Sins Deep Quotes

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Do you think because you can’t see my scars that they don’t exist?... Most People have their pain deep inside them, in places no one ever goes. Not until it’s too late.
Karina Halle (Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1))
Before I knowed it, I was sayin' out loud, 'The hell with it! There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing.' . . . . I says, 'What's this call, this sperit?' An' I says, 'It's love. I love people so much I'm fit to bust, sometimes.' . . . . I figgered, 'Why do we got to hang it on God or Jesus? Maybe,' I figgered, 'maybe it's all men an' all women we love; maybe that's the Holy Sperit-the human sperit-the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever'body's a part of.' Now I sat there thinkin' it, an' all of a suddent-I knew it. I knew it so deep down that it was true, and I still know it.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
This place hums to the tune of debauchery. This city is filthy and deep in the thrall of unending sin, so saturated with the kiss of decadence that the sky threatens to buckle and crush all those living vivaciously beneath it in punishment.
Chloe Gong (These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1))
I’m sorry, the message said. The theft was a violation of privacy. It was an unbelievable act of impudence and disrespect. Not only that, it was—baffling. He was murderous, incandescent with fury. He was older than sin and could not remember when he had last been in such a rage. He looked at the paper again. I’m sorry I had to take your penny. Here’s another to replace it. Yep, that’s what it said. One corner of his mouth twitched. He gave himself a deep shock when he burst into an explosive guffaw.
Thea Harrison (Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1))
Sin is the result of deep and unmet needs.
Spencer W. Kimball
Is there a point to your latest irritation, Kish? (Sin) Had a sudden death wish. Felt the deep need to come up here and have you freeze me. (Kish)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
The Christian Gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.
Timothy J. Keller (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism)
Confession is good for the soul, they say. I'd imagine this is true. But my sins were too convoluted. And from the little I understand--too damning.
Kate Karyus Quinn (Another Little Piece)
There was already a deep black wordless conviction in him that the way to avoid Jesus was to avoid sin.
Flannery O'Connor (Wise Blood)
I told you once before,” I said, the words husky from remembrance. “Everyone holds their sins close to their skin.” Fangs gleamed for an instant before Vlad bit into his wrist, pooling up two deep crimson holes. “Then come,” he said, holding it out. “And taste mine.
Jeaniene Frost (Once Burned (Night Prince, #1))
For the ones who had a notion, a notion deep inside That it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive
Bruce Springsteen
Do you think because you can't see my scars that they don't exist? That's the trouble with pain, Ellie. If you're lucky, you can wear it for all the world to see. Most people have their pain deep inside, in places no one ever goes. Not until it's too late.
Karina Halle (Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1))
I know a few things to be true. I do not know where I am going, where I have come from is disappearing, I am unwelcome and my beauty is not beauty here. My body is burning with the shame of not belonging, my body is longing. I am the sin of memory and the absence of memory. I watch the news and my mouth becomes a sink full of blood. The lines, the forms, the people at the desks, the calling cards, the immigration officers, the looks on the street, the cold settling deep into my bones, the English classes at night, the distance I am from home. But Alhamdulilah all of this is better than the scent of a woman completely on fire, or a truckload of men, who look like my father pulling out my teeth and nails, or fourteen men between my legs, or a gun, or a promise, or a lie, or his name, or his manhood in my mouth.
Warsan Shire (Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth)
The entire hospital seemed to go still, watching and waiting, and what the hell was up with Sin and guys on horses anyway? "Well, who is he?" "War." Con stared at her. "War. Just...War. What kind of name is that?" Nope, not jealous at all of muscle-bound handsome guy. "Yeah, you know, the original War. Second Horseman of the Apocalypse?" Con nearly swallowed his fucking tongue. Everyone else in the ER scrambled backward. Even Eidolon backed up a step as the guy swung down from the horse. Christ, standing, the guy was damned near seven feet tall. "Sin," he said in an impossibly deep voice. He approached her, bent to kiss her cheek, and Con bristled. "Big horse," Con ground out. "Compensating much?
Larissa Ione (Sin Undone (Demonica, #5))
I've finally experienced what the poet felt. The deep sense of loss after you've met the woman you love, have made love, then said goodbye. Like you're suffocating. The same emotion hasn't changed at all in a thousand years.
Haruki Murakami (Hombres sin mujeres)
Con! Fuck!" Male voice. Deep. Con blinked, coming out of his haze to see Shade beneath him. Con's erection was pushed hard against Shade's thigh, and yeah....not cool. Panting and shaking like a leaf, Con scrambled off him. "Ah...I don't...that was, ah...not for you." "I fucking hope not," Shade muttered. ~Con/Shade
Larissa Ione (Sin Undone (Demonica, #5))
You can't always expect people to apply your wisdom when they didn't use wisdom before they found themselves knee deep in their version of justice.
Shannon L. Alder
giving off the appearance of strength while breaking down deep within and yet no one ever knows because being strong often means being silent
R.H. Sin (A Beautiful Composition of Broken)
An expensive coffin does not decrease the deceased’s chances of going to hell.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Dear God Please take away my pain and despair of yesterday and any unpleasant memories and replace them with Your glorious promise of new hope. Show me a fresh HS-inspired way of relating to negative things that have happened. I ask You for the mind of Christ so I can discern Your voice from the voice of my past. I pray that former rejection and deep hurts will not color what I see and hear now. Help me to see all the choices I have ahead of me that can alter the direction of my life. I ask You to empower me to let go of the painful events and heartaches that would keep me bound. Thank You for Your forgiveness that You have offered to me at such a great price. Pour it into my heart so I can relinquish bitterness hurts and disappointments that have no place in my life. Please set me free to forgive those who have sinned against me and caused me pain and also myself. Open my heart to receive Your complete forgiveness and amazing grace. You have promised to bind up my wounds Psa 147:3 and restore my soul Psa 23:3 . Help me to relinquish my past surrender to You my present and move to the future You have prepared for me. I ask You to come into my heart and make me who You would have me to be so that I might do Your will here on earth. I thank You Lord for all that’s happened in my past and for all I have become through those experiences. I pray You will begin to gloriously renew my present.
