Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
You young people can lend your bodies now, play with them, give them as we could not. But remember that you have paid a price: that of a world rich in mystery and delicate emotion. It is not only species of animal that die out. But whole species of feelings. And if you are wise, you will never pity the past for what it did not know. But pity yourself for what it did.
With rivers as with good friends, you always feel better for a few hours in their presence; you always want to review your dialogue, years later, with a particular pool or riffle or bend, and to live back through the layers of experience. We have been to this river before and together. We have much to relive.
This is your war now.' I despised myself for the cheesy sentiment, but what else did I have?'Some war,' he said dismissively. 'What am I at war with? My cancer. And what is my cancer? My cancer is me. The tumors are made of me. They're made of me as surely as my brain and my heart are made of me. It is a civil war, Hazel Graze, with a predetermined winner.
The story of America is the story of expanding liberty: an ever-widening circle, constantly growing to reach further and include more. Our nation's founding commitment is still our deepest commitment: In our world, and here at home, we will extend the frontiers of freedom.
We all lose friends.. we lose them in death, to distance and over time. But even though they may be lost, hope is not. The key is to keep them in your heart, and when the time is right, you can pick up the friendship right where you left off. Even the lost find their way home when you leave the light on.
O Children of Men! Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you, O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wondrous glory.
We cannot look at the child who has been raped and offer the theological maxim that God will draw something good from out of this. We cannot think of the children consumed by the fires of Auschwitz and Hiroshima and manufacture some easy gratitude. Gratitude does not take away the horrors of violence.
Whatever we are waiting for -- peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance -- it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.Gratitude arises in that in-between space where the inner and outer worlds meet and touch and encompass each other. Authentic spirituality, genuine politics, and good economics arise from a spirit of radical gratitude.
I often found myself prefering the company of people outside my congregation, men and women who did not follow Jesus. Or worse, preferring the company of my sovereign self. But soon I found that my preferences were honored by neither Scripture nor Jesus. I didn't come to the conviction easily, but finally there was no getting around it: there can be no maturity in the spiritual life, no obedience in following Jesus, no wholeness in the Christian life apart from immersion and embrace of community. I am not myself by myself. Community, not the highly vaunted individualism of our culture, is the setting in which Christ is at play.
We need to reach the millions who live in cities, the hundreds of thousands in industrial centers, the tens of thousands in medium-sized towns, the thousands in small towns, and the hundreds in villages -- all these at once. Like a volcanic eruption, a spiritual revolution needs to spread through the country, to spur people to crucial decisions. People have to recognize the futility of splitting life up into politics, economics, the humanities, and religion. We must be awakened to a life in which all of these things are completely integrated.
The church has been brought into the same value system as the world: fame, success, materialism and celebrity. We watch the leading churches and the leading Christians for our cues. We want to emulate the best known preachers with the biggest sanctuaries and the grandest edifices. Preoccupation with these values has perverted the church's message.
Failed experiments in ecumenism and social politics suggest that unity is not to be found in mass movements of like-minded people sharing common perspectives and policies. ... Experience suggests that unity embraces the multitude of our differences, that community is often far from cozy, and that conversion does not mean changing others to our point of view but perhaps just the opposite -- weaning each and every person and institution from the arrogant exclusivism that prevents genuine conversation. ... God comes to us, to rescue us not only from our enemies but also from our friends, not only from strangers but also from familiars, that we might see beyond these discriminating distinctions to a new way of relating.
Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it. As busy, active, relevant ministers, we want to earn our bread by making a real contribution. This means first and foremost doing something to show that our presence makes a difference. And so we ignore our greatest gift, which is our ability to enter into solidarity with those who suffer. Those who can sit in silence with their fellowman, not knowing what to say but knowing that they should be there, can bring new life in a dying heart. Those who are not afraid to hold a hand in gratitude, to shed tears in grief and to let a sigh of distress arise straight from the heart can break through paralyzing boundaries and witness the birth of a new fellowship, the fellowship of the broken.
When we honestly ask ourselves which person 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 not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.