Gift From God Quotes

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Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal — as we are!
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.
Pope John Paul II
MT [Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.
Christopher Hitchens
The Council agrees," Zeus said. "Percy Jackson, you will have one gift from the gods." I hesitated. "Any gift?" Zeus nodded grimly. "I know what you will ask. The greatest gift of all. Yes, if you want it, it shall be yours. The gods have not bestowed this gift on a mortal hero in many centuries, but, Perseus Jackson-if you wish it-you shall be made a god. Immortal. Undying. You shall serve as your father's lieutenant for all time." I stared at him, stunned. "Um...a god?" Zeus rolled his eyes. "A dimwitted god, apparently. But yes. With the consensus of the entire Council, I can make you immortal. Then I will have to put up with you forever." "Hmm," Ares mused. "That means I can smash him to a pulp as often as I want, and he'll just keep coming back for more. I like this idea.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.
Thomas Merton
If I don’t murder you this afternoon, it’ll be a gift sent directly from God Himself, and I vow to attend services again,” I said, holding a hand against my heart. “I knew I’d get you to church eventually.
Kerri Maniscalco (Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1))
Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing.... Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
Three of the four elements are shared by all creatures, but fire was a gift to humans alone. Smoking cigarettes is as intimate as we can become with fire without immediate excruciation. Every smoker is an embodiment of Prometheus, stealing fire from the gods and bringing it on back home. We smoke to capture the power of the sun, to pacify Hell, to identify with the primordial spark, to feed on them arrow of the volcano. It's not the tobacco we're after but the fire. When we smoke, we are performing a version of the fire dance, a ritual as ancient as lightning.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
God waits to win back his own flowers as gifts from man's hands.
Rabindranath Tagore (Stray Birds)
Grace has to be the loveliest word in the English language. It embodies almost every attractive quality we hope to find in others. Grace is a gift of the humble to the humiliated. Grace acknowledges the ugliness of sin by choosing to see beyond it. Grace accepts a person as someone worthy of kindness despite whatever grime or hard-shell casing keeps him or her separated from the rest of the world. Grace is a gift of tender mercy when it makes the least sense.
Charles R. Swindoll
Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church's inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?... Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
From all of our beginnings, we keep reliving the Garden story.
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
Let me go: take back thy gift: Why should a man desire in any way To vary from the kindly race of men, Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance Where all should pause, as is most meet for all? ...Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears, And make me tremble lest a saying learnt, In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true? ‘The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.’ - Tithonus
Alfred Tennyson
God freely created us so that we might know, love, and serve him in this life and be happy with him forever. God's purpose in creating us is to draw forth from us a response of love and service here on earth, so that we may attain our goal of everlasting happiness with him in heaven. All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully. As a result, we ought to appreciate and use these gifts of God insofar as they help us toward our goal of loving service and union with God. But insofar as any created things hinder our progress toward our goal, we ought to let them go.
Ignatius of Loyola
If God didn't withhold from us His very own Son, will God withhold anything we need?
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low. But the Gospels actually taught this: Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn’t well connected. So it goes. The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn’t look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought, and Rosewater read out loud again: Oh, boy–they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch _that_ time! And that thought had a brother: “There are right people to lynch.” Who? People not well connected. So it goes. The visitor from outer space made a gift to the Earth of a new Gospel. In it, Jesus really was a nobody, and a pain in the neck to a lot of people with better connections than he had. He still got to say all the lovely and puzzling things he said in the other Gospels. So the people amused themselves one day by nailing him to a cross and planting the cross in the ground. There couldn’t possibly be any repercussions, the lynchers thought. The reader would have to think that, too, since the new Gospel hammered home again and again what a nobody Jesus was. And then, just before the nobody died, the heavens opened up, and there was thunder and lightning. The voice of God came crashing down. He told the people that he was adopting the bum as his son, giving him the full powers and privileges of The Son of the Creator of the Universe throughout all eternity. God said this: From this moment on, He will punish horribly anybody who torments a bum who has no connections.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
In the Christian community thankfulness is just what it is anywhere else in the Christian life. Only he who gives thanks for little things receives the big things. We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. We think we dare not be satisfied with the small measure of spiritual knowledge, experience, and love that has been given to us, and that we must constantly be looking forward eagerly for the highest good. Then we deplore the fact that we lack the deep certainty, the strong faith, and the rich experience that God has given to others, and we consider this lament to be pious. We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things? If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Jesus Christ.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
Why Just ask the donkey in me To speak to the donkey in you, When I have so many other beautiful animals And brilliant colored birds inside That are longing to say something wonderful And exciting to your heart? Let's open all the locked doors upon our eyes That keep us from knowing the Intelligence That begets love And a more lively and satisfying conversation With the Friend. Let's turn loose our golden falcons So that they can meet in the sky Where our spirits belong-- Necking like two Hot kids. Let's hold hands and get drunk near the sun And sing sweet songs to God Until He joins us with a few notes From his own sublime lute and drum. If you have a better idea Of how to pass a lonely night After your glands may have performed All their little magic Then speak up sweethearts, speak up, For Hafiz and all the world will listen. Why just bring your donkey to me Asking for stale hay And a boring conference with the idiot In regards to this precious matter-- Such a precious matter as love, When I have so many other divine animals And brilliant colored birds inside That are all longing To so sweetly Greet You!
