Quotes for March 2004

Satire on the human race…

· 31 March 2004

What a satire on the human race that everything grows worse and worse as the means of communication grow greater and greater!

— Søren Kierkegaard

« πλ | Observation »

To love God in great things…

· 28 March 2004


To love God in great things is not so perfect an act of faith as to worship them in small ones.

— Jean-Pierre de Caussade, The Sacrament of the Present Moment

How many times do we expect a big miracle or sign to finally confirm our faith in God? If we could only open our eyes to the little things around us, to the ordinary, then we would truly see how extraordinary they are. As Thomas Merton wrote, everything is a seed for contemplation in God.

« πλ | Faith »

Christ was crucified because…

· 21 March 2004

Christ was crucified because he would have nothing to do with the crowd (even though he addressed himself to all). He did not want to form a party, an interest group, a mass movement, but wanted to be what he was, the truth, which is related to the single individual. Therefore everyone who will genuinely serve the truth is by that very fact a martyr. To win a crowd is no art; for that only untruth is needed, nonsense, and a little knowledge of human passions. But no witness to the truth dares to get involved with the crowd.

— Søren Kierkegaard

« πλ | Religion »

A building open on all four sides…

· 18 March 2004

A brother said to an old man, “I do not know of any warfare in my heart.” The old man said to him, “Then you are a building open on all four sides. Whatever wishes to, goes in and out, and you do not notice. If you had windows and a door, and shut them so as to bar certain thoughts, you would soon realize how many there are outside, waiting to slip in and attack you.”

— Sayings of the Desert Fathers

« πλ | Character »

Now or Later?

· 10 March 2004

He who purifies himself from his faults in the present life, satisfies with a penny a debt of a thousand ducats; and he who waits until the other life to discharge his debts, consents to pay a thousand ducats for that which he might before have paid with a penny.

— St. Catherine of Genoa [via]

« πλ | Proverb »

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

· 8 March 2004

Finished reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. This is one of those books that I kept hearing about here and there. Mea was the last impetus needed to finally read it. It’s a pretty darn good book as fiction goes. It makes you think. I highly recommend it. Here are some quotes that caught my attention:

the ferris wheel from the cover of the book

No story sits by itself. Sometimes stories meet at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely, like stones beneath a river. (p. 10)

People think of heaven as a paradise garden, a place where they can float on clouds and laze in rivers and mountains. But scenery without solice is meaningless. (p. 35)

This is the greatest gift God can give you: to understand what happened in your life. To have it explained. It is the peace you have been searching for. (p. 35)

The human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn’t just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed. (p. 48)

Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know. (p. 49)

No life is a waste. The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone. (p. 50)

Young men go to war. Sometimes because they have to, sometimes because they want to. Always, they feel they are supposed to. This comes from the sad, layered stories of life, which over the centuries have seen courage confused with picking up arms, and cowardice confused with laying them down. (p. 57)

Time is not what you think. Dying? Not the end of everything. We think it is. But what happens on earth is only the beginning. (p. 91)

Sacrifice, you made one. I made one. We all make them. But you are angry over yours. You kept thinking about what you lost… You didn’t get it. Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something you regret. It’s something to aspire to. Little sacrifices. Big sacrifices. A mother works so her son can go to school. A daughter moves home to care of her sick father. (p. 93)

Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else. (p. 94)

All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhood completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair. (p. 104)

You have peace when you make it with yourself. (p. 113)

Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move away. The moments that used to define them—a mother’s approval, a father’s nod—are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives. (p. 126)

Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves. (p. 141)

People say they “find” love, as if it were an object hidden by a rock. But love takes many forms, and it is never the same for any man and woman. What people find then is a certain love. (p. 155)

Love, like rain, can nourish from above, drenching couples with a soaking joy. But sometimes, under the angry heat of life, love dries on the surface and must nourish from below, tending to its roots, keeping itself alive. (p. 165)

Life has to end. Love doesn’t. (p. 173)

« πλ | Heaven, Spirituality »