Sue Augustine (When Your Past Is Hurting Your Present: Getting Beyond Fears That Hold You Back)
The stars are brilliant at this time of night and I wander these streets like a ritual I don’t dare to break for darling, the times are quite glorious. I left him by the water’s edge, still waving long after the ship was gone and if someone would have screamed my name I wouldn’t have heard for I’ve said goodbye so many times in my short life that farewells are a muscular task and I’ve taught them well. There’s a place by the side of the railway near the lake where I grew up and I used to go there to burry things and start anew. I used to go there to say goodbye. I was young and did not know many people but I had hidden things inside that I never dared to show and in silence I tried to kill them, one way or the other, leaving sin on my body scrubbing tears off with salt and I built my rituals in farewells. Endings I still cling to. So I go to the ocean to say goodbye. He left that morning, the last words still echoing in my head and though he said he’d come back one day I know a broken promise from a right one for I have used them myself and there is no coming back. Minds like ours are can’t be tamed and the price for freedom is the price we pay. I turned away from the ocean as not to fall for its plea for it used to seduce and consume me and there was this one night a few years back and I was not yet accustomed to farewells and just like now I stood waving long after the ship was gone. But I was younger then and easily fooled and the ocean was deep and dark and blue and I took my shoes off to let the water freeze my bones. I waded until I could no longer walk and it was too cold to swim but still I kept on walking at the bottom of the sea for I could not tell the difference between the ocean and the lack of someone I loved and I had not yet learned how the task of moving on is as necessary as survival. Then days passed by and I spent them with my work and now I’m writing letters I will never dare to send. But there is this one day every year or so when the burden gets too heavy and I collect my belongings I no longer need and make my way to the ocean to burn and drown and start anew and it is quite wonderful, setting fire to my chains and flames on written words and I stand there, starring deep into the heat until they’re all gone. Nothing left to hold me back. You kissed me that morning as if you’d never done it before and never would again and now I write another letter that I will never dare to send, collecting memories of loss like chains wrapped around my veins, and if you see a fire from the shore tonight it’s my chains going up in flames. The time of moon i quite glorious. We could have been so glorious.
Charlotte Eriksson (You're Doing Just Fine)
These dwell among the blackest souls, loaded down deep by sins of differing types. If you sink far enough, you'll see them all.
Dante Alighieri (Inferno)
As Con and Sin approached the Harrowgate, it flashed and a tank of a blood-bay stallion leaped out, scattering staff and patients. Atop the horse sat a massive male in hard leather armor. His hair was short, reddish brown, and his eyes were black as Sin's. "What the hell are you doing?" Eidolon shouted, but the big male swiveled his head and focused his gaze on Sin with such intensity that Con stiffened. "Why is he looking at you like that?" "I...ah..." She slid him a timid glance. "I sort of slept with him once." Con took a deep breath and tried to rein in his desire to rip out the horse guy's throat. "Where'd you find him? EviLove.com?
Larissa Ione (Sin Undone (Demonica, #5))
There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets `things' with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns `my' and `mine' look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God's gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution.
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine)
Every week I counsel young people from solid Christian homes who are undone by their sin. As parents, we are sometimes more invested in protecting our children from the sinful influences of this world than we are in preparing them for the deep sinfulness of their own hearts.
Barbara R. Duguid (Extravagant Grace: God's Glory Displayed in Our Weakness)
If there is an angel who records the sorrows of men as well as their sins, he knows how many and deep are the sorrows that spring from false ideas for which no man is culpable.
George Eliot (Silas Marner)
In a fallen world marked by human depravity and deep-seated sin, in a world where Hitler and Stalin had recruited millions of followers to commit mass murder, love must harness power and seek justice in order to have moral meaning. Love without power remained impotent, and power without love was bankrupt.
Timothy B. Tyson (Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story)
solitude is a deep romance with self
R.H. Sin (She Felt Like Feeling Nothing)
Mea Culpa. By That Sin Fell the Angels. Exuro, Exuro, Exuro.
April Genevieve Tucholke (Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1))
If I was pulling your hair, you'd be too busy screaming my name, and I'd be too deep inside you for you to run anyway." Darkest Sin
Mandy Harbin
I kiss her long and deep and hard until I feel like I’m running on the fringes of my emotions; they’re tearing away at me like hands in Hell reaching out for me as I leap over the flames, trying to pull me down with them into sin, and as hard as I try to get away, a part of me wants them to take me. I want to sin. I want to kiss her. And so I do. And I don’t stop.
J.A. Redmerski (The Black Wolf (In the Company of Killers, #5))
Whether you are man or woman, rich or poor, dependent or free, happy or unhappy; whether you bore in your elevation the splendour of the crown or in humble obscurity only the toil and heat of the day; whether your name will be remembered for as long as the world lasts, and so will have been remembered as long as it lasted, or you are without a name and run namelessly with the numberless multitude; whether the glory that surrounded you surpassed all human description, or the severest and most ignominious human judgment was passed on you -- eternity asks you and every one of these millions of millions, just one thing: whether you have lived in despair or not, whether so in despair that you did not know that you were in despair, or in such a way that you bore this sickness concealed deep inside you as your gnawing secret, under your heart like the fruit of a sinful love, or in such a way that, a terror to others, you raged in despair. If then, if you have lived in despair, then whatever else you won or lost, for you everything is lost, eternity does not acknowledge you, it never knew you, or, still more dreadful, it knows you as you are known, it manacles you to yourself in despair!
Søren Kierkegaard (The Sickness Unto Death: A Christian Psychological Exposition for Upbuilding and Awakening)
―What about you, Con? Shade asked, and Con took two deep, calming breaths before he answered. ―What about me? ―You aren‘t a danger to her, right? ―No, Con said levelly. ―I‘m not. But even he didn‘t believe his own words. Wraith flipped a blade in the air, a very Sin-like move. ―Okay, what the fuck is all the subtext here? He blinked when everyone stared at him. ―What? Like I don‘t know what subtext is? I watch movies. ―That‘s because you can‘t read, Tayla said brightly, and the demon shot her the finger.
Larissa Ione (Sin Undone (Demonica, #5))
That's the trouble with pain, Ellie. If you're lucky, you can wear it for all the world to see. Most people have their pain deep inside, in places no one ever goes. Not until it's too late.
Karina Halle (Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1))
For the ones who had a notion, A notion deep inside, That it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive I wanna find one face that ain't looking through me I wanna find one place, I wanna spit in the face of these badlands
Bruce Springsteen (Songs)
If it’s a slip or even a fall in your deen (religion), don’t let shaytan (satan) deceive you. Let the slip make you witness His mercy in a more experiential and deep way. And then seek that mercy to save you from your sins and your own transgression against yourself.