Hafez (The Gift)
O: You’re quite a writer. You’ve a gift for language, you’re a deft hand at plotting, and your books seem to have an enormous amount of attention to detail put into them. You’re so good you could write anything. Why write fantasy? Pratchett: I had a decent lunch, and I’m feeling quite amiable. That’s why you’re still alive. I think you’d have to explain to me why you’ve asked that question. O: It’s a rather ghettoized genre. P: This is true. I cannot speak for the US, where I merely sort of sell okay. But in the UK I think every book— I think I’ve done twenty in the series— since the fourth book, every one has been one the top ten national bestsellers, either as hardcover or paperback, and quite often as both. Twelve or thirteen have been number one. I’ve done six juveniles, all of those have nevertheless crossed over to the adult bestseller list. On one occasion I had the adult best seller, the paperback best-seller in a different title, and a third book on the juvenile bestseller list. Now tell me again that this is a ghettoized genre. O: It’s certainly regarded as less than serious fiction. P: (Sighs) Without a shadow of a doubt, the first fiction ever recounted was fantasy. Guys sitting around the campfire— Was it you who wrote the review? I thought I recognized it— Guys sitting around the campfire telling each other stories about the gods who made lightning, and stuff like that. They did not tell one another literary stories. They did not complain about difficulties of male menopause while being a junior lecturer on some midwestern college campus. Fantasy is without a shadow of a doubt the ur-literature, the spring from which all other literature has flown. Up to a few hundred years ago no one would have disagreed with this, because most stories were, in some sense, fantasy. Back in the middle ages, people wouldn’t have thought twice about bringing in Death as a character who would have a role to play in the story. Echoes of this can be seen in Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, which hark back to a much earlier type of storytelling. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature, and by the standard we would apply now— a big muscular guys with swords and certain godlike connections— That’s fantasy. The national literature of Finland, the Kalevala. Beowulf in England. I cannot pronounce Bahaghvad-Gita but the Indian one, you know what I mean. The national literature, the one that underpins everything else, is by the standards that we apply now, a work of fantasy. Now I don’t know what you’d consider the national literature of America, but if the words Moby Dick are inching their way towards this conversation, whatever else it was, it was also a work of fantasy. Fantasy is kind of a plasma in which other things can be carried. I don’t think this is a ghetto. This is, fantasy is, almost a sea in which other genres swim. Now it may be that there has developed in the last couple of hundred years a subset of fantasy which merely uses a different icongraphy, and that is, if you like, the serious literature, the Booker Prize contender. Fantasy can be serious literature. Fantasy has often been serious literature. You have to fairly dense to think that Gulliver’s Travels is only a story about a guy having a real fun time among big people and little people and horses and stuff like that. What the book was about was something else. Fantasy can carry quite a serious burden, and so can humor. So what you’re saying is, strip away the trolls and the dwarves and things and put everyone into modern dress, get them to agonize a bit, mention Virginia Woolf a few times, and there! Hey! I’ve got a serious novel. But you don’t actually have to do that. (Pauses) That was a bloody good answer, though I say it myself.
Terry Pratchett
Solomon, for his part, continues his father’s prophetic legacy by composing the Song of Songs, a beautiful meditation on love and devotion that celebrates God’s greatest gift to humanity.
Mohamad Jebara (The Life of the Qur'an: From Eternal Roots to Enduring Legacy)
The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.
Francis de Sales
Zeus rolled his eyes. "A dimwitted god, apparently. But yes. With the consensus of the entire Council, I can make you immortal. Then I will have to put up with you forever." "Hmm," Ares mused. "That means I can smash him to a pulp as often as I want, and he'll just keep coming back for more. I like this idea." "I approve as well," Athena said, though she was looking at Annabeth. I glanced back. Annabeth was trying not to meet my eyes. Her face was pale. I flashed back to two years ago, when I'd thought she was going to take the pledge to Artemis and become a Hunter. I'd been on the edge of a panic attack, thinking that I'd lose her. Now, she looked pretty much the same way. I thought about the Three Fates, and the way I'd seen my life flash by. I could avoid all that. No aging, no death, no body in the grave. I could be a teenager forever, in top condition, powerful, and immortal, serving my father. I could have power and eternal life. Who could refuse that? Then I looked at Annabeth again. I thought about my friends from camp: Charles Beckendorf, Michael Yew, Silena Beauregard, so many others who were now dead. I thought about Ethan Nakamura and Luke. And I knew what to do. "No," I said. The Council was silent. The gods frowned at each other like they must have misheard. "No?" Zeus said. "You are . . . turning down our generous gift?" There was a dangerous edge to his voice, like a thunderstorm about to erupt. "I'm honored and everything," I said. "Don't get me wrong. It's just . . . I've got a lot of life left to live. I'd hate to peak in my sophomore year." The gods were glaring at me, but Annabeth had her hands over her mouth. Her eyes were shining. And that kind of made up for it.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
Remember, Satan wants you to think that you are mentally deficient—that something is wrong with you. But the truth is, you just need to begin disciplining your mind. Don’t let it run all over town, doing whatever it pleases. Begin today to “keep your foot,” to keep your mind on what you’re doing. You will need to practice for a while. Breaking old habits and forming new ones always takes time, but it is worth it in the end. The present moment is the greatest gift we have from God, but if we are not present we miss it.
