Common observation and a plain understanding is the source of all art.
~Sir Joshua Reynolds
He gave man the power to thwart His will, that, by means of that same power, he might come at last to do His will in a higher kind and way than would otherwise have been possible to him.
I’d rather be in trouble for having done something than for not having done anything.
~C.S. Forester, from a Horatio Hornblower book.
The old man of the earth stooped over the floor of the cave, raised a huge stone, and left it leaning. It disclosed a great hole that went plumb-down. “That is is the way,” he said. “But there are no stairs. You must throw yourself in. There is no other way.”
There are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands.
~G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy.
He knew the validity of his own work–yet he knew also that he might so easily be wrong, as innumerable unfortunate bad painters had been. There was no way of being certain. But at least he believed that painting could be valid, could hold an experince related to the actuality of the world, and in itself valuable to mind and heart. He hoped this painting might be that; more, he could not say.
~Charles Williams, All Hallow’s Eve.
Love trumps everything. Love’s decision will not always be kind to your artistic life.
~Vinita Hampton Wright
If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered.
So we made that choice–we just kept digging at the truth and we didn’t care what it sounded like. And we knew it was ugly. At one point, Paul would say to me, ‘Can we do this?’ And the answer always came back the same–if it is truthful, if it’s real, if it’s right, if it serves the story, we can do it… and we didn’t allow ourselves to be put off the ugliness of it.
~Bobby Moresco, co-writer of Crash.
Love makes strange enemies.
~from a U2 song.
It’s not easy to shed the idea that human life is sacred.
~Audie Murphy, To Hell and Back.
In great deeds, something abides. On great fields, something stays. Forms change and pass, bodies disapppear, but spirits linger to consecrate the ground for the vision-place of souls, and reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them.
~Col. Joshua Chamberlain, at the 1886 dedication of a monument at Gettysburg.
There is no man more dangerous than one who does not doubt his own rightness.
~Louis L’Amour, Ride the Dark Trail.
“I don’t think it would be repectful to the Great Lion, to Aslan himself, if an ass like me went about dressed up in a lion-skin,” said Puzzle.
~C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle.
Taking initiative is part of what makes a person a little better.
~Bill Guarnere, Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends.
I have seen men die because they were sure what should not happen, would not.
~Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World.
Actual combat experience is the only teacher. You never come out of a skirmish without having picked up a couple of new tricks; without having learned more about your enemy…Total involvement with the war was the only thing that kept me alive and pushing.
~Audie Murphy, from No Name on the Bullet.
It is often little things that are hardest to stand.
~C.S. Lewis, from The Last Battle.
In the first place, the church can ask the state whether its actions are legitimate and in accordance with its character as state, i.e., it can throw the state back on its responsibilities. Secondly, it can aid the victims of state action. The church has an unconditional obligation to the victims of any ordering of society, even if they do not belong to the Christian community. The third possibility is not just to bandage the victims under the wheel, but to put a spoke in the wheel itself.
I would walk until I had walked all the life out of me, and when I fell, I would die that much closer to home.
~Nando Parrado, from Miracle on the Andes.
Lester, for the first time in her life, saw temptation precisely as it is when it has ceased to tempt–repugnant, implausible, mean.
~Charles Williams, All Hallow’s Eve.
When I was young I was sure of the good of the world, its beauty, and its ultimate justice. And even when I was broken the way one sometimes can be broken, and even though I had fallen, I found upon arising that I was stronger than before, that the glories, if I may call them that, which I had loved so much and that had been darkened in my fall, were shining ever brighter. And nearly every time subsequently that I have fallen and darkness has come over me, they have obstinately risen, not as they were, but brighter.
~Mark Helprin, A Soldier of the Great War.
If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.
If Christians were to live their Christian lives to the fullest, there would not be one Hindu left in India.
Nothing splendid has been achieved except by those who dared to believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.
The world is crying out for selflessness.
It takes more out of a fighter to swing and miss than swing and hit.
~Sports commentator on the Mathis/Tyson fight
When someone is high on self, he will be low on others, including God.
Self-esteem is not the sacred issue in Christianity. Esteeming others and above all esteeming God are the central and sacred issues of Christianity.
Sometimes I think of Abraham, how one star he saw was lit for me.
I’m not sure how providence works, but I don’t believe in fate—that the future is preprogrammed in some way that leaves our choices without consequence. But I do believe that God is alongside us, making sure it all somehow works out for good if we love him.
Your wind breathes where it wishes, moves where it wills, sometimes severs my safe moorings. Sovereign gusts–buffet my winds with your blowing loosen me, lift me to go wherever you’re going.