I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when feeling it not. I believe in God even when he is silent.

Inscription on a cellar wall in Germany where Jews hid from Nazis

This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists. The saving of our world from pending doom will come not from the action of a conforming majority but from the creative maladjustment of a dedicated minority.

Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love

Our desire for justice for ourselves and for others often complicates the issues, builds up factions and quarrels. Worldly justice and unworldly justice are quite different things. The supernatural approach, when understood, is to turn the other cheek, to give up what one has, willingly, gladly, with no spirit of martyrdom, to rejoice in being the least, to being unrecognized, the slightest.

Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness

We would rather err on the side of helping hurting people than on the side of hurting helpless people.

Paul Wennes Egertson, One Family's Story

Wealth, power, and prestige, when sought for their own sake and as the main purpose in life, are finally empty. At best, they are consolation prizes for those who have lost the main thing. It is good news to come to know that life really is more than this. Thus, even the gospel as judgment is first the gospel as good news.

J. Philip Wogaman, Speaking the Truth in Love

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.

Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

It's hard to be prophetic when nobody's listening.

Harold Dean Trulear, Missing Connections

Better to be among the victims than the killers.

The Talmud

The future is here, now, and the past is full of actual deeds, real history. Utopias hardly have the meat on their bones to sustain a people in grave times.

Patricia Hampl, I Could Tell You Stories

The great advantage about telling the truth is that nobody ever believes it.

Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night

Authentic values are those by which a life can be lived, which can form a people that produces great deeds and thoughts.

Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind

The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Be simple in your needs and you will have peace in your heart. … Be humble in what you demand of life and you will have peace in your heart. … Be giving in what you take to life and you will have peace in your heart. … Stop the wars within yourself and you will have peace.

Joan Chittister, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily

Without a cause men hated Christ; without a cause he loves them.

Milton S. Agnew, More Than Conquerors

That which dominates our imagination and our thoughts will determine our life and character. Therefore it behooves us to be careful what we are worshiping, for what we are worshiping we are becoming.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, quoted in Broken Tablets

God accompanies his children into exile. … No space is devoid of God. God is everywhere, even in suffering and in the very heart of punishment. … What happens to us touches God. What happens to him concerns us.

Elie Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea: Memoirs

Related Elsewhere

Past Reflections

columns include:

  • Christian virtues (Aug. 22, 2000)
  • Beauty, Prayer and Loving God (Aug. 1, 2000)
  • Prayer, Silence and Other Topics (June 31, 2000)
  • Getting, Giving, and Generosity (June 13,2000).
  • Easter Sunday (Apr. 3, 2000)
  • Good Friday (Apr. 3, 2000)
  • Friendships (Mar. 6, 2000)
  • Gratitude: Take One (Feb. 7, 2000)
  • God Will Prevail (Oct. 25, 1999)
  • The Might of a Dandelion (Oct. 4, 1999)
  • Losing Touch with God (Sept. 6,1999)
  • Real Joy (Aug. 9, 1999)
  • Prayer for Today (Mar. 1, 1999)

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