Joyce Meyer (Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind)
But he could no longer disbelieve in the reality of love, since God Himself had loved his individual soul with divine love from all eternity. Gradually, as his soul was enriched with spiritual knowledge, he saw the whole world forming one vast symmetrical expression of God's power and love. Life became a divine gift for every moment and sensation of which, were it even the sight of a single leaf hanging on the twig of a tree, his soul should praise and thank the Giver. The world for all its solid substance and complexity no longer existed for his soul save as a theorem of divine power and love and universality.
James Joyce
Tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift from God. Without the dark we'd never see the stars. -In the Lydian Mode
Ruth Padel (Beethoven Variations: Poems on a Life)
Only the neurosurgeon dares to improve upon five billion years of evolution in a few hours. The human brain. A trillion nerve cells storing electrical patterns more numerous than the water molecules of the world’s oceans. The soul’s tapestry lies woven in the brain’s nerve threads. Delicate, inviolate, the brain floats serenely in a bone vault like the crown jewel of biology. What motivated the vast leap in intellectual horsepower between chimp and man? Between tree dweller and moon walker? Is the brain a gift from God, or simply the jackpot of a trillion rolls of DNA dice?
Frank T. Vertosick Jr.
She broke slices of apple in tiny pieces and played the game she’d love as a little girl: feeding the ants. Bent double in the hot sun, she was a great god dropping manna from heaven with no more reason and logic than any human could ever discover. The ants stopped in their tracks before such food from paradise, showing their astonishment with agitated feelers at first. Then, human as people, they put such amazing gifts to practical use — they picked up the food and headed for home. If they met other ants at the corner or down the block, the word went out in Formic, and the newcomers came looking for manna too.
Nancy Price
As the last human lay dying in their shallow grave, they fashioned a crude grave marker from wood. It read: "Man - Terroriser of Fish and Great Destroyer of all he made, found or was gifted." They then covered themselves with earth and quietly passed away. Seeing this, God left the Universe and took the Sun with him.
Stewart Stafford
Only bad religions depend on mysteries, just as bad governments depend on secret police. Truth, beauty and goodness are not mysterious, they are the commonest, most obvious, most essential facts of life, like sunlight, air and bread. Only folk whose heads are muddled by expensive educations think truth, beauty, goodness are rare private properties. Nature is more liberal. The universe keeps nothing essential from us — it is all present, all gift. God is the universe plus mind. Those who say God, or the universe, or nature is mysterious, are like those who call these things jealous or angry. They are announcing the state of their lonely, muddled minds.
Alasdair Gray (Poor Things)
Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest: Classic Language)
[T]he idea of treating Mind as an effect rather than as a First Cause is too revolutionary for some–an "awful stretcher" that their own minds cannot acommodate comfortably. This is as true today as it was in 1860, and it has always been as true of some of evolution's best friends as of its foes. For instance, the physicist Paul Davies, in his recent book The Mind of God, proclaims that the reflective power of human minds can be "no trivial detail, no minor by-product of mindless purposeless forces" (Davies 1992, p. 232). This is a most revealing way of expressing a familiar denial, for it betrays an ill-examined prejudice. Why, we might ask Davies, would its being a by-product of mindless, purposeless forces make it trivial? Why couldn't the most important thing of all be something that arose from unimportant things? Why should the importance or excellence of anything have to rain down on it from on high, from something more important, a gift from God? Darwin's inversion suggests that we abandon that presumption and look for sorts of excellence, of worth and purpose, that can emerge, bubbling up out of "mindless, purposeless forces.
Daniel C. Dennett (Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life)
Thereforeonyourjourneybesuretotakegoldencupsfull of the sweet drink oflife, red wine, and give it to dead matter, so that it can win life back The dead matter will change into black serpents. Do not be frightened, the serpents will immediately put out the sun of your days, and a night with wonderful will-o'-the-wisps will come over YOU. 140 Take pains to waken the dead. Dig deep mines and throw in sacrificial gifts, so that they reach the dead. Reflect in good heart upon evil, this is the way to the ascent. But before the ascent, everything is night and Hell. . What do you think of the essence of Hell? Hell is when the depths come to you with all that you no longer are or are not yet capable of Hell is when you can no longer attain what you could attain. Hell is when you must thinlc and feel and do everything that you know you do not want. Hell is when you know that your havingtoisalsoawantingto,andthatyouyourselfareresponsible for it. Hell is when you know that everything serious that you have planned with yourself is also laughable, that everything fine is also brutal, that everything good is also bad, that everything high is also low, and that everything pleasant is also shameful. But the deepest Hell is when you realize that Hell is also no Hell, but a cheerful Heaven, not a Heaven in itself, but in this respect a Heaven, and in that respect a Hell. That is the ambiguity of the God: he is born from a dark ambiguity and rises to a bright ambiguity. Unequivocalness is simplicityandleadstodeath.141Butambiguityisthewayoflife.142 If the left foot does not move, then the right one does, and you move. The God wills this.143 You say: the Christian God is unequivocal, he is 10ve.l44 But what is more ambiguous than love? Love is the way of life, but your love is only on the way oflife ifyou have a left and a right. Nothing is easier than to play at ambiguity and nothing is more difficult than living ambiguity. He who plays is a child; his God is old and dies. He who lives is awakened; his God is young and goes on. He who plays hides from the inner death. He who lives feels the going onward and immortality. So leave the play to the players. Let fall what wants to fall; if you stop it, it will sweep you away. There is a true love that does not concern itself with neighbors.