Yasmin Mogahed (Reclaim Your Heart)
It is easy to ignore someone’s sins when love blinds you.
Tillie Cole (Deep Redemption (Hades Hangmen, #4))
The closer we are to God, the more the slightest sin will cause us deep sorrow.
R.C. Sproul
Were you disappointed?” She takes a deep breath, looking down at her hands. “My heart was. My head wasn’t. Most days I’m at war with myself. My head wins, usually. And for that I’m glad.
Melinda Salisbury (The Sleeping Prince (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #2))
When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman, and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing--a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of the path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place. In the heat of every Saturday afternoon, she sat in the clearing while the people waited among the trees. After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, 'Let the children come!' and they ran from the trees toward her. Let your mothers hear you laugh,' she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling. Then 'Let the grown men come,' she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees. Let your wives and your children see you dance,' she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet. Finally she called the women to her. 'Cry,' she told them. 'For the living and the dead. Just cry.' And without covering their eyes the women let loose. It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart. She did not tell them to clean up their lives or go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure. She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. Here,' she said, 'in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard...
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
A man worth being with is one… That never lies to you Is kind to people that have hurt him A person that respects another’s life That has manners and shows people respect That goes out of his way to help people That feels every person, no matter how difficult, deserves compassion Who believes you are the most beautiful person he has ever met Who brags about your accomplishments with pride Who talks to you about anything and everything because no bad news will make him love you less That is a peacemaker That will see you through illness Who keeps his promises Who doesn’t blame others, but finds the good in them That raises you up and motivates you to reach for the stars That doesn’t need fame, money or anything materialistic to be happy That is gentle and patient with children Who won’t let you lie to yourself; he tells you what you need to hear, in order to help you grow Who lives what he says he believes in Who doesn’t hold a grudge or hold onto the past Who doesn’t ask his family members to deliberately hurt people that have hurt him Who will run with your dreams That makes you laugh at the world and yourself Who forgives and is quick to apologize Who doesn’t betray you by having inappropriate conversations with other women Who doesn’t react when he is angry, decides when he is sad or keep promises he doesn’t plan to keep Who takes his children’s spiritual life very seriously and teaches by example Who never seeks revenge or would ever put another person down Who communicates to solve problems Who doesn’t play games or passive aggressively ignores people to hurt them Who is real and doesn’t pretend to be something he is not Who has the power to free you from yourself through his positive outlook Who has a deep respect for women and treats them like a daughter of God Who doesn’t have an ego or believes he is better than anyone Who is labeled constantly by people as the nicest person they have ever met Who works hard to provide for the family Who doesn’t feel the need to drink alcohol to have a good time, smoke or do drugs Who doesn't have to hang out a bar with his friends, but would rather spend his time with his family Who is morally free from sin Who sees your potential to be great Who doesn't think a woman's place has to be in the home; he supports your life mission, where ever that takes you Who is a gentleman Who is honest and lives with integrity Who never discusses your private business with anyone Who will protect his family Who forgives, forgets, repairs and restores When you find a man that possesses these traits then all the little things you don’t have in common don’t matter. This is the type of man worth being grateful for.
Shannon L. Alder
The brambles and the thorns grew thick and thicker in a ticking thicket of bickering crickets. Farther along and stronger, bonged the gongs of a throng of frogs, green and vivid on their lily pads. From the sky came the crying of flies, and the pilgrims leaped over a bleating sheep creeping knee-deep in a sleepy stream, in which swift and slippery snakes slid and slithered silkily, whispering sinful secrets.
James Thurber (The 13 Clocks)
In confession occurs the breakthrough of the Cross. The root of all sin is pride, superbia. I want to be my own law, I have a right to my self, my hatred and my desires, my life and my death. The mind and flesh of man are set on fire by pride; for it is precisely in his wickedness that man wants to be as God. Confession in the presence of a brother is the profoundest kind of humiliation. It hurts, it cuts a man down, it is a dreadful blow to pride...In the deep mental and physical pain of humiliation before a brother - which means, before God - we experience the Cross of Jesus as our rescue and salvation. The old man dies, but it is God who has conquered him. Now we share in the resurrection of Christ and eternal life.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
The center of my sins stuck behind a blocked door, circled by hollow deeds spread on my lifetime’s floor
Munia Khan
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out. So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter--and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote: Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. HUCK FINN. I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
When the tragedies of others become for us diversions, sad stories with which to enthrall our friends, interesting bits of data to toss out at cocktail parties, a means of presenting a pose of political concern, or whatever…when this happens we commit the gravest of sins, condemn ourselves to ignominy, and consign the world to a dangerous course. We begin to justify our casual overview of pain and suffering by portraying ourselves as do-gooders incapacitated by the inexorable forces of poverty, famine, and war. “What can I do?” we say, “I’m only one person, and these things are beyond my control. I care about the world’s trouble, but there are no solutions.” Yet no matter how accurate this assessment, most of us are relying on it to be true, using it to mask our indulgence, our deep-seated lack of concern, our pathological self-involvement.
Lucius Shepard (The Best of Lucius Shepard)
I believe that what separates humanity from everything else in this world – spaghetti, binder paper, deep-sea creatures, edelweiss, and Mount McKinley – is that humanity alone has the capacity at any given moment to commit all possible sins.” --Hey Nostradamus!
Douglas Coupland
He sobered as he gazed at her, then took a deep breath and pulled away. “I’m not normally affected like this. It’s you. You’re putting off some hellacious fuck-me vibes.” “Not enough, apparently,” she muttered.
Larissa Ione (Sin Undone (Demonica, #5))
But that’s the thing about East Texas. Red dirt never quite washes out, and pine pollen is tenacious as original sin. You can leave East Texas, for Houston, for the Metroplex, for the Commonwealth, for New York, or Bonn or Tokyo or Kowloon; but you can never quite leave it behind.
