All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke (disputed attribution)
You have to take life for what it is; an amazing explosion of a minuscule time on Earth.
Love is as much a question of the will as it is of the emotion. And if you will to love somebody, you can.
May I pray more for others than I do for myself.
Women want to be chosen.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
God’s not afraid of a mess. He wants to do a cleaning.
Competing loves are detected in the gap between saying and doing.
Do the things you used to do, and you’ll feel the feelings you used to feel.
It is in vain, 0 men, that you seek within yourselves the cure for your miseries. All your insight only leads you to the knowledge that it is not in yourselves that you will discover the true and the good. The philosophers promised them to you, and have not been able to keep their promises… Your principal maladies are pride, which cuts you off from God, and sensuality, which binds you to the earth; and they have done nothing but foster at least one of these maladies. If they have given you God for your object, it has only been to pander to your pride; they have made you think that you were like Him and resembled Him by your nature. And those who have grasped the vanity of such a pretension have cast you down into the other abyss by making you believe that your nature was like that of the beasts of the field, and have led you to seek your good in lust, which is the lot of animals.
When we’re young, we like happy endings. When we’re a little older, we think happy endings are unrealistic and so we prefer bad but credible endings. When we’re older still, we realize happy endings aren’t so bad after all.
Margaret Atwood (paraphrased)
Familiarity breeds contempt while rarity wins admiration.
Apuleius (first heard from my mom from her father)
It may be said with rough accuracy that there are three stages in the life of a strong people. First, it is a small power, and fights small powers. Then it is a great power, and fights great powers. Then it is a great power , and fights small powers, but pretends that they are great powers, in order to rekindle the ashes of its ancient emotion and vanity. After that, the next step is to become a small power itself.
G.K. Chesterton, Heretics, speaking about America.
I read the New Testament, specifically the gospels and I was struck at their divinity, feeling that humans could not have figured this out on their own. We’re just not bright enough.
Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper.
A man’s steps are determined by the Lord, so how can anyone understand his own way?
Riches are a ransom for a man’s life, but a poor man hears no threat.
A great door opened by God for work, but while I’m doing the work, all Hell breaks loose. Oh! The idea that when God opens a door and He’s with you, you don’t have to fight. Oh, what a joke. That is a joke. In fact, if you don’t feel the devil fighting against you, that’s a bad sign.
[Paul] was able to discern, “Uh oh! A door has opened to work!” And when a door opens for work, that means God’s saying: Stay put.
Mr. Blatchford says that there was not a Fall but a gradual rise. But the very word “rise” implies that you know toward what you are rising. Unless there is a standard you cannot tell whether you are rising or falling. But the main point is that the Fall like every other large path of Christianity is embodied in the common language talked on the top of an omnibus. Anybody might say, “Very few men are really Manly.” Nobody would say, “Very few whales are really whaley.”
When you break the big laws, you do not get freedom; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws.
G.K. Chesterton, Daily News, 7/29/05
I don’t feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive
Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
I regard the Big Bang as a creation myth for our time.
Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.
At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look; at forty-five they are caves in which we hide.
I need the binocular approach of science and religion if I am to do any sort of justice to the deep and rich reality of the world in which we live.
Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be read forwards.
Gravity keeps my head down, or is it maybe shame
at being so young and being so vain?
If you tolerate this… – Manic Street Preachers
I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.
The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.
John Philpot Curran, Irish stateman
People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid.
The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.
Today is a very good day to die.
Every living thing is in harmony with me.
Every voice sings a chorus within me.
All beauty has come to rest in my eyes.
All bad thoughts have departed from me.
Today is a very good day to die.
My land is peaceful around me.
My fields have been turned.
My house is filled with laughter.
My children have found their homes.
Yes, today is a good day to die.
Acceptance, Pueblo Indian Poem
An eye for an eye will blind the world.
Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill.
To whom much is given, from him much will be required.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
Where can the word be found,
where can the word resound?
Not here, there is not enough silence.
Tell me, and I may forget.
Show me, and I may remember.
Involve me, and I may understand.
War can not be avoided until the physical cause for its recurrence is removed and this, in the last analysis, is the vast extent of the planet on which we live. Only through annihilation of distance in every respect, as the conveyance of intelligence, transport of passengers and supplies and transmission of energy will conditions be brought about some day, insuring permanency of friendly relations. What we now want most is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth and the elimination of that fanatic devotion to exalted ideals of national egoism and pride, which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife. No league or parliamentary act of any kind will ever prevent such a calamity.
Lo there do I see my Father,
Lo there do I see my Mother,
Lo there do I see my Sisters and my Brothers.
I see the line of my people back to the beginning,
They do call to me, to take my place,
In the Halls of Valhalla,
Where the Brave may live Forever.
And there is no knowledge that is not power.
Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.
One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.
Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.
Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket–safe,dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable,irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
The poet judges not as a judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing.
The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality.
All a man can betray is his conscience.
The trouble isn’t so much that our scientific genius lags behind, but our moral genius lags behind.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
A man’s reach should exceed his grasp; else what’s a heaven for?
We don’t write to be understood, we write to understand.