C.G. Jung
The Gospel is sheer good tidings, not demand but promise, not duty but gift. But in order that as promise and gift it may be realized in us, it takes on the character of moral admonishment in accordance with our nature. It does not want to force us, but it wants nothing other than that we freely and willingly accept in faith what God wants to give us. The will of God realizes itself in no other way than through our reason and will. That is why it is rightly said that a person, by the grace He receives, himself believes and himself turns from sin to God.
Herman Bavinck (Our Reasonable Faith: A Survey of Christian Doctrine)
Rumors exist of what those High-Grades can do: They kill with gaze; they voice the wind; they eat nothing; they’ve seen the source of the universe … Kusha heard in the Old City. She doesn’t have High-Grades or voice or killing gazes. But she has a gift—her prophetic alarms. Most people name it the sixth-sense. Those occasional sensations that come without warning. Then, she finds herself knowing things she isn’t supposed to know. Like now— It happens again. A prophetic alarm comes, and it comes with a silent scream in her head. As if hundreds of frozen needles have pierced her eyes and reached her brain, injecting information she never knew before. Kusha calls it alarms, not sixth-sense. Not even intuition. Intuition sounds High-Grade, something those evolved people may have. The book God-Particle-Or-Thought-Particle says: ‘Intuition is the passing thoughts downloaded from the universe.’ Kusha isn’t confident enough to believe it can happen to her. No way could she download anything as an unevolved, untouchable, Low-Grade.
Misba (The High Auction (Wisdom Revolution, #1))
When only in her novitiate, she received as a Christmas gift from Christ a very painful heart-trouble, which lasted for the whole period of her ordained life. But God showed her inwardly its purpose: it was to atone for the decay of the spirit of the Order, and especially for the sins of her fellow sisters. But what made this trouble most painful to her was the gift which she had possessed from youth, of seeing with her mind’s eye the inner nature of man as he really was. She felt the heart-trouble physically, as if her heart were continually pierced by arrows.36 These arrows—and for her this was a far worse spiritual torment—she recognized as the thoughts, schemings, secret gossipings, misunderstandings, and uncharitable slanders with which her fellow sisters, wholly without reason and conscience, plotted against her and her God-fearing way of life.
C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 5: Symbols of Transformation (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Book 7))
If this is truly the Son of God, then there is no worldly gift that he needs. He does not ask for gold, or wealth, or money. He asks only that we love others. And so that will be my gift to him. I will try harder to love everyone, regardless of who the are or what they look like . . . . And I will try to overlook the few things that make us different and focus instead on the many things that make us all the same. " A single year dropped from the corner of Madhu's eye and trickled down his face. He turned back to the baby and set down his empty box, kneeling gracefully at the foot of the manger. "It is a small gift, I know, but it is the only thing I have to offer Christ.
Kevin Alan Milne (The Paper Bag Christmas)
Anticipation of Love" Neither the intimacy of your look, your brow fair as a feast day, nor the favor of your body, still mysterious, reserved, and childlike, nor what comes to me of your life, settling in words or silence, will be so mysterious a gift as the sight of your sleep, enfolded in the vigil of my arms. Virgin again, miraculously, by the absolving power of sleep, quiet and luminous like some happy thing recovered by memory, you will give me that shore of your life that you yourself do not own. Cast up into silence I shall discern that ultimate beach of your being and see you for the first time, perhaps, as God must see you— the fiction of Time destroyed, free from love, from me.
