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The Sun Magazine



If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each person’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said, “Abba, as much as I am able I pray, I meditate, I fast. I remain quiet. I keep my thoughts clean. What else should I do?”

The old man stood up and stretched out his hands toward heaven, and his fingers became like the torches of flame. And he said, “Why not be turned into fire?”

Desert Fathers and Mothers


No matter what success I experience, my contentment is never final. I carry with me always a secret desire to die to the old man and rise to the new . . . for hidden in my life is the certainty that no mode of existence can ever fulfill me completely.

Adrian Van Kaam


She enjoyed sucking her thumb. He said it was immature. So she stopped, and then there was nothing left that she could enjoy. So she became an alcoholic instead. He didn’t mind that nearly so much; at least, that seemed mature.

Alberto Königsberg


When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


Monkeys are superior to men in this: when a monkey looks into a mirror, he sees a monkey.

Malcolm de Chazal


Why 300,000 varieties of beetles? The great English geneticist J.B.S. Haldane was once cornered by a distinguished theologian who asked him what inferences one could draw, from a study of the created world, as to the nature of its Creator. Haldane answered, “An inordinate fondness for beetles.”

David Quammen