Be natural in your meditation. Use up your own stock of piety and love before resorting to books. Remember that our God prefers the poverty of our heart to the most sublime thoughts borrowed from others.

St. Peter Julian Eymard

Then the revelation came, silent, implacable, direct as a bullet. He did not look into the eyes of any fiery beast or see a burning bush.

Flannery O’Connor
“The Violent Bear It Away”

When you photograph a wall, you photograph a wall; when I photograph a wall, I’m photographing something else.

Aaron Siskind

No culture has yet solved the dilemma each has faced with the growth of a conscious mind: how to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in all life, when one finds darkness not only in one’s own culture but within oneself. If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.

Barry Lopez
Arctic Dreams

Everywhere people ask, “What can I actually do?” The answer is as simple as it is disconcerting: we can each of us work to put our own inner house in order.

E.F. Schumacher

Anger or revolt that does not get into the muscles remains a figment of the imagination.

Simone de Beauvoir

The greatest challenge of the day is how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us. When we begin to take the lowest place, to wash the feet of others, to love our brothers with that burning love, that passion, which led to the Cross, then we can truly say, “Now I have begun.”

Dorothy Day
Loaves and Fishes

The major advances in civilization are processes that all but wreck the societies in which they occur.

Alfred North Whitehead

The day I was imprisoned, I had a small pencil which I used up within a week. If you ask the pencil, it will say, “My whole lifetime.” If you ask me, I’ll say, “So what? Only a week.”

Source unknown
Quoted in Richard Kell’s
Further Departures

Long only for what you have.

André Gide

Fear those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they will make others die with them. . . . Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at the truth, to make truth laugh, because the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from this insane passion for the truth.

Umberto Eco
The Name of the Rose

When smashing monuments, save the pedestals — they always come in handy.

Stanislaw J. Lec

Whatever it is, I’m against it.

Groucho Marx

We turn our backs on nature; we are ashamed of beauty. Our wretched tragedies have a smell of the office clinging to them, and the blood that trickles from them is the color of printer’s ink.

Albert Camus

And suddenly I was swept out of myself — knowing, knowing, knowing.

Loran Hurnscot

The happiness of the drop is to die in the river.

Al-Ghazali

And see, no longer blinded by our eyes.

Rupert Brooke