Jorge Luis Borges (Selected Poems)
Only a fool says in his heart There is no Creator, no King of kings, Only mules would dare to bray These lethal mutterings. Over darkened minds as these The Darkness bears full sway, Fruitless, yet, bearing fruit, In their fell, destructive way. Sterile, though proliferate, A filthy progeny sees the day, When Evil, Thought and Action mate: Breeding sin, rebels and decay. The blackest deeds and foul ideals, Multiply throughout the earth, Through deadened, lifeless, braying souls, The Darkness labours and gives birth. Taking the Lord’s abundant gifts And rotting them to the core, They dress their dish and serve it out Foul seeds to infect thousands more. ‘The Tree of Life is dead!’ they cry, ‘And that of Knowledge not enough, Let us glut on the ashen apples Of Sodom and Gomorrah.’ Have pity on Thy children, Lord, Left sorrowing on this earth, While fools and all their kindred Cast shadows with their murk, And to the dwindling wise, They toss their heads and wryly smirk. The world daily grinds to dust Virtue’s fair unicorns, Rather, it would now beget Vice’s mutant manticores. Wisdom crushed, our joy is gone, Buried under anxious fears For lost rights and freedoms, We shed many bitter tears. Death is life, Life is no more, Humanity buried in a tomb, In a fatal prenatal world Where tiny flowers Are ripped from the womb, Discarded, thrown away, Inconvenient lives That barely bloomed. Our elders fare no better, Their wisdom unwanted by and by, Boarded out to end their days, And forsaken are left to die. Only the youthful and the useful, In this capital age prosper and fly. Yet, they too are quickly strangled, Before their future plans are met, Professions legally pre-enslaved Held bound by mounting student debt. Our leaders all harangue for peace Yet perpetrate the horror, Of economic greed shored up Through manufactured war. Our armies now welter In foreign civilian gore. How many of our kin are slain For hollow martial honour? As if we could forget, ignore, The scourge of nuclear power, Alas, victors are rarely tried For their woeful crimes of war. Hope and pray we never see A repeat of Hiroshima. No more! Crimes are legion, The deeds of devil-spawn! What has happened to the souls Your Divine Image was minted on? They are now recast: Crooked coins of Caesar and The Whore of Babylon. How often mankind shuts its ears To Your music celestial, Mankind would rather march To the anthems of Hell. If humanity cannot be reclaimed By Your Mercy and great Love Deservedly we should be struck By Vengeance from above. Many dread the Final Day, And the Crack of Doom For others the Apocalypse Will never come too soon. ‘Lift up your heads, be glad’, Fools shall bray no more For at last the Master comes To thresh His threshing floor.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Vocation of a Gadfly (Gadfly Saga, #2))
She shut her eyes against the realisation rising within her like a tidal wave. It would sweep away everything in its path once she admitted it. Consume her entirely. The thought was enough for her to straighten and wipe away her tears. 'I can't accept this.' 'It was made for you,' he smiled softly. She couldn't bear that smile, his kindness and joy, as she corrected. 'I will not accept it.' She placed the orb back in its box and handed it to him. 'Return it.' His eyes shuttered. 'It's a gift, not a fucking wedding ring.' She stiffened. 'No, I'll look to Eris for that.' He went still. 'Say that again.' She made her face cold, the only shield she had against him. 'Rhys says Eris wants me for his bride. He'll do anything we want in exchange for my hand.' The Siphons atop Cassian's hands flickered. 'You aren't considering saying yes.' She said nothing. Let him believe the worst. He snarled. 'I see. I get a little too close and you shove me away again. Back to where it's safe. Better to marry a viper like Eris than be with me.' 'I am not with you,' she snapped. 'I am fucking you.' 'The only thing fit for a bastard-born brute, right?' 'I didn't say that.' 'You don't need to. You've said it a thousand times before.' 'Then why did you bother to cut in at the ball?' 'Because I was fucking jealous!' he roared, wings splaying. 'You looked like a queen, and it was painfully obvious that you should be with a princeling like Eris and not a low-born nothing like me! Because I couldn't stand the sight of it, right down to my gods-damned bones! But go ahead, Nesta. Go ahead and fucking marry him and good fucking luck to you!' 'Eris is the brute,' she shot back. 'He is a brute and a piece of shit. And I would marry him because I am just like him!' The words echoed through the room. His pained face gutted her. 'I deserve Eris.' Her voice cracked. Cassian panted, his eyes still lit with fury- and now with shock. Nesta said hoarsely. 'You are good, Cassian. And you are brave, and brilliant, and kind. I could kill anyone who has ever made you feel less than that- less than what you are. And I know I'm a part of that group, and I hate it.' Her eyes burned, but she fought past it. 'You are everything I have never been, and will never be good enough for. Your friends know it, and I have carried it around with me all this time- that I do not deserve you. The fury slid from his face. Nesta didn't stop the tears that flowed, or the words that tumbled out. 'I didn't deserve you before the war, or afterward, and I certainly don't now.' She let out a low, broken laugh. 'Why do you think I shoved you away? Why do you think I wouldn't speak to you?' She put a hand on her aching chest. 'After my father died, after I failed in so many ways- denying myself of you...' She sobbed. 'It was my punishment. Don't you understand that?' She could barely see him through her tears. 'From the moment I met you, I wanted you more than reason From the moment I saw you in my house, you were all I could think about. And it terrified me. No one had ever held such power over me. And I am still terrified that if I let myself have you... it will be taken away. Someone will take it away, and if you're dead...' She buried her face in her hands. 'It doesn't matter,' she whispered. 'I do not deserve you, and I never, ever will.' Utter silence filled the room. Such silence that she wondered if he'd left, and lowered her hands to see if he was there. Cassian stood before her. Tears streaming down his beautiful, perfect face. She didn't balk from it, letting him see her like this: her most raw, most base self. He'd always seen all of her, anyway. He opened his mouth and tried to speak. Had to swallow and try again. Nesta saw all the words in his eyes, though. The same ones she knew lay in her own.
