Some quotes that I've collected.
Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.
Our past is not our potential.
The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.
Justice will only be achieved when those who are not injured by crime feel as indignant as those who are.
King Solomon, 635-577 BC
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Martin Luther King, Jr
We cannot go back and make a new start, but we can start now to make a new ending.
Courage is fear that has said its prayers.
When you reach the end of all the lightness that you know
And are about to step over into darkness
Faith is knowing that one of two things will happen.
Either there will be something solid there to step onto
Or you will be taught to fly.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.
Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side.
What you need to know about the past is that no matter what happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right Now.
"Touched By An Angel", CBS
True commitment begins when we reach the point of not knowing how we can possibly go on, and decide to do it anyway.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
Our background and circumstances may influence who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
Changing directions in life is not tragic; losing passion in life is.
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.
Corrie Ten Boom
If someone tells you that you cannot do something and you believe it, they are right.
What does the Lord require but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God?
Bible: Micah 6:9
A woman is like a teabag... You don't know how strong she is until she's in hot water.
The night is far spent; the day draws near. Let us cast off deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us live honorably, as in daylight.
Bible - Romans 13:12- 13a
What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
'And what is truth?' Pilate asked.
John 18: 28-38
God provides a time for everything- A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousandfold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers . . . we are ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.
Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.
For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he gained, when God takes away his soul?
Let people know what you stand for, and what you won't stand for.
H. Jackson Browne
Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.
H. Jackson Browne
Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the judgment that there is something more important than fear.
quote from the movie "The Princess Diaries"
Everything is always okay in the end. If it's not okay, then it's not the end.
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
Theology without action is the theology of demons.
St. Maximos the Confessor
It is always possible to make a new start by means of repentance. 'For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again' (Prov. 24:16). And if you fall again, then rise again, without despairing at all of your salvation, no matter what happens. So long as you do not surrender yourself willingly to the enemy, your patient endurance, combined with self-reproach, will suffice for your salvation. 'For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient,'says St. Paul, '...not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us' (Tit. 3:3,5).
St. Peter of Damaskos.
We all need love, but we need it most when we deserve it least--when we have sinned against someone, when we have made poor choices, when we have failed. In these situations, ordinary love must become extra-ordinary love.
If I mistake, He will forgive me. I do not fear Him: I fear only lest, able to see and write these things, I should fail of witnessing and myself be, after all, a castaway--no king but a talker; no disciple of Jesus, ready to go with Him to the death, but an arguer about the truth.
"GEORGE MACDONALD--An Anthology" by C.S. Lewis
Someone who has actually tasted truth is not contentious for truth.
Someone who is considered among men to be zealous for truth has not yet learnt what truth is really like: once he has truly learnt it, he will cease from zealousness on its behalf.
The gift of God and of knowledge of Him is not a cause for turmoil and clamour; rather this gift is entirely filled with a peace in which the Spirit, love and humility reside.
The following is a sign of the coming of the Spirit: the person whom the Spirit has overshadowed is made perfect in these very virtues.
God is reality. The person whose mind has become aware of God does not even possess a tongue with which to speak, but God resides in his heart in great serenity. He experiences no stirring of zeal or argumentativeness, nor is he stirred by anger. He cannot even be aroused concerning the faith.
from "DAILY READINGS with St. Isaac of Syria" edited by A .M. Allchin
In order to embrace the spiritual life one must inwardly resolve to commit oneself unreservedly, to the end. It is precisely this resolution that frightens many, so that they feel compelled to serve two masters; and thus it becomes the source of many sorrows! The Lord calls on us to offer Him not half of our heart, nor half of our soul. He requires not merely half of our service to Him. The Lord demands that ALL our heart and soul, ALL of our life be offered to Him. This condition must be met if we want to benefit from the Lord's promise, which we remember so well, to give us all that we ask; but we always seem to forget its conditions--our duty to Him.
New Martyr Valentin Sventitsky (died 1936) as quoted in "CONQUERING DEPRESSION"
Always look to Heaven, and measure every step of your life so that it is a step towards it. It seems to me that it is so simple and at the same time comprehensive.
You ask, 'Shouldn't i be doing something?' Of course that is necessary. Do whatever falls to your hands, in your circle and in you situation--and believe that this is and will be your TRUE work; nothing more from you is required. IT IS A GREAT ERROR TO THINK THAT YOU MUST UNDERTAKE IMPORTANT AND GREAT LABORS, whether for heaven, or, as the "progressives" think, in order to make one's contribution to humanity. That is not necessary at all. It is necessary only to do everything in accordance with the Lord's commandments. Just exactly what is to be done? Nothing in particular, just that which presents itself to each one according to the circumstances of his or her life, and which is demanded by the individual events with which each of us meets. THAT IS ALL! God arranges the lot of each person, and the entire course of life of each one is all His all-good industry, as is each moment and each meeting. In all instances, and during each meeting, it is necessary to do what God wants us to do. As to what He wants, we certainly know that from the commandments He has given us. Is someone seeking help? Help him. Has someone offended you? Forgive and make peace. Did somebody praise you? Don't be proud. Did somebody scold you? Do not be angry. Is it time to pray? Pray. Is it time to work? Work. Etc., etc., etc.
