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Quotes

Contemplation

“He who thinks he knows what it is beforehand prevents himself from find the true nature of contemplation.”—Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

“The deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion.”—Thomas Merton, The Asian Journal

“Activity easily can become a form of escapism, causing us to be too outward-minded—a flight from our inner poverty and emptiness, an evasion of coming face to face with our deep selves and our need for healing.”—Frank X. Tuoti, Why Not Be a Mystic?

“Christ is in us and we in Him. Why should the activity and the presence of the Son of Man within us not be real and knowable?”—Carl Jung

“The mind is like a great tree inhabited by monkeys, swinging from branch to branch in an incessant riot of chatter and movement.”—Sri Ramakrisna

“God speaks to the heart only when the heart is recollected.”—Francis De Sales

Institutions

“The test of every religious, political, or educational system, is the man which it forms. If a system injures the intelligence it is bad. If it injures the character it is vicious. If it injures the conscience it is criminal.”—Henri Frédéric Amiel

Love

“In the evening of our life, we judged not by our works but by our love.”—John of the Cross

Perspective

“Ordinary things are more valuable than extraordinary things; nay, they are more extraordinary.”—G. K. Chesteron, Orthodoxy

“It might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”— G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Prayer

“Pray in all simplicity. . . . The publican and the thief were reconciled by a single utterance. In your prayers there is no need for high-flown words, for it is the babblings of children that have more often won the heart of the Father of Heaven.”—John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent

“Consider prayer to be the key to the understanding of truth in Scripture.”—Isaac the Syrian, Daily Readings with St. Isaac the Syrian

“Believe me—and do not let anyone deceive you by showing you a road other than that of prayer.”—Teresa of Avila, The Way of Perfection

Spiritual Formation

“Our mistake is to think that following Jesus consists in loving our enemies, going the ‘second mile,’ turning the other cheek, suffering patiently and hopefully—while living the rest of our lives just as everyone around us does.”—Dallas Willard

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Interesting site. I reckon your subtitled descriptor is worthy of comment. Whilst it is true that theology is not science in that it does not subject itself to the scientific method, it seems to me to sell it short to describe it as art not science. Not that art isn’t of high value, or that theology doesn’t share some aspects with art – but if theology is doing its job well it is incarnational, and builds bridges and engages constructively with all aspects of the natural world and human endeavour. Theology must engage with both science and art. It must leave no stone unturned. Its language may be more akin to art, but if it is truly revelatory then it transcends both art and science. It has a higher subject, which neither art nor science can accommodate, but merely reflect.

    January 7, 2013
    • “It has a higher subject, which neither art nor science can accommodate, but merely reflect.” Well said.

      Behind the statement “Theology isn’t science; it’s art” isn’t my desire to denigrate science, theology, or art. Rather, it’s more about how we interact with it. When we approach theology as science (whichever theological camp we belong to), we have a tendency to be dismissive and mean spirited toward others who see things differently. There is a perfect theology that reflects God’s glory and any one of us fall into a different place on the theology accuracy trajectory. Many of us are farther along than we think, while many of us aren’t as far along as we’d like to imagine. Maybe if we allowed ourselves the opportunity to interact with the need to shove others into theological (right or wrong) boxes, we’d all be able to learn more.

      We all have different ideas of art. Many of us may look at impressionism as nonsense, but that doesn’t make us discount impressionists in toto because we don’t have to see art as a zero sum game. Sadly, I know many Calvinists who discount Arminians, Baptists who can barely tolerate Pentecostals, and a whole evangelical world who treats Catholicism as some kind of anathema. Maybe we don’t have to look at another theological framework as some kind of old science like bleeding those who are sick or that the earth is the center of the solar system. Maybe if we didn’t see theology as a science where I’m right and you’re only as right as you are aligned to my beliefs, we could find some common ground.

      January 7, 2013
  2. Neat sstuff, thanks. Here’s one for you – It ends up ringing true in lots of areas, interfaith theological discussions being but one of them.

    Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.
    –John Kenneth Galbraith

    September 4, 2013

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