Markham Shaw Pyle
We look around us and we find ourselves confused as to why the world has fallen into such deep darkness. And standing in this descending darkness, what we need to realize is that the farther we move from God, the darker everything gets. And no light of man can illuminate that kind of darkness.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
But now I gotta pay,' he said. To pay?' For my sin. That's why I'm here, right? Justice?' The Blue Man smiled. 'No, Edward. You are here so I can teach you something. All the people you meet here have one thing to teach you...That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more seperate a breeze from the wind.' ...'It was my stupidity, running out there like that. Why should you have to die on account of me? It ain't fair.' The Blue Man held out his hand. 'Fairness,' he said, 'does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young...Why people gather when others die? Why people feel they should? It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed. You say you should have died instead of me. But during my time on earth, people died instead of me, too. It happens every day. When lightning strikes a minute after you are gone, or an airplane crashes that you might have been on. When your colleague falls ill and you do not. We think such things are random. But there is a balance to it all. One withers, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole.' ... 'I still don't understand,' Eddie whispered. 'What good came from your death?' You lived,' the Blue Man answered. But we barely knew each other. I might as well have been a stranger.' The Blue Man put his arms on Eddie's shoulders. Eddie felt that warm, melting sensation. Strangers,' the Blue Man said, 'are just family have yet to come to know.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
How easily such a thing can become a mania, how the most normal and sensible of women once this passion to be thin is upon them, can lose completely their sense of balance and proportion and spend years dealing with this madness.
Kathryn Hurn (HELL HEAVEN & IN-BETWEEN: One Woman's Journey to Finding Love)
The Nation has not yet found peace from its sins; the freedman has not yet found in freedom his promised land. Whatever of good may have come in these years of change, the shadow of a deep disappointment rests upon the Negro people,—a disappointment all the more bitter because the unattained ideal was unbounded save by the simple ignorance of a lowly people.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk)
How rare it is, even among Christians, for a person to say “I was wrong. I sinned, and I’m fully responsible. My sinful desires motivated me, and what I did dishonored God and hurt you. Please forgive me.
Joshua Harris (Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters)
She wrapped her legs around his hips. Wrapped her arms around his shoulders. And she kissed him. This time, the pleasure was his. A deep, wrenching pleasure that washed over him as he climaxed inside of her. The release blinded him and fucking seemed to gut him as it went on and on, hollowing out his body. When the climax ended, he didn’t release her. Because he wasn’t letting her go, not ever again.
Cynthia Eden (Bound in Sin (Bound, #3))
It breathes in. It slinks closer. Its first breath transforms into a cold breeze, hurtling into the streets and brushing the ankles of those unfortunate enough to be stumbling home during the devil’s hour. This place hums to the tune of debauchery. This city is filthy and deep in the thrall of unending sin, so saturated with the kiss of decadence that the sky threatens to buckle and crush all those living vivaciously beneath it in punishment.
Chloe Gong (These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1))
One summer day I lay upon the grass. I’d sinned, no matter how, and in sin’s wake there came a kind of drowsy peace so deep I hadn’t even will enough to loathe myself. I had no mind to pray. I scarcely had a mind at all, just eyes to see the greenwood overhead, just flesh to feel the sun. A light breeze blew from Wear that tossed the trees, and as I lay there watching them, they formed a face of shadows and of leaves. It was a man’s green, leafy face. He gazed at me from high above. And as the branches nodded in the air, he opened up his mouth to speak. No sound came from his lips, but by their shape I knew it was my name. His was the holiest face I ever saw. My very name turned holy on his tongue. If he had bade me rise and follow him to the end of time, I would have gone. If he had bade me die for him, I would have died. When I deserved it least, God gave me most. I think it was the Savior’s face itself I saw.
Frederick Buechner (Godric)
Though the face before me was that of a young woman of certainly not more than thirty years, in perfect health and the first flush of ripened beauty, yet it bore stamped upon it a seal of unutterable experience, and of deep acquaintance with grief and passion. Not even the slow smile that crept about the dimples of her mouth could hide the shadow of sin and sorrow. It shone even in the light of those glorious eyes, it was present in the air of majesty, and it seemed to say: 'Behold me, lovely as no woman was or is, undying and half-divine; memory haunts me from age to age, and passion leads me by the hand--evil have I done, and with sorrow have I made acquaintance from age to age, and from age to age evil shall I do, and sorrow shall I know till my redemption comes.
H. Rider Haggard (She: A History of Adventure (She, #1))
I took a deep breath and sighed in awe. My proverbial penis had just gotten a serious chubby.
J.L. McCoy (Sins of the Father (Skye Morrison, #2))
God loved me enough to make me aware, at a deep experiential level, of my own pride and sinfulness, and my desperate need for his mercy and continuing work in my life as a believer.
J.P. Moreland (In Search of a Confident Faith: Overcoming Barriers to Trusting in God)
I am beginning to see that much of praying is grieving. This grief is so deep not just because the human sin is so great, but also—and more so—because the divine love is so boundless. To become like the Father whose only authority is compassion, I have to shed countless tears and so prepare my heart to receive anyone, whatever their journey has been, and forgive them from that heart.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming)
Covering another person’s sin and not participating in gossip is challenging, courageous, and exhibits a depth of love to which we all aspire. In this we show our deep love and preference for one another.
Tim Cameron (The Forty-Day Word Fast: A Spiritual Journey to Eliminate Toxic Words From Your Life)
Sin does not only still abide in us, but is still acting, still laboring to bring forth the deeds of the flesh. When sin lets us alone we may let sin alone; but as sin is never less quiet than when it seems to be the most quiet, and its waters are for the most part deep when they are still, so ought our contrivances against it be vigorous at all times and in all conditions, even where there is least suspicion.
John Owen
God sees fit that we should taste of that cup of which his Son drank so deep, that we might feel a little what sin is, and what his Son's love was. But our comfort is that Christ drank the dregs of the cup for us, and will succor us, so that our spirits may not utterly fail under that little taste of his displeasure which we may feel. He became not only a man but a curse, a man of sorrows, for us. He was broken that we should not be broken; he was troubled, that we should not be desperately troubled; he became a curse, that we should not be accursed. Whatever may be wished for in an all sufficient comforter is all to be found in Christ.
Richard Sibbes (The Bruised Reed)
Come here, Zara.” His voice low and sinful. She knew that look in his deep-set eyes as he unravelled his hair and spread out his sweatpants covered legs in front of him. There was nothing wholesome or good about her bad biker-man. And not when he was heeling his hand over his hardness. “Come here to your man so I can wrap your pretty pussy around my cock.” And he pulled out his angry-looking cock to rest on his abs, a hard bat of need just for her.
