I think sometimes there might be an advantage in making people aware how worn and stale these old transgressions are. It might take some of the shine off them for those who are tempted.
Light is constant, we just turn over in it.
These people who can see right through you never quite do you justice, because they never give you credit for the effort you're making to be better than you actually are, which is difficult and well meant and deserving of some little notice.
I think the attempt to defend belief can unsettle it, in fact, because there is always an inadequacy in argument about ultimate things.
Love is holy because it is like grace--the worthiness of its object is never really what matters.
This is an interesting planet. It deserves all the attention you can give it.
I wish I could leave you certain of the images in my mind, because they are so beautiful that I hate to think they will be extinguished when I am. Well, but again, this life has its own mortal loveliness. And memory is not strictly mortal in its nature, either. It is a strange thing, after all, to be able to return to a moment, when it can hardly be said to have any reality at all, even in its passing. A moment is such a slight thing. I mean, that its abiding is a most gracious reprieve.
Memory can make a thing seem to have been much more than it was.
To be useful was the best thing the old men ever hoped for themselves, and to be aimless was their worst fear
A little too much anger, too often or at the wrong time, can destroy more than you would ever imagine.
I would advise you against defensiveness on priciple. it precludes the best eventualities along with the worst. At the most basic level it expresses a lack of faith.
My grandfather once told her if you couldn't read with cold feet, there wouldn't be a literate soul in the state of Maine.
Two or three of the ladies had pronounced views on points of doctrine, particularly sin and damnation, which they never learned from me. I blame the radio for sowing a good deal of confusion where theology is concerned. And television is worse. You can spend forty years teaching people to be awake to the fact of mystery and then some fellow with no more theological sense than a jackrabbit gets himself a radio ministry and all your work is forgotten. I do wonder where it will end. p. 208
Adulthood is a wonderful thing, and brief. You must be sure to enjoy it while it lasts.
I'm not going to force some theory on a mystery and make foolishness of it, just because that is what people who talk about it normally do.
Nothing true can be said about God from a posture of defense.
Vision sometimes comes in a memory.
All this seems preposterous. But in fact one lapse of judgment can quickly create a situation in which only foolish choices are possible.
If we can divinely fed with a morsel and divinely blessed with a touch, then the terrible pleasure we find in a particular face can certainly instruct us in the nature of the very grandest love.
Now that I look back, it seems to me that in all that deep darkness a miracle was preparing. So I am right to remember it as a blessed time, and myself as waiting in confidence, even if I had no idea what i was waiting for.
We would have visions in those days,a number of us did. Your young men will have visions and your old men will dream dreams
And often enough, when we think we are protecting ourselves, we are struggling against our rescuer.
In eternity this world will be like Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets.
People talk about how wonderful the world seems to children, and that's true enough. But children think they will grow into it and understand it, and I know very well that I will not, and would not if I had a dozen lives.
Well, but you two are dancing around in your iridescent little downpour, whooping and stomping as sane people ought to do when they encounter a thing so miraculous as water.
And old Boughton, if he could stand up out of his chair, out of his decrepitude and crankiness and sorrow and limitation, would abandon all those handsome children of his, mild and confident as they are, and follow after that one son whom he has never known, whom he has favored as one does a wound, and he would protect him as a father cannot, defend him with a strength he does not have, sustain him with a bounty beyond any resource he could ever dream of having.
It all means more than I can tell you. So you must not judge what I know by what I find words for.
Sometimes I have loved the peacefulness of an ordinary Sunday. It is like standing in a newly planted garden after a warm rain. You can feel the silent and invisible life.
When something ought to be true then it proves to be a very powerful truth.
Behold how much wood is kindled by how small a fire, and the tongue is fire.
It has been my experience that guilt can burst through the smallest breach and cover the landscape, and abide in it in pools and danknesses, just as native as water.
Sometimes the visionary aspect of any particular day comes to you in the memory of it, or it opens to you over time.
When things are taking their ordinary course, it is hard to remember what matters. There are so many things you would never think to tell anyone. And I believe they may be the things that mean most to you, and that even your own child would have to know in order to know you well at all.
Christianity is a life, not a doctrine . . . I'm not saying never doubt or question. The Lord gave you a mind so that you would make honest use of it. I'm saying you must be sure that the doubts and questions are your own.
It is a good thing to know what it is to be poor, and a better thing if you can do it in company.
That is how life goes--we send our children into the wilderness. Some of them on the day they are born, it seems, for all the help we can give them. Some of them seem to be a kind of wilderness unto themselves. But there must be angels there, too, and springs of water. Even that wilderness, the very habitation of jackals, is the Lord's.
When you encounter another person, when you have dealings with anyone at all, it is as if a question is being put to you. So you must think, What is the Lord asking of me in this moment, in this situation?
Grace has a grand laughter in it.
It is an amazing thing to watch people laugh, the way it sort of takes them over. Sometimes they really do struggle with it . . . so I wonder what it is and where it comes from, and I wonder what it expends out of your system, so that you have to do it till you're done, like crying in a way, I suppose, except that laughter is much more easily spent.
That's the strangest thing about this life, about being in the ministry. People change the subject when they see you coming. And then sometimes those very same people come into your study and tell you the most remarkable things. There's a lot under the surface of life, everyone knows that. A lot of malice and dread and guilt, and so much loneliness, where you wouldn't really expect to find it, either.
You see how it is godlike to love the being of someone. Your existence is a delight to us. I hope you never have to long for a child as I did, but oh, what a splendid thing it has been that you came finally, and what a blessing to enjoy you now for almost seven years.
I am grateful for all those dark years, even though in retrospect they seem like a long, bitter prayer that was answered finally.
It is one of the best traits of good people that they love where they pity. And this is truer of women than of men.
The Lord gave you a mind so that you can make honest use of it. I'm saying you must be sure that the doubts and questions are your own, not, so to speak, the mustache and walking stick that happen to be the fashion of any particular moment.
I believe the sin of covetise is that pang of resentment you may feel when even the people you love best have what you want and don't have.
It seems to me people tend to forget that we are to love our enemies, not to satisfy some standard of righteousness but because God their Father loves them.
The Lord is more constant and far more extravagant than it seems to imply. Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don't have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see. Only, who could have the courage to see it?
I don't know exactly what covetous is, but in my experience it is not so much desiring someone else's virtue or happiness as rejecting it, taking offense at the beauty of it.
It's not a man's working hours that is important, it is how he spends his leisure time.
There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, every one of them sufficient.
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