Quotations for October, 2020
Thursday, October 1, 2020
Commemoration of Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, Apostle of the Franks, 533
Commemoration of Thérèse of Lisieux, Carmelite Nun, Spiritual Writer, 1897
To live of love, ’tis Mary’s part to share,To bathe with tears and odorous perfumeThy holy feet, to wipe them with my hair,To kiss them; then still loftier lot assume,—To rise, and by Thy side to take my place,And pour my ointments on Thy holy head.But with no balsams I embalm Thy Face!’Tis love, instead!
... Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897), Poems of St. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux, Boston, Angel Guardian Press, 1907, “To Live of Love”, n. 12
(see the book; see also John 12:3-8; more at Easter, Holiness, Humility, Love)
Friday, October 2, 2020
The wives of the fishermen were going in procession to make a tour of the ships, carrying candles and singing what must certainly be very ancient hymns of a heart-rending sadness. Nothing can give any idea of it. I have never heard anything so poignant, unless it were the song of the boatmen on the Volga. There the conviction was suddenly borne in upon me that Christianity is pre-eminently the religion of slaves, that slaves cannot help belonging to it, and I among others.
... Simone Weil (1909-1943), Waiting for God, Emma Craufurd, tr., Putnam, 1951, p. 67
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:15; 1 Cor. 7:20-23; Phil. 4:22; Phlmn. 1:15-16; more at Conviction, Religion, Sadness, Slave, Song)
Saturday, October 3, 2020
Commemoration of William Morris, Artist, Writer, 1896
Commemoration of George Kennedy Bell, Bishop of Chichester, Ecumenist, Peacemaker, 1958
But as many things entice us to apostasy, so that it is difficult to keep us faithful to God in the end, [Jude] calls the attention of the faithful to the last day. For the hope of that alone ought to sustain us, so that we may at no time despond; otherwise, we must necessarily fail every moment.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles , tr. J. Owen, Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1855, p. 447
(see the book; see also Jude 1:21; more at Apostasy, Death, Failure, Faith, Hope)
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Feast of Francis of Assisi, Friar, Deacon, Founder of the Friars Minor, 1226
The great wonder is the living fountain of love and joy which Christ poured into and through this ‘poor little man’. [Francis] always knew where the real miracle lay. It was not in things that happened to his body, though they were wonderful enough. It was not to be found in the fact that birds and beasts, even the wolf of Gubbio, felt the spell of his spirit. It was the radiance of light and love breaking across the darkness and hate of his world and his time. He loved lepers. He loved robbers and changed their lives. He loved beggars in their rags. He loved rich men, too, and members of the Church, who needed him as much as the robbers did. He brought Christianity out of forms and creeds and services into the open air, into action and into the movements of life. He changed the entire line of march of religion in the Western World. Brother Masseo, half jesting, asked him once why the whole world was running after him, not very comely, not very wise, not of noble birth. “Why after thee?” “God chose me,” Francis answered, “because He could find no one more worthless, and He wished by me to confound the nobility and grandeur, the strength and beauty and learning of the world.” But the real answer is that here at last in this wonderful man was an organ of that Spirit which was in Christ, and a marvellous transmitter of it to the world. The divine agape went out into men’s lives through him. Here was a childlike lover of men, ready, if need be, to be crucified for love, but also ready in humble everyday tasks to reveal this love.
... Rufus M. Jones (1863-1948), The Luminous Trail, New York: Macmillan, 1947, p. 77-78
(see the book; see also Jas. 1:9-10; more at Crucifixion, Historical, Humility, Joy, Love, Miracle, Wisdom)
Monday, October 5, 2020
If the Holy Spirit can take over the subconscious with our consent and cooperation, then we have almighty Power working at the basis of our lives, then we can do anything we ought to do, go anywhere we ought to go, and be anything we ought to be. Life is supplied with a basic adequacy...The conscious mind determines the actions, the unconscious mind determines the reactions; and the reactions are just as important as the actions. Many Christians are Christians in their actions—they don’t lie, steal, commit adultery, or get drunk; but they react badly to what happens to them—they react in anger, bad temper, self-pity, jealousy, and envy... When the depths are held by the Holy Spirit, then the reaction is Christian.
... E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), Conversion, New York: Abingdon Press, 1959, p. 233,235
(see the book; see also Matt. 19:26; Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 2:9-14; Eph. 2:22; 4:3-4; more at Cooperation, Envy, Holy Spirit, Pity, Power)
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Feast of William Tyndale, Translator of the Scriptures, Martyr, 1536
Now if thou compare deed to deed, there is difference betwixt washing of dishes, and preaching of the word of God; but as touching to please God, none at all: for neither that nor this pleaseth, but as far forth as God hath chosen a man, hath put his Spirit in him, and purified his heart by faith and trust in Christ.Let every man therefore wait on the office wherein Christ hath put him, and therein serve his brethren.