V. Theia (Mistletoe and Outlaws (Renegade Souls MC #5.5))
Come in, O strong and deep love of Jesus, like the sea at the flood in spring tides, cover all my powers, drown all my sins, wash out all my cares, lift up my earth bound soul, and float it right up to my Lord's feet, and there let me lie, a poor broken shell, washed up by his love, having no virtue or value; and only venturing to whisper to him that if he will put his ear to me, he will hear within my heart faint echoes of the vast waves of his own love which have brought me where it is my delight to lie, even at his feet for ever.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening)
Once one understands that the evolving community of life on Earth is God’s beloved creation and its ruination an unspeakable sin, then deep affection shown in action on behalf of ecojustice becomes an indivisible part of one’s life.
Elizabeth A. Johnson (Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love)
Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism. Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He's been there. He's been lower than all that. He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief. You know that people who live above a certain latitude and experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day. Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.
Chieko N. Okazaki
No sinner is irreparable or irredeemable. No sin is so great that the blood of Jesus cannot cover it. His love is so deep and wide that he can, in one moment of our faith, forgive our past, present, and future sins. Sin is simply not a problem for God.
Judah Smith (Jesus Is ______: Find a New Way to Be Human)
In the mature Christian more aware of his sin (in private) there will be found an authenticity to his humility (in public) that cannot be faked by those who are less aware of indwelling evil. A deep sense of indwelling sin is essential to humble living.
Tony Reinke (Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ (Theologians on the Christian Life))
Why wait for your awakening? The moment your eyes are open, seize the day. Would you hold back when the Beloved beckons? Would you deliver your litany of sins like a child's collection of sea shells, prized and labeled? "No, I can't step across the threshold," you say, eyes downcast. "I'm not worthy, I'm afraid, and my motives aren't pure." "I'm not perfect, and surely I haven't practiced nearly enough." "My meditation isn't deep, and my prayers are sometimes insincere." "I still chew my fingernails, and the refrigerator isn't clean." Do you value your reasons for staying small more than the light shining though the open door? Forgive yourself. Now is the only time you have to be whole. Now is the sole moment that exists to live in the light of your true Self. Perfection is not a prerequisite for anything but pain. Please, oh please, don't continue to believe in your disbelief. This is the day of your awakening.
Danna Faulds (Go In and In: Poems From the Heart of Yoga)
You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics; in physical laws every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff. But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep s---. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity
Bono
Don't judge others because they sin differently than you.
Cambria Herbert
The belief that a man who works hard can erase all his sins runs deep in the folds of my family, and, I suspect, into the Midwestern landscape in which we were all raised.
John T. Price
... I to you will open The book of a black sin, deep printed in me. ... My disease lies in my soul.
Thomas Dekker (The Noble Spanish Soldier)
The other day I made an epigram. I said, Anni’s beauty is only sin-deep. I hope that’s original? Is it? Please laugh.
Christopher Isherwood (The Berlin Stories)
Perfectionism is impossible in the presence of a deep sense or a profound conception of sin.
Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (Studies in Perfectionism)
Deep sorrow does not come because one has violated a law, but only if one knows he has broken off the relationship with Divine Love. But there is yet another element required for regeneration, the element of repentance and reparation. Repentance is a rather dry-eyed affair; tears flow in sorrow, but sweat pours out in repentance. It is not enough to tell God we are sorry and then forget all about it. If we broke a neighbor's window, we would not only apologize but also would go to the trouble of putting in a new pane. Since all sin disturbs the equilibrium and balance of justice and love, there must be a restoration involving toil and effort. To see why this must be, suppose that every time a person did wrong he was told to drive a nail into the wall of his living room and every time that he was forgiven he was told to pull it out. The holes would still remain after the forgiveness. Thus every sin after being forgiven leaves “holes” or “wounds” in our human nature, and the filling up of these holes is done by penance, a thief who steals a watch can be forgiven for the theft, but only if he returns the watch.
Fulton J. Sheen (Peace of Soul: Timeless Wisdom on Finding Serenity and Joy by the Century's Most Acclaimed Catholic Bishop)
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
He never read a book but often thought about God; it was unavoidable, a matter of simplicity and awe. The starry sky, the soughing of the forest, the solitude, the big snow, the majesty of the earth and what was above the earth filled him with a deep devoutness many times a day. He was sinful and godfearing; on Sundays he washed himself in honour of the holy day but worked as usual.
Knut Hamsun (Growth of the Soil)
The world, my friend Govinda, is not imperfect, or on a slow path towards perfection: no, it is perfect in every moment, all sin already carries the divine forgiveness in itself, all small children already have the old person in themselves, all infants already have death, all dying people the eternal life. It is not possible for any person to see how far another one has already progressed on his path; in the robber and dice-gambler, the Buddha is waiting; in the Brahman, the robber is waiting. In deep meditation, there is the possibility to put time out of existence, to see all life which was, is, and will be as if it was simultaneous, and there everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman. Therefore, I see whatever exists as good, death is to me like life, sin like holiness, wisdom like foolishness, everything has to be as it is, everything only requires my consent, only my willingness, my loving agreement, to be good for me, to do nothing but work for my benefit, to be unable to ever harm me. I have experienced on my body and on my soul that I needed sin very much, I needed lust, the desire for possessions, vanity, and needed the most shameful despair, in order to learn how to give up all resistance, in order to learn how to love the world, in order to stop comparing it to some world I wished, I imagined, some kind of perfection I had made up, but to leave it as it is and to love it and to enjoy being a part of it.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
In her mind the U.S. was nothing more and nothing less than a país overrun by gangsters, putas, and no-accounts. Its cities swarmed with machines and industry, as thick with sinvergüencería as Santo Domingo was with heat, a cuco shod in iron, exhaling fumes, with the glittering promise of coin deep in the cold lightless shaft of its eyes.
Junot Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)
You are no one and you are everyone. You are glorious and you are nothing. You are mountains and valleys. You are glory and sin. And even when in the heart of your glory you can’t comprehend how deep his passion for you runs, Take hold of who you are. Run before the wind of the destiny He has created for you, And seek Him in every moment.