Sarah J. Maas (A ​Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4))
As the power and goodness of Heaven are infinite in their extent, and infinite in their minuteness, to the mind cultivated as nature meant it to be, there is not only delight in contemplating the sublimity of the endless sea, or everlasting mountains, or the beauty of wide-extended landscapes; but there is a pleasure in looking at every flower, and every little shell that God has made. Nature has scattered around us, on every side, and for every sense, an in exhaustible profusion of beauty and sweet ness, if we will but perceive it. The pleasures we derive from flowers, from forms, from musical sounds, are surely not given us in vain; and if we are constantly alive to these, we can never be in want of sub jects of agreeable contemplation, and must be habitually cheerful. All that is required, in order that we should duly estimate these things, is that we should not have blunted or exhausted our minds by excessive indulgence of gross appetites and passions. In that fatal case, all those delicious fruits turn to ashes. Indeed, the man who looks at the gifts of nature without pleasure, or who hopes to enjoy the delights and blessings of life without feeling that gratitude to God forms their highest charms, and without becoming in consequence habitually cheerful, is surely much to be pitied.
Capt. Basil Hall
Never be guided by arbitrariness in law, which tends to have a good deal of influence on ignorant men who take pride in being clever. Let the tears of the poor find in you more compassion, but not more justice, than the briefs of the wealthy. Try to discover the truth in all the promises and gifts of the rich man, as well as in the poor man’s sobs and entreaties. When there can and should be a place for impartiality, do not bring the entire rigor of the law to bear on the offender, for the reputation of the harsh judge is not better than that of the compassionate one. If you happen to bend the staff of justice, let it be with the weight not of a gift, but of mercy. If you judge the case of one of your enemies, put your injury out of your mind and turn your thoughts to the truth of the question. Do not be blinded by your own passion in another’s trial, for most of the time the mistakes you make cannot be remedied, and if they can, it will be to the detriment of your good name and even your fortune. If a beautiful woman comes to you to plead for justice, turn your eyes from her tears and your ears from her sobs, and consider without haste the substance of what she is asking if you do not want your reason to be drowned in her weeping and your goodness in her sighs. If you must punish a man with deeds, do not abuse him with words, for the pain of punishment is enough for the unfortunate man without the addition of malicious speech. Consider the culprit who falls under your jurisdiction as a fallen man subject to the conditions of our depraved nature, and to the extent that you can, without doing injury to the opposing party, show him compassion and clemency, because although all the attributes of God are equal, in our view mercy is more brilliant and splendid than justice.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
… Where are the ways through black wastes? God, do not abandon us! What are you summoning, God? Raise your hand up to the darkness above you, pray, despair, wring your hands, kneel, press your forehead into the dust, cry out, but do not name Him, do not look at Him. Leave Him without name and form. What should form the formless? Name the nameless? Step onto the great way and grasp what is nearest. Do not look out, do not want, but lift up your hands. The gifts of darkness are full of riddles. The way is open to whomever can continue in spite of riddles. Submit to the riddles and the thoroughly incomprehensible. There are dizzying bridges over the eternally deep abyss. But follow the riddles. Endure them, the terrible ones. It is still dark, and the terrible goes on growing. Lost and swallowed by the streams of procreating life, we approach the overpowering, inhuman forces that are busily creating what is to come. How much future the depths carry! Are not the threads spun down there over millennia? Protect the riddles, bear them in your heart, warm them, be pregnant with them. Thus you carry the future. The tension of the future is unbearable in us. It must break through the narrow cracks, it must force new ways. You want to cast off the burden, you want to escape the inescapable. Running away is deception and detour. Shut your eyes so that you do not see the manifold, the outwardly plural, the tearing away and the tempting. There is only way and that is your way; there is only one salvation and that is your salvation. Why are you looking around for help? Do you believe that help will come from outside? What is to come will be created in you and from you. Hence look into yourself. Do not compare, do not measure. No other way is like yours. All other ways deceive and tempt you. You must fulfil the way that is in you. Oh, that all men and all their ways become strange to you! Thus might you find them again within yourself and recognize their ways. But what weakness! What doubt! What fear! You will not bear going your way. You always want to have at least one foot on paths not your own to avoid the great solitude! So that maternal comfort is always with you! So that someone acknowledges you, recognizes you, bestows trust in you, comforts you, encourages you. So that someone pulls you over onto their path, where you stray from yourself, and where it is easier for you to set yourself aside. As if you were not yourself! Who should accomplish your deeds? Who should carry your virtues and your vices? You do not come to an end with your life, and the dead will besiege you terribly to live your unlived life. Everything must be fulfilled. Time is of the essence, so why do you want to pile up the lived and let the unlived rot?
