“IF I had only one sermon to preach, it would be a sermon against Pride. The more I see of existence, and especially of modern practical and experimental existence, the more I am convinced of the reality of the old religious thesis; that all evil began with some attempt at superiority; some moment when, as we might say, the very skies were cracked across like a mirror, because there was a sneer in Heaven.” — G.K. Chesterton: If I Had Only One Sermon To Preach
Quod minimum, minimum est,
Sed in minimo fidelem esse,
What is a little thing, is (just) a little thing,
But to be faithful in a little thing,
is a great thing. — St. Thomas Aquinas De Doctrina Christiana, IV,35
“If the gospel demands that we renounce this world . . . , then the simple thing to do is: do it” — Søren Kierkegaard, Journals
“What did Jesus want to say to us? What does he want from us today? How does he help us to be faithful Christians today? It is not ultimately important to us what this or that church leader wants. Rather, we want to know what Jesus wants. When we go to hear a sermon, his own word is what we want to hear. This matters to us not only for our own sakes, but also for all those who have become estranged from the church and its message. It is also our opinion that if Jesus himself and Jesus alone with his word were among us in our preaching, then quite a different set of people would hear the word and quite a different set of people would again turn away from it.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
“It is almost universally assumed today that becoming a Christian means in essence the adoption of a new set of beliefs or the initiation of a new mode of behaviour. A Christian would be defined as one who ‘believes in Christ’ or ‘worships Christ’ or ‘tries to follow Christ’s teaching.’ Now it is far from my purpose to belittle either Christian dogma or Christian ethics. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out that to define the essence of Christianity in terms of belief or of practice involves the neglect of two principles that are fundamental to all sound theology. The former of these is that the act of God precedes and is presupposed by the acts of man: ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us’; ‘Ye have come to know God, or rather to be known of God.’ The second is that what a being is precedes what it does; our actions are a consequence of what we are operari sequitur esse. It will follow from this that the Christian should be defined not in terms of what he himself does, but of what God has made him to be. Being a Christian is an ontological fact, resulting from an act of God.” — E. L. Mascall, Christ, the Christian, and the Church p.77
“Because God is not a finite object over against you as a subject, you cannot simply turn away towards ‘something else.’; He is the ground and end of all desire and knowledge as such, the Good in itself. You cannot choose or not choose God the way you would choose or not choose a cup of coffee. You desire anything because of your original desire for God as the transcendental Good and Beautiful; you know anything because of your original intellectual appetite for God as the transcendental Truth as such. Even in desiring to flee God, you are desiring God as the ‘good end’ you seek in godlessness. He is inescapable because all being, goodness, unity, truth, and beauty simply are God in their transcendent truth, and because a rational nature is nothing but an infinite dynamic orientation towards that transcendent end. The natural will, as Maximus says, can will only God. Don’t think of God as a candidate in a political race, whom you could simply reject and be done with; he is the original and final act of your every discrete act of desire. And, in the ages, since God is all and there is literally nothing beyond him, the natural will is always seeking its natural supernatural end. Simply said, God is not an object of desire; he is the end that makes desire.” — David Bentley Hart
“Where there is no giving of one self, one can only love the physical attributes of the other. Poets and philosophers have filled many volumes musing about the fleeting beauty of youth. Those who can only love that surface shine will soon grow bored. That boredom will be followed by some sort of hate or indifference. Those who love the soul are different because for them, their youth is a sacrificial present, an oblation offered in the altar of love. The men and women of God conquer each other not by possession but by surrendering and becoming part of the beloved.” — Carlos Caso_Rosendi
“This house where such good things are done year by year has suffered all the things that every age has suffered. It has known the sudden separation of wife and husband, the sudden fall of young men under arms who will never more come home, the scattering of the living and their precarious return, the increase and the loss of fortune, all those terrors and all those lessenings and haltings and failures of hope which make up the life of man. But its Christmas binds it to its own past and promises its future; making the house an undying thing of which those subject to mortality within it are members, sharing in its continuous survival.” — Hilaire Belloc: A Remaining Christmas.
“The World is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time: so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization, and save the World from suicide.” — T. S. Eliot, Thoughts After Lambeth, 1931.
“I think we have misunderstood the promise of Christ of the survival of the Church. You can’t kill something whose nature it is to live. The Faith is like life itself; life is designed to live. It might not make it in this or that particular place, and it may go through periods of such reduction that we would hardly recognise it, but it can’t be killed. Volcanoes make ash that enrich the soil; ice ages spread spores and seeds around the world. Life lives. The Faith is something even stronger.” — Hilary White