... William Tyndale (1492?-1536), “Parable of the Wicked Mammon” , in Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions, Cambridge: The University Press, 1848, p. 102
(see the book; see also Mark 9:35; Luke 13:30; John 13:14-16; 1 Cor. 12:28; more at Christ, Deed, Faith, God, Obedience, Pleasure, Preach, Purity, Service)
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
It is necessary to die, but nobody wants to; you don’t want to, but you are going to, willy-nilly. A hard necessity that is, not to want something which cannot be avoided. If it could be managed, we would much rather not die; we would like to become like the angels by some other means than death. “We have a building from God,” says St. Paul, “a home not made with hands, everlasting in heaven. For indeed we groan, longing to be clothed over with our dwelling from heaven; provided, though we be found clothed, and not naked. For indeed we who are in this dwelling place groan, being burdened; in that we do not wish to be stripped, but to be covered over, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” We want to reach the kingdom of God, but we don’t want to travel by way of death. And yet there stands Necessity saying: “This way, please.” Do you hesitate, man, to go this way, when this is the way that God came to you?
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), “Exposition II, Sermon I on Psalm 30” in Expositions on the Book of Psalms, v. I, Oxford: Parker, 1847, p. 248-249
(see the book; see also Deut. 31:14; Ps. 31:1-9; 2 Cor. 5:1; more at Death & Resurrection, Everlasting, Heaven, Kingdom, Life, Mortality, Way)
Thursday, October 8, 2020
One great remedy against all manner of temptation, great or small, is to open the heart and lay bare its suggestions, likings, and dislikings before some spiritual adviser; for, ... the first condition which the Evil One makes with a soul, when he wants to entrap it, is silence.
... François de Sales (1567-1622), Introduction to the Devout Life , London: Rivingtons, 1876, IV.vii, p. 308
(see the book; see also Ps. 38:18; Prov. 28:13; Matt. 5:23-24; 10:26; 18:15; John 3:19; Jas. 5:16; more at Confession, Evil, Heart, Repentance, Silence, Temptation)
Friday, October 9, 2020
Commemoration of Denys, Bishop of Paris, & his Companions, Martyrs, 258
Commemoration of Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, Philosopher, Scientist, 1253
The pastoral charge [does not] consist merely in administering the sacraments, chanting the canonical hours, celebrating masses—though even these are not properly done by hirelings—; it consists also in feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, covering the naked, receiving guests, visiting the sick and those in prison. By the doing of these things is the people to be instructed in the holy duties of an active life.
... Robert Grosseteste (c.1170-1253), Bp., in a letter , in Church and State in the Middle Ages, Arthur Lionel Smith, Oxford: Clarendon, 1913, p. 123
(see the book; see also Matt. 25:31-46; 2 Cor. 6:1; 1 Pet. 5:1-4; more at Charity, Church, Duty, Holiness, Instruction, Mercy, Minister, Prison, Sacrament, Sickness)
Saturday, October 10, 2020
Feast of Paulinus, Bishop of York, Missionary, 644
A great many of those about me would be imprisoned under any law; in France, as here, they would be regular jail-birds. But I loved them better and better—and still I knew how little was my love for them compared to Christ’s. It is easy enough for a man to be honest and a “good Christian” and keeper of “the moral law,” when he has his own little room, his purse well filled—when he is well shod and well fed. It is far less easy for a man who has to live from day to day, roaming from city to city, from factory to factory. It is far less easy for someone just out of jail, with nothing to wear but old down-at-the-heels shoes and a shirt in rags. All of a sudden, I understood our Lord’s words: “I was in prison ... and you visited me not.” All these men, lazy, outside the law, starving: these failures of all kinds—they were dear to Christ—they were Christ, waiting in prison for someone to lean over Him—and if we were true Christians, we would do them every kindness.