James L. Rubart
Sin can certainly be a cause of depression, but you must be careful about connecting the dots between the two. If you are being honest, you will always find sin in your life. Everyone does. That doesn’t mean that sin caused your depression. No sin is necessarily connected with sorrow of heart, for Jesus Christ our Lord once said, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.” There was no sin in Him, and consequently none in His deep depression.3 The
Edward T. Welch (Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness)
here’s why I take comedies seriously: they present and celebrate the world in which we survive our own and others’ mistakes, follies, transgressions, and deep sins. However lightly, dimly, or bleakly, comedies revel in our survival—in the delaying of death and the staying of the curse. Comedies tell the story of ruined folk somehow avoiding ruin.
Melissa Schubert
The depth is simply the height inverted, as sin is the index of moral grandeur. The cry is not only truly human, but divine as well. God is deeper than the deepest depth in man. He is holier than our deepest sin is deep. There is no depth so deep to us as when God reveals his holiness in dealing with our sin.... [And so] think more of the depth of God than the depth of your cry. The worst thing that can happen to a man is to have no God to cry to out of the depth.
Eugene H. Peterson (A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society)
The Valyrians were more than dragonlords. They practiced blood magic and other dark arts as well, delving deep into the earth for secrets best left buried and twisting the flesh of beasts and men to fashion monstrous and unnatural chimeras. For there sins the gods in their wroth struck them down. Valyria is accursed, all men agree, and even the boldest sailor steers well clear of its smoking bones... but we would be mistaken to believe that nothing lives there now.
George R.R. Martin (Fire & Blood (A Targaryen History, #1))
This city is filthy and deep in the thrall of unending sin, so saturated with the kiss of decadence that the sky threatens to buckle and and crush all those living vivaciously beneath it in punishment. But no punishment comes - not yet,
Chloe Gong (These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1))
Young people have a marvelous faculty of either dying or adapting themselves to circumstances. Even if they are unhappy - very unhappy - it is astonishing how easily they can be prevented from finding it out, or at any rate from attributing it to any other cause than their own sinfulness. To parents who wish to lead a quiet life I would say: Tell your children that they are naughty - much naughtier than most children. Point to the young people of some acquaintances as models of perfection and impress your own children with a deep sense of their own inferiority. You carry so many more guns than they do that they cannot fight you. This is called moral influence, and it will enable you to bounce them as much as you please. They think you know and they will not have yet caught you lying often enough to suspect that you are not the unworldly and scrupulously truthful person which you represent yourself to be; nor yet will they know how great a coward you are, nor how soon you will run away if they fight you with persistency and judgment. You keep the dice and throw them both for your children and yourself. Load them then, for you can easily manage to stop your children from examining them. Tell them how singularly indulgent you are; insist on the incalculable benefit you conferred upon them, firstly in bringing them into the world at all, but more particularly in bringing them into it as your own children rather than anyone else's... You hold all the trump cards, or if you do not you can filch them; if you play them with anything like judgment you will find yourselves heads of happy, united, God-fearing families... True, your children will probably find out all about it some day, but not until too late to be of much service to them or inconvenience to yourself.
Samuel Butler (The Way of All Flesh)
William Butler Yeats’s “Second Coming” seems perfectly to render our present predicament: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.” This is an excellent description of the current split between anaemic liberals and impassioned fundamentalists. “The best” are no longer able to fully engage, while “the worst” engage in racist, religious, sexist fanaticism. However, are the terrorist fundamentalists, be they Christian or Muslim, really fundamentalists in the authentic sense of the term? Do they really believe? What they lack is a feature that is easy to discern in all authentic fundamentalists, from Tibetan Buddhists to the Amish in the U.S.: the absence of resentment and envy, the deep indifference towards the non-believers’ way of life. If today’s so-called fundamentalists really believe they have their way to truth, why should they feel threatened by non-believers, why should they envy them? When a Buddhist encounters a Western hedonist, he hardly condemns him. He just benevolently notes that the hedonist’s search for happiness is self-defeating. In contrast to true fundamentalists, the terrorist pseudo-fundamentalists are deeply bothered, intrigued, fascinated by the sinful life of the non-believers. One can feel that, in fighting the sinful Other, they are fighting their own temptation. These so-called Christian or Muslim fundamentalists are a disgrace to true fundamentalists. It is here that Yeats’s diagnosis falls short of the present predicament: the passionate intensity of a mob bears witness to a lack of true conviction. Deep in themselves, terrorist fundamentalists also lack true conviction-their violent outbursts are proof of it. How fragile the belief of a Muslim must be, if he feels threatened by a stupid caricature in a low-circulation Danish newspaper. The fundamentalist Islamic terror is not grounded in the terrorists’ conviction of their superiority and in their desire to safeguard their cultural-religious identity from the onslaught of global consumerist civilization. The problem with fundamentalists is not that we consider them inferior to us, but rather that they themselves secretly consider themselves inferior. This is why our condescending, politically correct assurances that we feel no superiority towards them only make them more furious and feeds their resentment. The problem is not cultural difference (their effort to preserve their identity), but the opposite fact that the fundamentalists are already like us, that secretly they have already internalized our standards and measure themselves by them. (This clearly goes for the Dalai Lama, who justifies Tibetan Buddhism in Western terms of the pursuit of happiness and avoidance of pain.) Paradoxically, what the fundamentalists really lack is precisely a dose of that true “racist” conviction of one’s own superiority.