If, after all of this has been explained, you set about to act in this way in every instance, so that your works will be pleasing to God, having carried them out according to the commandments without any deviation, then all the problems of your life will be solved completely and satisfactorily.'
by Saint Theophan The Recluse from "THE SPIRITUAL LIFE and How To Be Attuned To It"
JULY 4, SATURDAY
In the outskirts of the Egyptian desert, I came to a village that was entirely Coptic. I was given a tour of the church in that town, and I visited some of the homes and shops. In one of the shops I stood watching a number of rug-makers at their trade. They sped a shuttle back and forth on a Coptic loom, built like those that were used in the days of the Pharaohs. It was fascinating; it was amazing.
I said to one of the rug-makers, 'What if you make a mistake with the shuttle? You are going so fast that you will not see the error in the design until you have woven several layers over it. What will you do then? Will you unwind the carpet and remove the layers of thread that you have added since the mistake?'
'No,' said the rug-maker, 'we would never do that; that would take far too much time. I'll tell you a secret. The most beautiful rugs with the most elaborate designs, the most expensive weavings, are the ones with mistakes hidden inside.'
'How's that?' I asked.
'Well, once we notice the mistake, we have to integrate it into the pattern. We have to change the pattern to include the mistake and make it part of a new design. Sometimes the new design is far more complex, far more embellished than anything we could have created ourselves. That's why the most beautiful rugs are the ones with mistakes hidden deep inside.'
A great deal of wisdom in this Oriental art! Perhaps it's like the Providence of God, for sometimes the people with the deepest wounds or the most serious flaws exhibit the greatest glory of human nature.
taken from JOURNEY BACK TO EDEN by Mark Gruber O.S.B.
It is the heart that is not yet sure of its God that is afraid to laugh in His presence.
A brother went to see Abba Silvanus on the mountain of Sinai. When he saw the brothers working hard he said to the old man, 'Do not labour for the food which perishes.(John 6:27) The old man said to his disciple, Zacharias, give the brother a book and put him in a cell without anything else.'
So when the ninth hour came the visitor watched the door expecting someone would be sent to call him to the meal. When no one called him he got up, went to find the old man, and said to him, 'Have the brothers not eaten today?' The old man replied that they had. Then he said, 'Why did you not call me?' The old man said to him, 'Because you are a spiritual man and do not need that kind of food. We, being carnal, want to eat, and that is why we work. But you have chosen the good portion and read the whole day long and you do not want to eat carnal food.' When he heard these words the brother made a prostration saying, 'Forgive me, abba.' The old man said to him, 'Mary needs Martha. It is really thanks to Martha that Mary is praised.'
from THE SAYINGS OF THE DESERT FATHERS
A brother who was in the grips of depression asked an elder: "What am I to do? for I am assailed by doubts which say to me: "You became a Christian in vain: you shall not be saved." The elder replied: "You know, brother, even if we cannot enter the promised land, it is better for our bones to fall in the wilderness than for us to turn back to Egypt."
John Moschos (died 619) "THE SPIRITUAL MEADOW," p. 187
The pure and upright heart . . . is carefree and free from every worldly care and noise . . . and thus sails without care in the ship of innocence and quietness without fears and confusion until, having a good voyage, it reaches the heavenly harbor.
The Christian with the pure heart has a characteristic sign. He is so good that he looks at everyone around him as good and pure. You will never hear him say that another person is impure and dirty in his acts, his life, or his heart. While on the other hand, the Christian who does not have a pure heart suspects everyone of being 'impure' and 'bad.'
Once they asked Saint Isaac from which sign would a man know that his heart has reached purification? And he answered, 'When he reaches the point of seeing all men as good, and no one appears to him impure and profane, then that man is truly pure in his heart.' And they asked him again, 'What does the purification of the heart mean in a few words?' And he answered, 'For the heart to be merciful to every created nature.'
by Archimandrite Spyridon Logothetis "THE HEART--An Orthodox Christian Spiritual Guide"
May the Lord give you the blessing of a strong desire to stand inwardly before God. Seek and you will find. SEEK GOD: such is the unalterable rule for all spiritual advancement. Nothing comes without effort. The help of God is always ready and always near, but is only given to those who seek and work, and only to those seekers who, after putting all their own powers to the test, then cry out with all their heart: LORD, HELP US! So long as you hold on to even a little hope of achieving something by your own powers, the Lord does not interfere. It is as though He says: 'You hope to succeed by yourself -- Very well, go on trying! But however long you try you will achieve nothing.' May the Lord give you a contrite spirit, a humble and a contrite heart.
By himself man cannot do or establish within himself that which is good, but he longs and strives for it. Because of this longing, grace consolidates within him the good for which he yearns. And so it goes on, until man acquires final mastery over himself, and thus is able to fulfill that which is good and pleasing to God
Complete serenity of mind is a gift of God; but this serenity is not given without our own intense effort. You will achieve nothing by your own efforts alone; yet God will not give you anything, unless you work with all your strength. This is an unbreakable law.
by Saint Makarios of Egypt quoted in "THE ART OF PRAYER--An Orthodox Anthology"
For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
What is a heart full of love? It is a heart aflame with love for the entire creation, for people, birds, beasts, evil spirits, all creatures...moved by an infinite pity that is awakened in the hearts of those who resemble God.