C.G. Jung (The Red Book: Liber Novus)
The Second War of Gods left the earth barren and unpopulated, and so wise Zeus gave the titan Prometheus and his brother a number of invaluable gifts and tasked them with creating life. Prometheus shaped the new man in the image of the gods with great care, while Epimetheus created the animals, and used up most of the gods’ gifts on them, leaving for man only a few. Therefore, animals were stronger, had enhanced senses, and coats of fur to shield them from the cold, while men nearly died in the long winter nights. Thus, kind Prometheus traveled to Olympus to ask Zeus for sacred fire to give to his creation. Zeus refused.
D.N. Hoxa (The Elysean Trials (The Holy Bloodlines #1))
The celebration of Christmas is a riotous declaration of the message that “unto us a child is born.” For without that message infusing the very life and essence of the celebration of Christmas every celebratory moment that we engage in during this season will be the stuff of meaningless pomp and empty circumstance. And tragically, in a world that has disemboweled that very message from the celebration, countless celebrants are destined to walk away achingly barren and with an undercurrent of gnawing disappointment because their empty rituals could not gift them with what the essential core of their humanity is in desperate need of. Therefore, “unto us a child is born” is the message that we must boldly and even brazenly herald throughout the year so that no soul who dares to celebrate in this manner will ever be left empty because the gift of this child is the embodiment of everything that we need and nothing that we do not.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
The gifts are intensifiers of desire for Christ himself in much the same way that fasting is. When you give a gift to Christ like this, it's a way of saying something like this: The joy that I pursue is not the hope of getting rich with things from you. I have not come to you for your things but for yourself. And this desire I now intensify and demonstrate by giving up things in the hope of enjoying you more, not the things. By giving to you what you do not need and what I might enjoy, I am saying more earnestly and more authentically, "You are my treasure, not these things." I think that's what it means to worship God with gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.
John Piper (The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent)
No, Mary must not give until she had counted the cost of that gift, until she was restored in body and mind, and was able to form a considered judgment. Then Stephen must tell her the cruel truth, she must say: 'I am one of those whom God marked on the forehead. Like Cain, I am marked and blemished. If you come to me, Mary, the world will abhor you, will persecute you, will call you unclean. Our love may be faithful even unto death and beyond—yet the world will call it unclean. We may harm no living creature by our love; we may grow more perfect in understanding and in charity because of our loving; but all this will not save you from the scourge of a world that will turn away its eyes from your noblest actions, finding only corruption and vileness in you. You will see men and women defiling each other, laying the burden of their sins upon their children. You will see unfaithfulness, lies and deceit among those whom the world views with approbation. You will find that many have grown hard of heart, have grown greedy, selfish, cruel and lustful; and then you will turn to me and will say: "You and I are more worthy of respect than these people. Why does the world persecute us, Stephen?" And I shall answer: "Because in this world there is only toleration for the so-called normal." And when you come to me for protection, I shall say: "I cannot protect you, Mary, the world has deprived me of my right to protect; I am utterly helpless, I can only love you.
Radclyffe Hall (The Well of Loneliness)
Museums of primitive art are filled with masks, figurines, bas-relief sculptures, all looted from all over the world and robbed of their meanings. For those who created them, life resided not in the object itself, but rather in the spirit that inspired it. A corpse, even one artistically entombed, is still a dead body. They are no longer works of art, but simply objects. They are beautiful, whereas they should be alive, From time immemorial, humans have sculpted to magnify their gods. There is a reason why some religions are against any depiction of their gods while others are committed to the practice. There is some form of highly human insolence in recreating the god that created you, and there is a risk of adoring the tangible representation in itself instead of the discarnate deity. That is what sculpture is: both a tribute and a challenge to the gods. Some spiritualities tolerate this ambivalence, others don't. Others yet use representations to further tighten control over their flock and guarantee their submissiveness. They select the artists and dictate the dogma they should represent. Sculpture is both the easiest and the most delicate of art forms. It is more than just hewing a form out of a compact block, or reproducing a model: you have to breathe life into It. That is not something you can learn or improvise. There is always some part of yourself that you infuse into the material. In our modern world, where art is a business like any other, techniques are taught, but the magic, on the other hand, is still a gift, midway between bliss and suffering.
Hemley Boum (Days Come and Go)
Kusha doesn’t have High-Grades or voice or killing gazes. But she has a gift. Her prophetic-alarms. Most people name it the sixth-sense. Those occasional sensations that come without warning. And then, she finds herself knowing things she isn’t supposed to know. Like now— It happens again. A prophetic-alarm comes to her. And it comes with a scream in her head, as if hundreds of frozen needles have pierced her eyes and reached her brain, injecting information she’s never known before. Kusha calls it alarms. Not sixth-sense. Not even intuition. Intuition sounds High-Grade, something those evolved people may have. The book God-Particle-Or-Thought-Particle says: Intuition is the passing thoughts downloaded from the universe. Kusha isn’t confident enough to believe it can happen to her. No way could she download anything as an unevolved, untouchable, Low-Grade human.