Slavoj Žižek (Violence: Six Sideways Reflections)
Ms. Lane.”Barrons’ voice is deep, touched with that strange Old World accent and mildly pissed off. Jericho Barrons is often mildly pissed off. I think he crawled from the swamp that way, chafed either by some condition in it, out of it, or maybe just the general mass incompetence he encountered in both places. He’s the most controlled, capable man I’ve ever known. After all we’ve been through together, he still calls me Ms. Lane, with one exception: When I’m in his bed. Or on the floor, or some other place where I’ve temporarily lost my mind and become convinced I can’t breathe without him inside me this very instant. Then the things he calls me are varied and nobody’s business but mine. I reply: “Barrons,” without inflection. I’ve learned a few things in our time together. Distance is frequently the only intimacy he’ll tolerate. Suits me. I’ve got my own demons. Besides I don’t believe good relationships come from living inside each other’s pockets. I believe divorce comes from that. I admire the animal grace with which he enters the room and moves toward me. He prefers dark colors, the better to slide in and out of the night, or a room, unnoticed except for whatever he’s left behind that you may or may not discover for some time, like, say a tattoo on the back of one’s skull. “What are you doing?” “Reading,” I say nonchalantly, rubbing the tattoo on the back of my skull. I angle the volume so he can’t see the cover. If he sees what I’m reading, he’ll know I’m looking for something. If he realizes how bad it’s gotten, and what I’m thinking about doing, he’ll try to stop me. He circles behind me, looks over my shoulder at the thick vellum of the ancient manuscript. “In the first tongue?” “Is that what it is?” I feign innocence. He knows precisely which cells in my body are innocent and which are thoroughly corrupted. He’s responsible for most of the corrupted ones. One corner of his mouth ticks up and I see the glint of beast behind his eyes, a feral crimson backlight, bloodstaining the whites. It turns me on. Barrons makes me feel violently, electrically sexual and alive. I’d march into hell beside him. But I will not let him march into hell beside me. And there’s no doubt that’s where I’m going. I thought I was strong, a heroine. I thought I was the victor. The enemy got inside my head and tried to seduce me with lies. It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing. Temptation isn’t a sin that you triumph over once, completely and then you’re free. Temptation slips into bed with you each night and helps you say your prayers. It wakes you in the morning with a friendly cup of coffee, and knows exactly how you take it. He skirts the Chesterfield sofa and stands over me. “Looking for something, Ms. Lane?” I’m eye level with his belt but that’s not where my gaze gets stuck and suddenly my mouth is so dry I can hardly swallow and I know I’m going to want to. I’m Pri-ya for this man. I hate it. I love it. I can’t escape it. I reach for his belt buckle. The manuscript slides from my lap, forgotten. Along with everything else but this moment, this man. “I just found it,” I tell him.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
Man, in the traditional sense of the term corresponding to insān in Arabic or homo in Greek and not solely the male, is seen in Islam not as a sinful being to whom the message of Heaven is sent to heal the wound of the original sin, but as a being who still carries his primordial nature (al-fitrah) within himself, although he has forgotten that nature now buried deep under layers of negligence.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr (The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity)
At the heart of racism stands Satan, not man. No one is more pleased by the racial tension in the world than God's ultimate enemy. I'm sure he marvels at how shallow we humans tend to be, by hating one another simply because of skin color! If you are a child of the Most High God and you are fighting in this war of division and hatred (even if only in thought), you are fighting for the enemy. If this is you, you need to repent of this sin and start seeing others the way God sees them, as made in His image. If not, Satan will keep stirring your mind with thoughts that will not only further stoke the burning hatred of racism deep within you, it will put even more distance between you and the One who saw your unformed body before the foundations of the world, and knit you together in your mother's womb.
Patrick Higgins
How baffling you are, oh Church, and yet how I love you! How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you! I would like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence. You have given me so much scandal and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is. I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false, and yet I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face, and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms. No, I cannot free myself from you, because I am you, though not completely. And besides, where would I go? Would I establish another? I would not be able to establish it without the same faults, for they are the same faults I carry in me. And if I did establish another, it would be my Church, not the Church of Christ. I am old enough to know that I am no better than anyone else. …) The Church has the power to make me holy but it is made up, from the first to the last, only of sinners. And what sinners! It has the omnipotent and invincible power to renew the Miracle of the Eucharist, but is made up of men who are stumbling in the dark, who fight every day against the temptation of losing their faith. It brings a message of pure transparency but it is incarnated in slime, such is the substance of the world. It speaks of the sweetness of its Master, of its non-violence, but there was a time in history when it sent out its armies to disembowel the infidels and torture the heretics. It proclaims the message of evangelical poverty, and yet it does nothing but look for money and alliances with the powerful. Those who dream of something different from this are wasting their time and have to rethink it all. And this proves that they do not understand humanity. Because this is humanity, made visible by the Church, with all its flaws and its invincible courage, with the Faith that Christ has given it and with the love that Christ showers on it. When I was young, I did not understand why Jesus chose Peter as his successor, the first Pope, even though he abandoned Him. Now I am no longer surprised and I understand that by founding his church on the tomb of a traitor(…)He was warning each of us to remain humble, by making us aware of our fragility. (…) And what are bricks worth anyway? What matters is the promise of Christ, what matters is the cement that unites the bricks, which is the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of building the church with such poorly moulded bricks as are we. And that is where the mystery lies. This mixture of good and bad, of greatness and misery, of holiness and sin that makes up the church…this in reality am I .(…) The deep bond between God and His Church, is an intimate part of each one of us. (…)To each of us God says, as he says to his Church, “And I will betroth you to me forever” (Hosea 2,21). But at the same time he reminds us of reality: 'Your lewdness is like rust. I have tried to remove it in vain. There is so much that not even a flame will take it away' (Ezechiel 24, 12). But then there is even something more beautiful. The Holy Spirit who is Love, sees us as holy, immaculate, beautiful under our guises of thieves and adulterers. (…) It’s as if evil cannot touch the deepest part of mankind. He re-establishes our virginity no matter how many times we have prostituted our bodies, spirits and hearts. In this, God is truly God, the only one who can ‘make everything new again’. It is not so important that He will renew heaven and earth. What is most important is that He will renew our hearts. This is Christ’s work. This is the divine Spirit of the Church.
Carlo Carretto
Pantheists are a little vague about what they believe. They say things like ‘My god is everything’ or ‘My god is nature’ or ‘My god is the universe’. Or ‘My god is the deep mystery of everything we don’t understand’. The great Albert Einstein used the word ‘God’ in pretty much this last sense. That’s very different from a god who listens to your prayers, reads your innermost thoughts and forgives (or punishes) your sins—all of which the Abrahamic God is supposed to do. Einstein was adamant that he didn’t believe in a personal god who does any of those things.
Richard Dawkins (Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide)
Séraphine." The whisper in her dreams and Bridget whimpered and tried to bat it away. She needn't wake yet. It wasn't time to rise. She had hours still. A soft chuckle and the brush of something soft on her cheek. "I would never have guessed you were such a deep sleeper, my practical housekeeper." She had a terrible foreboding, an awful suspicion, even in her dreams, and she fought valiantly through the sluggish waves. Bridget opened her eyes, blinking, in the candlelight, to find azure eyes only inches from her own. They crinkled at the corners. "There you are.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10))
I needed forgiveness, because there were lots of sins in my past. I needed peace, because I’d been at war my entire life. I needed love, because I hated everybody. I needed strength, because deep inside I knew how weak I was. I needed happiness, because I’d been miserable for so long.
