undoubtedly contradict myself, and that I will mean both things. But an acceptance of contradiction is no excuse for fuzzy thinking. We do have to use our minds as far as they will take us, yet acknowledge that they cannot take us all the way.
Aeschylus writes, In our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grade of God.
Our country in general assumes that the pursuit of happiness really means the pursuit of pleasure and that therefore pleasure is the greatest good.
Sorry. I get attacks of quotitis every once in a while. It's a very rare disease with no cure. It usually attacks older people, and here i am afflicted with it at my tender age.
How long your closet held a whiff of you,Long after hangers hung austere and bare.I would walk in and suddenly the trueSharp sweet sweat scent controlled the airAnd life was in that small still living breath.Where are you? since so much of you is here,Your unique odour quite ignoring death.My hands reach out to touch, to hold what's dearAnd vital in my longing empty arms.But other clothes fill up the space, your space,And scent on scent send out strange false alarms.Not of your odour there is not a trace.But something unexpected still breaks throughThe goneness to the presentness of you.
Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.
As Emmanuel, Cardinal Suhard says, To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one's life would not make sense if God did not exist.
George MacDonald gives me renewed strength during times of trouble--times when I have seen people tempted to deny God--when he says, The Son of God suffered unto death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like his.
Reading about the response of people in stories, plays, poems, helps us to respond more courageously and openly at our own moments of turning.
I get glimmers of the bad nineteenth-century teaching which has made Mother remove God from the realm of mystery and beauty and glory, but why do people half my age think that they don't have faith unless their faith is small and comprehensible and like a good old plastic Jesus?
You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.
I have advice for people who want to write. I don't care whether they're 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can't be a writer if you're not a reader. It's the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it's for only half an hour — write, write, write.
We all tend to make zealous judgments and thereby close ourselves off from revelation. If we feel that we already know something in its totality, then we fail to keep our ears and eyes open to that which may expand or even changes that which we so zealously think we know.
A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.
Mr Jenkins. Unique, as every star in the sky is unique, every leaf on every tree, every snowflake, every farandola, every cherubim, unique: Named.
Who makes you least confused?Calvin There was no hesitation here. When I'm with Calvin, I don't mind being meYou mean he makes you more you, don't you?I guess you could put it that way.
Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation…It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.
If I do wrong, I may do it unwittingly, thinking I am doing something for the best; but if it turns out to be wrong, I have done it, and I must bear the responsibility. It is not somebody else’s or something else’s fault. If it is I am less than human. Like everybody else, I tend to rationalize and alibi, before I let myself admit, “Yes, I did this. I am sorry. I will do what I can to make reparation.” Our sins defeat us unless we are willing to recognize them, confess them, and become healed and whole and holy—not qualified, mind you; just holy.
Freedom is a terrible gift, and the theory behind all dictatorships is that the people do no want freedom.
Two people whose opinion I respect told me that the word Christian would turn people off. This certainly says something about the state of Christianity today. I wouldn't mind if to be a Christian were accepted as being the dangerous thing which it is; I wouldn't mind if, when a group of Christians meet for bread and wine, we might well be interrupted and jailed for subversive activities; I wouldn't mind if, once again, we were being thrown to the lions. I do mind, desperately, that the word Christian means for so many people smugness, and piosity, and holier-than-thouness. Who today can recognize a Christian because of how those Christians love one another?