St. Isaac the Syrian
Be With Me, Lord Be with me, Lord, I cannot live without Thee, I dare not try to take one step alone. I cannot bear the loads of life unaided, I need Thy strength to lean myself upon. Be with me, Lord, and then if dangers threaten If storms of trial burst above my head If lashing seas leap everywhere about me They cannot harm or make my heart afraid. Be with me, Lord, no other gift or blessing Thou could'st bestow could with this one compare A constant sense of Thy abiding presence Where'er I am to feel that Thou art near. Be with me, Lord, when loneliness o'ertakes me When I must weep amid the fires of pain And when shall come the hour of my departure For worlds unknown, O Lord, be with me then.
T. O. Chisholm/L. O. Sanderson
The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.
St. Philo of Alexandria
To recognise evil ..and not oppose it, is to surrender your humanity ...and to oppose it with the weapons of the evil doer is to enter into your humanity ...and to oppose it with the weapons of God is to enter into your divinity
If Christ is risen, then nothing else matters. If Christ is not risen, then nothing else matters.
The final fact which fixes this is a sufficiently plain one. Supposing it to be conceded that humanity has acted at least not unnaturally in dividing itself into two halves, respectively typifying the ideals of special talent and of general sanity (since they are genuinely difficult to combine completely in one mind), it is not difficult to see why the line of cleavage has followed the line of sex, or why the female became the emblem of the universal and the male of the special and superior. Two gigantic facts of nature fixed it thus: first, that the woman who frequently fulfilled her functions literally could not be specially prominent in experiment and adventure; and second, that the same natural operation surrounded her with very young children, who require to be taught not so much anything as everything. Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world. To put the matter shortly, woman is generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there arent. It would be odd if she retained any of the narrowness of a specialist. Now if anyone says that this duty of general enlightenment (even when freed from modern rules and hours, and exercised more spontaneously by a more protected person) is in itself too exacting and oppressive, I can understand the view. I can only answer that our race has thought it worth while to cast this burden on women in order to keep common-sense in the world. But when people begin to talk about this domestic duty as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. For I cannot with the utmost energy of imagination conceive what they mean. When domesticity, for instance, is called drudgery, all the difficulty arises from a double meaning in the word. If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home, as a man might drudge at the Cathedral of Amiens or drudge behind a gun at Trafalgar. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless and of small import to the soul, then as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean. To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, boots, sheets cakes. and books, to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other peoples children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell ones own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a womans function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.
GKC's "What's Wrong With the World"
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
I think evil is always small finally, and that good is infinite. Evil closes itself to God and thus becomes even smaller; Good opens itself to God and thus becomes infinite. Evil cannot become so large as to fill even the universe. God became so small that He could fill Hell and then burst it asunder because it could not contain him. Every good deed will have eternal remembrance, but even the largest of deeds of the evil will be forgotten.
Father Stephen Freeman
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.
In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.
The most important hour in your life is the one you're living right now. The most important person in your life is the one you're speaking to at this moment.
God calls us to 'be strong' and we mistake that for a call to omnipotence. We confuse strength to endure trials with an ability to walk unfrustrated through life. We convince ourselves that if we were strong we would never fail, never tire, never hurt, never need. We begin to measure strength in terms of ease of progress, equate power with success, endurability with invincibility, and inevitably, when our illusion of omnipotence is shattered, we condemn ourselves for being weak.
God has called us to be lovers and we frequently think that He meant us to be saviors. So we 'love' as long as we see 'results'. We give of ourselves as long as our investments pay off, but if the ones we love do not respond, we tend to despair and blame ourselves and even resent those we pretend to love. Because we love someone, we want them to be free of addictions, of sin, of self and that is as it should be. But it might be that our love for them and our desire for their well-being will not make them well. And if that is the case, their lack of response no more negates the reality of love than their quickness to respond would confirm it.
Love is a virtue and not a feeling. It is fed and fired by God -- not by the favorable response of the beloved. Even when it doesnt seem to make a dime's worth of difference to the ones on whom it is lavished, it is still the most prized of all virtues because it is at the heart of the very character of God.
Those who are grateful towards God for everything and constantly attend to themselves humbly and look after God's creatures and creation with kindness, theologize and thus become the most faithful theologians, even if illiterate. They are like the illiterate shepherds who observe the weather in the countryside, day and night, and become good meteorologists.
Everything is beautiful in a person when he turns toward God, and everything is ugly when is is turned away from God.
Fr. Pavel Florensky
The heart is but a small vessel, yet there are lions; there are poisonous beasts, and rough uneven roads. But there also is God, also the angels, the life and the kingdom, the light and the Apostles, the treasures of grace - there are all things.
Knowing others is so far from being a distraction from knowing God, that it is actually essential to knowing God.
Father Stephen Freeman
The hard slow work of ascesis helps defeat delusion precisely because we are so bad at it.
Father Stephen Freeman