Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible.
God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.
– The Brothers Karamozov
It takes great courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it. And even more courage to see it in the one you love.
– Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband
I say to my son, these are the visible and outward forms,
These are the inarticulate gestures, the humble and supplicating hands of the blind reached out,
This is the reaching out of children’s hands for the wild bird, these are the hands stretched out for water in the dry and barren land.
This is the searching in a forest for treasure, buried long since under a tree with branches,
This is the searching in the snowstorm for a long-awaited letter, the lost white paper that has blown away.
This is the savage seeking a tune from the harp, the man raking ashes fro the charm in the burned-out house.
This is the man thrusting his head through the stars, searching the void for the Incomprehensible and Holy;
Keep for it always your reverence and earnestness, these are men searching here,
They stretch out their hands for no star, for no knowledge, however weighty,
They reach out humbly, supplicating not more than a cubit’s length
That haply they may touch the hem of the robe of the Infinite and everlasting God.
― Alan Paton, Meditation for a Young Boy Confirmed
If you could do it, I suppose, it would be a good idea to live your life in a straight line – starting, say, in the Dark Wood of Error, and proceeding by logical steps through Hell and Purgatory and into Heaven. Or you could take the King’s Highway past the appropriately named dangers, toils, and snares, and finally cross the River of Death and enter the Celestial City. But that is not the way I have done it, so far. I am a pilgrim, but my pilgrimage has been wandering and unmarked. Often what has looked like a straight line to me has been a circling or a doubling back. I have been in the Dark Wood of Error any number of times. I have known something of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, but not always in that order. The names of many snares and dangers have been made known to me, but I have seen them only in looking back. Often I have not known where I was going until I was already there. I have had my share of desires and goals, but my life has come to me or I have gone to it mainly by way of mistakes and surprises. Often I have received better than I deserved. Often my fairest hopes have rested on bad mistakes. I am an ignorant pilgrim, crossing a dark valley. And yet for a long time, looking back, I have been unable to shake off the feeling that I have been led – make of that what you will.
― Wendell Berry
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?
There is nothing sweeter in this sad world than the sound of someone you love calling your name.
― The Tale of Despereaux
Despereaux marveled at his own bravery. He admired his own defiance.
And then, reader, he fainted.”
― The Tale of Despereaux
Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.
― The Brothers Karamozov
What beautiful clocks! What beautiful carpets! What beautiful liveries! They must be a great trouble. I would not have all those superfluities crying incessantly in my ears: ‘There are people who are hungry! There are people who are cold! There are poor people! There are poor people!’
― M Myriel, Les Miserables
We think we have said that Theodule was the favorite of Aunt Gillenormand, who preferred him because she did not see him. Not seeing people permits one to attribute to them all possible perfections.
― Les Miserables
What is the secret to great living? Entire separation to Christ and devotion to him. Thus speaks every man and woman whose life has made more than a passing flicker in the spiritual realm. It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts.
― Amy Carmichael
The Christian life can be explained only in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you—your personality, your willpower, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, or you anything—then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it.
― Ian Thomas
“Have you forgotten what we are to say to ourselves every morning? ‘Today I shall meet cruel men, cowards and liars, the envious and the drunken. They will be like that because they do not know what is good from what is bad. This is an evil which has fallen upon them not upon me. They are to be pitied, not—’.”
― Psyche, Till We Have Faces
At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.
― The Weight of Glory
Little girl, a memory without blot or contamination must be an exquisite treasure—an inexhaustible source of pure refreshment: is it not?”
― Mr. Rochester, Jane Eyre
Dread remorse when you are tempted to err, Miss Eyre; remorse is the poison of life.
― Mr. Rochester, Jane Eyre
Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.
― George Washington
I believe God is good; I can resign my immortal part to Him without any misgiving.
― Helen Burns, Jane Eyre
“Whatever comes,” she said, “cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.” ― Sarah Crew, A Little Princess
Look at that sea, girls—all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.
― Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables
“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”
“I’m not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.”
“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”
My spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.”
We are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside…but one day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that a system that produces beggars needs to be repaved.
― Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
― C.S. Lewis
We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.
― C.S. Lewis
“I don’t mean to be rude—” he began, in a tone that threatened rudeness in every syllable.
“Yet, sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often,” Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely.”
― Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
There comes an hour in the afternoon when the child is tired of pretending, when he is weary of being a robber or a cowboy. It is then that he torments the cat.
― G K. Chesterton
From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put.
Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
― G. K. Chesterton
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
― Mother Teresa
Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from Christ’s side, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O good Jesus, hear me. Within thy wounds, hide me. Suffer me not to be separated from thee. From the malicious enemy, defend me. In the hour of my death, call me. And bid me come unto thee, that I may praise thee with thy saints and with thy angels for ever and ever. Amen.
― Anima Christi, attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola