Not I, but Christ
To close the gap between what I am and what God wants of me, I must empty myself and let Jesus come in and take over. I have prayed to understand his agenda for me . …

It is unsettling to pray to be emptied of self; it seems a challenge almost beyond our reach as humans. But if we try, I have learned, God does most of the work. I must simply let myself go in love and trust of the Lord.

—Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in The Gift of Peace

Perspective Matters
One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.

—G. K. Chesterton in
The Hammer of God

Adults Under Authority
Authority and dictatorship are not the same thing, and all of us need authority; we need the authority of law, … the authority of parents, the authority of teachers. And this doesn't mean blind obedience: it means … we all need guidance. … [W]e are children in the eyes of God. It's very important in organised society that we are adults, making free choices, but we should have the humility to recognise that we are in many respects children . …

[W]e had a great party in the Sixties and thereafter over the destruction of authority, and now we've got the hangover. … [I]n the Nineties … we know we've got something wrong. We're pessimistic. The Sixties was very silly in many ways, but it was … optimistic. Now we know that we have overthrown authority and we wish we hadn't, but we don't quite know how to re-establish it.

—Charles Moore in
Third Way

Of Deeds and Motives
The last temptation is the greatest treason:

To do the right deed for the wrong reason.

—T. S. Eliot in
Murder in the Cathedral

Praise God Anyway
Authentic praise of God acknowledges what is true about God; it responds to qualities that are "there" and not simply "there for me." … In other words, God is to be praised because God is God, because of what God is and does, quite apart from what God is and does for me. Anyone can, and should, praise God when the Lord blesses one and keeps one. … Gratitude is indeed often expressed as praise, and rightly. But that does not make praise and gratitude identical. Or does God cease to be praiseworthy when gratitude has fled because the Lord seems to withhold blessing, when the divine face appears to be set against us, and when agony drives out peace?

—Leander E. Keck in the
Christian Century (Dec. 16, 1992)

Be Not Silent
A silent love is acceptable only from the lower animals. God has given us speech that we should call upon his name. Worship is to religion what fragrance is to the flower.

—Henry Van Dyke in
The Upward Path

More Than Luv
Love should cast out terror, but not awe. True love must include awe. This is one of the great truths about sex and marriage that our age has tragically forgotten . …

God is love. But love is not love. Love is a fire, storm, earthquake, volcano, lightning and hurricane. Love banged out the Big Bang and endured the hell of the cross . …

Next time you hear "All you need is luv," think of the captain of the Titanic singing it to his passengers. As for me, I'd rather have a lifeboat.

—Peter Kreeft in
New Covenant (July 1993)

In the Image of Man
I think it says something that the only form of life that we have created so far is purely destructive. Talk about creating life in our own image.

—Stephen W. Hawking at a computer convention,
quoted in
World (Aug. 27, 1994)

Birds of a Feather
If you're going to care about the fall of the sparrow, you can't pick and choose who's going to be the sparrow. It's everybody.

—Madeleine L'Engle quoted in
Context (Jan. 15, 1995)

Live or Rot
It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

—C. S. Lewis, quoted in
Good News (May/June 1995)

Navel Gazing
Look outward. You have been rightly taught Socrates' dictum that the unexamined life is not worth living. I would add: The too-examined life is not worth living either.

Perhaps previous ages suffered from a lack of self-examination. The Age of Oprah does not. One of the defining features of modernity is self-consciousness: psychological self-consciousness as popularized by Freud; historical self-consciousness as introduced by Hegel and Marx; literary self-consciousness as practiced in the interior, self-referential, self-absorbed world of modern fiction.

—Charles Krauthammer in
Time (June 28, 1993)

Fear Fosters Progress
Fear is not a bad place to start a spiritual journey. If you know what makes you afraid, you can see more clearly that the way out is through the fear.

—Kathleen Norris in
Dakota: A Spiritual Geography

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