... Henri Perrin (1914-1954), Priest-Workman in Germany, London: Sheed & Ward, 1947, p. 83
(see the book; see also Deut. 16:11; Ps. 69:32,33; Matt. 25:36; Rev. 3:17; more at Christ, Historical, Kindness, Law, Love, Prison)
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Commemoration of Ethelburga, Abbess of Barking, 675
It is hard enough, even with the best will in the world, to be just. It is hard, under the pressure of haste, uneasiness, ill-temper, self-complacency, and conceit, even to continue intending justice. Power corrupts; the “insolence of office” will creep in. We see it so clearly in our superiors; is it unlikely that our inferiors see it in us? How many of those who have been over us did not sometimes (perhaps often) need our forgiveness? Be sure that we likewise need the forgiveness of those that are under us.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), “The Psalms”, in Christian Reflections, ed. Walter Hooper, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1967, p. 119-120
(see the book; see also Jas. 2:12-13; more at Corruption, Forgiveness, Intention, Justice, Need, Power)
Monday, October 12, 2020
Commemoration of Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, Bishop of York, Missionary, 709
Commemoration of Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer, 1845
God is present by Love alone. By Love alone He is great and glorious. By Love alone He liveth and feeleth in other persons. By Love alone He enjoyeth all the creatures, by Love alone He is pleasing to Himself, by Love alone He is rich and blessed... The Soul is shrivelled up and buried in a grave that does not love. But that which does love wisely and truly is the joy and end of all the world, the King of Heaven, and the Friend of God.
... Thomas Traherne (1637?-1674), Centuries of Meditations, edited and published by Bertram Dobell, in London, 1908, “2nd century”, 50, p. 116
(see the book; see also Deut. 4:39; Isa. 57:15; John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:4-5; 1 John 4:8-13; 1 Pet. 1:22-23; more at Blessing, Friend, God, Joy, Love, Pleasure, Weakness)
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Feast of Edward the Confessor, 1066
Seducers we, they say; but they lead men astray. Oh, what a noble seduction ours, that men should change from dissolute to sober living—or towards it; to justice from injustice—or tending that way; to wisdom from being foolish—or becoming such; and from cowardice, meanness and timidity, show courage and fortitude, not least in this struggle for the sake of our religion.
... Origen (185?-254?), Contra Celsum, in After the Apostles, John Foster, SCM Press, 1951, p. 121
(see the book; see also John 12:42-43, Deut. 31:6; more at Courage, Cowardice, Faith, Folly, Fortitude, Historical, Justice, Man, Struggle, Wisdom)
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
If we are honest, we freely admit that the Christian system involves difficulties; but so does every other system. No thoughtful person gives up a position merely because he finds difficulties in it; he does not abandon it until he is able to find other and alternative systems with fewer difficulties... I learned from my professors of philosophy... that, while philosophy might not provide me with a watertight intellectual defense of the Christian faith, it would, if used aright, help me to reveal the weakness of its enemies. By careful analysis it is possible to see that there are glaring weaknesses and non-sequiturs in atheism, naturalism, positivism, scientism, and psychologism. The Christian must be a fighter, for he is always under attack. The Church will not be as strong as it ought to be until each local pastor uses his precious freedom from outside employment in order to become a scholarly participant in the intellectual struggle of our day and generation.
... Elton Trueblood (1900-1994), The Incendiary Fellowship, New York: Harper, 1967, p. 47-48
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:26; Eph. 4:14-15; Jude 1:3; more at Apologetics, Atheism, Enemy, Fight, Philosophy, Struggle)
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Feast of Teresa of Avila, Mystic, Teacher, 1582
I know the power obedience has of making things easy which seem impossible.
... Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), The Interior Castle , tr., E. Allison Peers, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961, p. 33
(see the book; see also Rom. 16:19; Eph. 2:10; Phil. 2:12; more at Knowledge, Obedience, Power)
Friday, October 16, 2020
Commemoration of the Oxford Martyrs, Hugh Latimer, Nicolas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer, bishops and martyrs, 1555
[Unbelievers] think they have made great efforts to get at the truth when they have spent a few hours in reading some book out of Holy Scripture, and have questioned some cleric about the truths of the faith. After that, they boast that they have searched in books and among men in vain.
... Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées (Thoughts) , P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #194, p. 70
(see the book; see also Matt. 12:7; John 5:39-40; 20:9; Gal. 3:22; Tit. 1:15; 2 Pet. 3:3-5; more at Bible, Boasting, Man, Scripture, Truth, Unbelief, Vanity)
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Feast of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, Martyr, c.107
The tests of life are to make, not break us. Trouble may demolish a man’s business but build up his character. The blow at the outward man may be the greatest blessing to the inner man. If God, then, puts or permits anything hard in our lives, be sure that the real peril, the real trouble, is that we shall lose if we flinch or rebel.