Misba (The High Auction (Wisdom Revolution, #1))
He ever emphasized the supreme importance of the word of God, though he himself was looked up to in later days as if among the inspired, and in this we have another serious lesson for our own times. For there is the constant danger of either setting aside God-given teachers, or else actually allowing their ministry to supersede the Bible. Such men would indeed be the last to wish that such a place be given them. The object of all divinely-gifted servants of God would be to assert the authority of Scripture; their one desire in oral or written ministry would be the elucidation of the Word, and recalling the people of God to the Book, in place of giving them a substitute for it. But again and again has the ministry of great gifts, justly valued, been put in place of the Word of the living God, and thus made into a creed, which to maintain is to be orthodox, and to vary from is to be accounted heterodox.
H.A. Ironside (The 400 Silent Years: from Malachi to Matthew (Illustrated))
You can not know the knowledge of things yet unknown without the interference of the spirits. Knowing a thing before it happens is a gift from the gods, but trying to know how you knew the knowledge unknown is suicidal. Do not try to know the knowledge of what was previously unknown to you.
Uzihben
I address only such as are worthy of the work, and competent to accomplish it.” “Those are few in number, and difficult to discover.” “You say truly; but when found, it is right to stir them up—to urge and exhort them to the effort—to show them what their gifts are, and why they were given—to speak Heaven’s message in their ear,—to offer them, direct from God, a place in the ranks of His chosen.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre: The Original 1847 Unabridged and Complete Edition (Charlotte Brontë Classics))
Hope is the eyes of faith in that we not only sees the promise of GOD but the source of GOD light. “ “The glory of God is the gift of God's Love” Faith is trusting in the Power of GOD “. “Stand up for what is right even if you’re standing alone”. “ Educate your mind, so you learn the plan that God has for you “. “ We rise up against bigotry and hatred “. “Freedom is worth fighting for it worth dying for “. “My strength comes from God “. “Faith is taking the first step when there no step “. “Remember our black history roots we must never forget where we came from “.
Irene McCullum-Hines (Lost in a Memory)
This idea of all education springing from and resting upon our relation to Almighty God is one which we have ever laboured to enforce. We take a very distinct stand upon this point. We do not merely give a religious education, because that would seem to imply the possibility of some other education, a secular education, for example. But we hold that all education is divine, that every good gift of knowledge and insight comes from above, that the Lord the Holy Spirit is the supreme educator of mankind, and that the culmination of all education (which may, at the same time, be reached by a little child) is that personal knowledge of and intimacy with God in which our being finds its fullest perfection. (School Education, p. 95)
Karen Glass (In Vital Harmony: Charlotte Mason and the Natural Laws of Education)
Need-love cries to God from our poverty; Gift-love longs to serve, or even to suffer for, God; Appreciative love says: ‘We give thanks to thee for thy great glory.’ Need-love says of a woman ‘I cannot live without her’; Gift-love longs to give her happiness, comfort, protection—if possible, wealth; Appreciative love gazes and holds its breath and is silent, rejoices that such a wonder should exist even if not for him, will not be wholly dejected by losing her, would rather have it so than never to have seen
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
Our ability to dream, to envision the future in which justice reigns, is one of the great gifts of God to us. And as we are made in the image of God, we are capable of this kind of dreaming. Fantasy is an escape from reality and therefore erodes true hope; but Godly imagination to dream is a courageous journey into the heart of darkness, into the imprisoned realms of our world, that can liberate us from our “bondage to decay and . . . into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21).
Makoto Fujimura (Art and Faith: A Theology of Making)
would keep Wilson going, always reaching out for unattainable goals, for only by so reaching would he attain what — hidden from him — were God’s goals. This acceptance that his dissatisfaction, that his very “thirst,” could be divine was one of Dowling’s great gifts to Bill Wilson and through him to Alcoholics Anonymous. Another was to prove less happy from the Jesuit’s own point of view. Bill spoke of his own difficulties in prayer and his continuing problem in conveying the meaning of his “spiritual experience” to other alcoholics. There was a move afoot within the fellowship just then, he told Dowling, to change that phrase in the Twelfth Step to “spiritual awakening” — it seemed to Bill an attempt to mask rather than to clarify the role of the divine in the alcoholic’s salvation. Tartly, Father Ed offered a succinct response: “If you can name it, it’s not God.” Years later, Wilson would paraphrase the expression back to Dowling as a partial explanation of his difficulties in accepting the Catholic faith.43 +
Ernest Kurtz (Not God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous)
So be careful in coveting gifts you haven’t been graced to receive. Instead, look up, around, and within and grow in thankfulness for all the good gifts you have received from the Father of Lights. Do you have a body with gifts and a right mind? Tell God, “Thank You.” Do you have a Christian community, a family, and a blue sky to live under? Then tell God, “Thank You.” Do you have a heart made flesh? A soul made right? And union with Christ? Then tell God, “Thank You.
Jackie Hill Perry (Upon Waking: 60 Daily Reflections to Discover Ourselves and the God We Were Made For)
The apostolic Church were quite clear that God’s gift of his Spirit was intended not to make them comfortable but to make them witnesses.
Michael Green (Evangelism in the Early Church: Lessons from the First Christians for the Church Today (The Eerdmans Michael Green Collection (EMGC)))