There is a modern mania about purity in foods, an obsession with weight, cholesterol,sodium, vitamins, exercise – all of them legitimate issues, to be sure. But while there is high energy spent on what goes into our mouths, where is the concern for what goes into our eyes and ears, for what feeds the spirit? There is so much that is lovely to see, hear, read, behold: why are we so often indifferent to the violence and ugliness that assault and diminish us, often in the name of news or entertainment? In the name of freedom, perhaps something of our humanity is chipped away when we claim so proudly that nothing offends us. A very great deal ought to.
– Donald Spoto, from “The Hidden Jesus: A New Life” (St. Martin’s Press, 1998)
Category Archives: Quotations
He watched out at the stars in a kind of trance. Soon it would be the summer again, when he could sleep on the battlements and watch these stars hovering as close as moths above his face – and, in the Milky Way at least, with something of the mothy pollen. They would be at the same time so distant that unutterable thoughts of space and eternity would baffle themselves in his sighing breast, and he would imagine to himself how he was falling upward higher and higher among them, never reaching, never-ending, leaving and losing everything in the tranquil speed of space.
T.H. White, from “The Once & Future King”
I’m about two-thirds of the way through this wonderful book. As you can see from the quote above, this author knows how to write. This is only one of many beautiful strings of words he puts together in this novel. I can’t believe I never read this before. I’m sure I’ll be reading it again. And, yes, I will review it when finished.
Just following my New Year’s resolution to tell myself better stories!
there is a “widespread assumption that ever since the rise of the modern Western world we are acting out a story of ‘progress.’ This is the so-called Whig view of history writ large: history is the story of movements of progressive freedom, and we must go forward and make the next one happen, and the next one after that. Despite all the tyrannies of the last century, people today still believe this myth of progress . . . ”
N.T. Wright, from “Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters,” (HarperCollins, 2011)
Most Americans, I fear, do not know or appreciate the fact that citizenship is the primary political office under a constitutional government. In a republic, the citizens are the ruling class. . .
I am sorry to say that most Americans think of themselves as the subjects of government and regard the administrators in public office as their rulers, instead of thinking of themselves as the ruling class and public officials as their servants – the instrumentalities for carrying out their will.
– Mortimer J. Adler, from “We Hold These Truths,” (Collier Books, 1987)
Organized welfare work is, of course, necessary; but the gaps in it must be filled by personal service, performed with loving kindness.
We cannot abdicate our conscience to an organization, nor to a government. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Most certainly I am! I cannot escape my responsibility by saying the State will do all that is necessary. It is a tragedy that nowadays so many think and feel otherwise.
Albert Schweitzer, as quoted in “The Moral Compass” edited by William J. Bennett