... Maltbie D. Babcock (1858-1901), Thoughts for Every-day Living, New York: C. Scribner’s sons, 1901, p. 2
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 4:17; John 16:33; Rom. 8:18; more at Blessing, Life, Man, Temptation, Trouble, Weakness)
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Feast of Luke the Evangelist
“When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” If He should now come, would He find it in us? What fruits of faith have we to show? Do we look upon this life only as a short passage to a better? Do we believe that we must suffer with Jesus Christ before we can reign with Him? Do we consider this world as a deceitful appearance, and death as the entrance to true happiness? Do we live by faith? Does it animate us? Do we relish the eternal truths it presents us with? Are we as careful to nourish our souls with those truths as to maintain our bodies with proper diet? Do we accustom ourselves to see all things in the light of faith? Do we correct all our judgments by it? Alas! The greater part of Christians think and act like mere heathens; if we judge (as we justly may) of their faith by their practice, we must conclude they have no faith at all.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Pious Reflections for Every Day in the Month, London: H. D. Symonds, 1800, p. 1-3
(see the book; see also Hab. 2:4; Luke 18:8; 21:7; Phil. 1:21-24; 2 Tim. 2:11-13; more at Death, Faith, Heathen, Jesus, Judgment, Suffer, Truth)
Monday, October 19, 2020
Feast of Henry Martyn, Translator of the Scriptures, Missionary in India & Persia, 1812
He is the true Gospel-bearer that carries it in his hands, in his mouth, and in his heart... A man does not carry it in his heart that does not love it with all his soul; and nobody loves it as he ought, that does not conform to it in his life.
... Desiderius Erasmus (1466?-1536), The Colloquies of Erasmus, v. II, London: Reeves & Turner, 1878, p. 172-173
(see the book; see also Isa. 52:7; more at Gospel, Heart, Life, Love, Soul)
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
It is quite true that the Greek word ekklesia comes from two roots which mean literally “called out.” Many preachers have made use of this fact to point out helpful spiritual implications, and yet, by New Testament times, the word carried no such denotation as “called out.” It was simply the word for “assembly” or “congregation.” It so happened that in the Greek city-states an assembly of the citizenry resulted from the people being called out of their city and summoned from their farms to participate in such gatherings. Even though the etymology of the word remains, its real meaning is just “assembly,” and a Greek-speaking person of New Testament times would be no more inclined to understand ekklesia in its original etymological value of “called out” than we today would recognize “God be with you” in “good-by,” which, as we may learn from the dictionary, was derived from the longer phrase.
... Eugene A. Nida (1914-2011), God’s Word in Man’s Language, New York: Harper, 1952, p. 61
(see the book; see also Acts 2:46-47; Eph. 5:29-30; Heb. 10:25; more at Bible, Church, Congregation, Meaning, Preacher)
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
A student: “Sir, don’t you think that God has revealed himself in other religions and not only in Christianity?”Barth: “No, God has not revealed himself in any religion, including Christianity. He has revealed himself in his Son.”
... Karl Barth (1886-1968), during his 1963 Princeton lectures
(see also Matt. 3:16-17; 16:14-17; 17:1-5; John 1:14; 5:37-38; 14:7-11; Heb. 1:1-2; more at God, Jesus, Religion, Revelation, Son)
Thursday, October 22, 2020
The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.
... William Blake (1757-1827), The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, University of California Press, 2008, p. 201
(see the book; see also Ex. 23:4-5; Pr. 19:11; 25:21; Matt. 5:43-44; 6:14-15; 18:21-22; Mark 11:25; Luke 6:27-28; Rom. 12:14; Col. 3:13; more at Forgiveness, Glory, Victory)
Friday, October 23, 2020
To judge aright we must judge as Christ judged. He judged no man, yet if He judged, His judgments were just... He proclaimed none worthless, none hopeless. Yet men were continually being judged by their relations to Him. The result was infallible, because men judged themselves. Those who loved the light came to Him, those who rejected Him showed that they desired to walk in darkness.
... John Oman (1860-1939), Vision and Authority, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1928, p. 171
(see the book; see also Isa. 9:2; John 1:4,5; 3:19-21; more at Christ, Darkness, Judgment, Light, Love, Man, Providence)
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Jesus lived His life in complete dependence upon His Father, as we all ought to live our lives. But such dependence does not destroy human personality. Man is never so fully and so truly personal as when he is living in complete dependence upon God. This is how personality comes into its own. This is humanity at its most personal.
