Every day is mother’s day

Women who fulfill their vocation hold power even over powerful men; such women mould public opinion and prepare future generations. And so it is they who hold the power to save people from all our present and impending evils.

Yes, women, mothers, in your hands more than in those of anyone else lies the salvation of the world.

—Leo Tolstoy in The Lion and the Honeycomb

Revenge hurts

On an old “Amos and Andy” television program, Andy was angry. There was a big man who would continually slap Andy across the chest every time they met. Andy finally had enough of it. He told Amos, “I’m going to get revenge. I put a stick of dynamite in my vest pocket. The next time he slaps me on the chest he’s going to get his hand blown off.” But Andy forgot that the dynamite would also blow his own heart out. Revenge may hurt the other person but it always blows our own heart out.

—Gaylord Goertsen in the Christian Leader (Feb. 26, 1991)

Truth sets us free

Nothing makes a man so virtuous as belief of the truth. A lying doctrine will soon beget a lying practice. A man cannot have an erroneous belief without by-and-by having an erroneous life. I believe the one thing naturally begets the other.

—Charles Haddon Spurgeon in C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography, Vol. 1

Harmful salve

The New Age replacements for religion soothe the conscience instead of rubbing it the wrong way.

—Christopher Lasch in the New Oxford Review (April 1991)

In step with eternity

Everything has its time, and the main thing is that we keep step with God, and do not keep pressing on a few steps ahead—nor keep dawdling a step behind. It’s presumptuous to want to have everything at once—matrimonial bliss, the cross, and the heavenly Jerusalem, where they neither marry nor are given in marriage.

Everything has its time.

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Letters and Papers from Prison

Action living

Very few of us [Christians] could say with Paul’s conviction, “For me to live is Christ.” If we experienced this as a transforming joy, a life-bearing truth, we would not be so generally passive about it.

—John Garvey quoted in Context (May 1, 1990)

Facing the inevitable

Die early or grow old: there is no other alternative. And yet, as Goethe said, “Age takes hold of us by surprise.”

—Simone de Beauvoir in The Coming of Age

Soul remodeling

A sentence in one of the books [I was reading on osteoporosis prevention] struck me most: “Like all living tissue, bone is constantly being broken down and re-formed.”

The words seemed to apply not only to our bodies but to the perpetual Christian emphasis on brokenness. Repent! Confess! Acknowledge your sinfulness! I grow tired of this continual retracing of steps, impatient for the beckoning road ahead.

But it was the word living that leaped out at me. It’s living tissue that is continually torn down and rebuilt. As long as my relationship to God is alive, this biological fact seems to suggest, the tearing-down process will be part of it. The confession of sin, the admission of guilt, will go hand in hand with renewal.… There can be no growth without pruning, no rebirth without death.

—Elizabeth Sherrill in Journey into Rest

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