Classic and contemporary excerpts.
Only A Mist
No man can say, “I have had a fine life,” because a life is something that one does not have, that one does not possess.… [Hans Christian] Andersen wept when his native town greeted him with cheers: “How happy my parents would have been,” he said.
—Simone de Beauvoir in
The Coming of Age
The Unforgiving End
Lust in final form spends everything
To purchase headstones.
All passions die in graveyards.
—Calvin Miller in
A Symphony in Sand
I used to gather up [my husband] Fred’s faults with the fervor of a child picking berries. I had a whole shelf of overflowing baskets before the concept of forgiveness fell heavily upon me. To be spiritual I plucked out a few of Fred’s faults and forgave them, but I didn’t want to clear the whole shelf. Where would I go for future reference material?
—Florence Littauer in After
Every Wedding Comes a Marriage
If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.
—Thomas Carlyle, quoted by
D. A. Wilson in
Carlyle at His Zenith
The Light Of The World
I believe in Christianity as I believe the Sun has risen not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.
—C. S. Lewis in
The Weight of Glory
The Love Of Money …
We have created an affluence that has permeated every working sector of the United States. [On the strength of that security,] we have been able to sweep away standards that have been in place for a millennium.
—Tom Wolfe in a 1988
commencement address at Harvard
The God-Shaped Void
So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship.
—Feodor Dostoevski in The Brothers Karamazov1