... Donald M. Baillie (1887-1954), God was in Christ: an essay on incarnation and atonement, Scribner, 1955, p. 93
(see the book; see also Ps. 16:9; Luke 4:3-4; 22:35; John 12:49,50; 1 Cor. 2:9-10; 2 Cor. 9:8-10; more at Dependence, Father, God, Jesus, Life)
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Commemoration of Crispin & Crispinian, Martyrs at Rome, c.285
The basic assumption which all expositors seem anxious to secure is certainly right, namely, that the ultimate purpose of a parable is to help and not hinder the apprehension of the truth. But beyond this, we may say that it belongs to the very nature of revelation that the capacity to receive it depends upon the prior surrender and obedience of the will... The disciples had so surrendered to the sovereignty of Jesus and could therefore know. If temporarily parables concealed the truths of the kingdom from the outsider on the intellectual plane, it was only in order that moral conviction might first be secured with a view to intellectual enlightenment afterwards. There are many who, through intellectual pride, would like to have it otherwise, but it cannot be.
... C. E. Graham Swift, The New Bible Commentary, ed. Frances Davidson, Eerdmans., 1963, p. 814-815
(see the book; see also Matt. 11:25-27; 13:10-17; Mark 4:11-36; Luke 8:10; more at Bible, Conviction, Jesus, Knowledge, Morality, Obedience, Pride, Revelation, Truth)
Monday, October 26, 2020
Feast of Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons, Scholar, 899
Commemoration of Cedd, Founding Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of the East Saxons, 664
Christ transcends all ignorance. It will be observed that my friend from India said that ignorance was a bar preventing the people from receiving our message. That may very well be. Our message is not delivered in a form easy to be understood by men of no literary education, nor is it always delivered by men who can approach their hearers with true understanding and use the expressions which they naturally understand. But that the most ignorant man on earth cannot receive Christ and find grace and help in Him seems to me to be contradicted by our own knowledge of Christ’s nature and our frequent experience of His power.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes Which Hinder It, London: World Dominion Press, 1949, reprint, Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1997, p. 113
(see the book; see also Luke 1:46-49; John 9:17-21,25; Acts 4:13; Jas. 1:9; 4:6; more at Christ, Education, Experience, Grace, Ignorance, Knowledge, Power)
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Lord, often have I thought to myself, I will sin but this one sin more, and then I will repent of it, and of all the rest of my sins together. So foolish was I, and ignorant. As if I should be more able to pay my debts when I owe more: or as if I should say, I will wound my friend once again, and then I will lovingly shake hands with him; but what if my friend will not shake hands with me?
... Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), Good Thoughts in Bad Times , Chicago: United Society of Christian Endeavor, Boston, 1898, Personal Meditations, XXIII
(see the book; see also 1 John 5:16-18; Isa. 30:1; Jer. 9:3; 2 Tim. 3:12-13; more at Debt, Folly, Friend, Prayers, Repentance, Sin)
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Feast of Simon & Jude, Apostles
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.
... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), What’s Wrong with the World, New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1912, p. 48
(see the book; see also Matt. 7:13-14; Luke 6:46-49; 7:30-35; 12:16-21; John 1:11; 3:11-12; 5:39-40; 12:37; 1 Cor. 1:18-19; more at Hypocrisy, Ideal, Social)
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Commemoration of James Hannington, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, Martyr in Uganda, 1885
It is true that [people] are praying for a worldwide revival. But it would be more timely, and more scriptural, for prayer to be made to the Lord of the harvest, that He would raise up and thrust forth laborers who would fearlessly and faithfully preach those truths which are calculated to bring about a revival.
... A. W. Pink (1886-1952), Eternal Punishment, Swengel, Pa. : Bible Truth Depot, 1951, Introduction
(see the book; see also Matt. 9:35-38; Mark 16:15; Luke 10:1-3; John 4:35-38; more at Church, Fearless, Harvest, Prayer, Preach, Scripture, Truth)
Friday, October 30, 2020
Commemoration of Martin Luther, Teacher, Reformer, 1546
The Kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing, who would ever have been spared?
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), paraphrase from "Sermon on Psalm 110" , WA, 1:696, quoted in Life Together , Dietrich Bonhoeffer & tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 27
(see the book; see also Ps. 23:5; 110:2; Luke 6:27-29; Rom. 12:14,20; more at Betrayal, Blasphemy, Christ, Church, Enemy, Friend, Kingdom, People, Suffer)
Saturday, October 31, 2020
This religious desire and effort of the soul to relate itself and all its interest to God and his will is prayer in the deepest sense. This is essential prayer. Uttered or unexpressed, it is equally prayer. It is the soul’s desire after God going forth in manifestation, ... —the soul striving after God. This is a prayer that may exist without ceasing, consisting, as it does, not in doing or saying this or that, but in temper and attitude of the spirit.
... Borden Parker Bowne (1847-1910), The Essence of Religion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1910, p. 132
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:26; 12:1,2; 1 Thess. 5:17; more at God, Love, Perseverance, Prayer, Soul)
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