John Grisham (The Associate)
But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep shit. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity.
Michka Assayas
Standing near the wall, surrounded by what looked like a group of total fratty jockish dudes, was a man. A very fine man. He looked a few years younger than me, with brown hair that fell all over his head in an artfully messy way that looked like he might have just rolled out of bed, but you knew was done on purpose. He had thick, pretty lips that were made for sin, stretching into a delicious smile that showed even teeth. Dimples. Fuck me up, we have dimples! Deep, deep dimples that I wanted to put my tongue into. I blushed a fire red, but I didn’t stop my depraved up and down assessment.
T.J. Klune (Tell Me It's Real (At First Sight, #1))
A deep sense of sin, a humble willingness to be saved in God's way, a teachable readiness to give up our own prejudices when a more excellent way is shown, these are the principal things. These things the two disciples possessed, and therefore our Lord "went with them" and guided them into all truth.
J.C. Ryle (The Gospel of Luke)
That was when I saw it: behind the beauty and fake innocence was something else, something cold and calculating. Even when she smiled, I could see sin so deeply ingrained in her that no cardigan could hide it. [...] To anyone else, she was pure and naive, but this girl was hiding something. I knew only because the same sin had dwelled in me my entire life. The difference was she held it deep within her, and I let mine out of cage on a regular basis.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Sin always splits the self to some degree, yes. You know that you have harmed yourself and others, but you probably are not going to come to terms with that because you’re carrying on a charade of righteousness, even if you don’t believe it. So confession is very deep in the process of discovering the soul.
Dallas Willard (Living in Christ's Presence: Final Words on Heaven and the Kingdom of God)
It is not your time, love. You will not die tonight. All this time she thought herself in love with the notion of Death. His gallantry, his beautiful soul. She believed he loved her because he had spared her from his grip. But it had not been Death, but Black. “Why?” she asked, and her body shook, knowing his sacrifice, knowing he knew her most guarded secret. “Because I loved you,” he murmured. “I couldn’t let you go, because I knew I could no longer see you, I couldn’t live, either.” Black had risked his life to save her from taking her own. He rose, helped her up and clutched her in his arms. “It is too soon for you to make your decision,” he said. “Come to me when you know what you want. My wishes will remain unchanged.” “What do you want?” He kissed her, pressed her body into his hot, hard one. “To be inside you. To lay you out and touch you with my hands, my mouth and tongue. I want to slip deep inside you and never leave. I want to wake up in the morning and open my eyes to find you lying there next to me. I want to look at my children and see you in their little faces.” “Jude,” she whispered, holding him, weakening. “But I want you to want that as much as I do, Isabella.” “We have too many secrets,” she began. “Our pasts…” “Secrets, like passion, are meant to be spent. I will bear all my sins, all my secrets, when you come to me. It’s all I can offer. You see, little love, I’m afraid, too, but the difference between us is that I believe it’s worth it to face that fear if it means that I’ll have you.
Charlotte Featherstone (Seduction & Scandal (The Brethren Guardians, #1))
Prison is one of the places where we should look for Him. I remember a Good Friday in a cell in the Romanian jail of Jilava. We were all very hungry. But that day when the bowl of gruel was brought to us, we refused to eat it. We fasted. Good Friday is the only fast day described by the Lord Himself: “But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast” (Matthew 9:15). Days of fasting, with deep repentance for our past sins and ardent prayers for the persecuted, are the greatest gifts anyone can give to members of the underground church and the missions that help them.
Richard Wurmbrand (The Midnight Bride)
She has been unkind to you, no doubt; because you see, she dislikes your cast of character, as Miss Scatcherd does mine; but how minutely you remember all she has done and said to you! What a singularly deep impression her injustice seems to have made on your heart! No ill-usage so brands its record on my feelings. Would you not be happier if you tried to forget her severity, together with the passionate emotions it excited? Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs. We are, and must be, one and all, burdened with faults in this world: but the time will soon come when, I trust, we shall put them off in putting off our corruptible bodies; when debasement and sin will fall from us with this cumbrous frame of flesh, and only the spark of the spirit will remain, - the impalpable principle of light and thought, pure as when it left the Creator to inspire the creature: whence it came it will return; perhaps again to be communicated to some being higher than man - perhaps to pass through gradations of glory, from the pale human soul to brighten to the seraph! ...
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
God has made provision for our sin in Christ. So when we struggle to believe and obey, we should run to Him, not from Him--the opposite of our pattern, in contradiction to our feelings? Why? Because He already knows! See the gospel just keeps changing everything. The cross should continually testify to us that God fully knew we would need to be justified. Therefore, unconfessed sin is actually the foolish decision to run away from our healing and growth rather than toward it. We hang on to things we believe will satisfy us, thinking we need those more than what God offers to provide. But how can we rejoice in and worship the majesty of a loving and forgiving God if in practice we don't believe He loves and forgives, if in practice we don't believe the gospel? How can our churches rejoice and worship corporately when our collective energy is expended carrying around the saddle of unconfessed sin and shame? When people walk in honesty about their fears, shortcomings, and needs--not in thoughtless disobedience but in grace-based freedom and forgiveness--they reveal a deep understanding of the gospel. To confess our sins to one another is to violently pursue our own joy and the glory of God...and to exponentially increase our rejoicing and worship, both individually and corporately.
Matt Chandler (Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church)
All of the Indians must have tragic features: tragic noses, eyes, and arms. Their hands and fingers must be tragic when they reach for tragic food. The hero must be a half-breed, half white and half Indian, preferably from a horse culture. He should often weep alone. That is mandatory. If the hero is an Indian woman, she is beautiful. She must be slender and in love with a white man. But if she loves an Indian man then he must be a half-breed, preferably from a horse culture. If the Indian woman loves a white man, then he has to be so white that we can see the blue veins running through his skin like rivers. When the Indian woman steps out of her dress, the white man gasps at the endless beauty of her brown skin. She should be compared to nature: brown hills, mountains, fertile valleys, dewy grass, wind, and clear water. If she is compared to murky water, however, then she must have a secret. Indians always have secrets, which are carefully and slowly revealed. Yet Indian secrets can be disclosed suddenly, like a storm. Indian men, of course, are storms. The should destroy the lives of any white women who choose to love them. All white women love Indian men. That is always the case. White women feign disgust at the savage in blue jeans and T-shirt, but secretly lust after him. White women dream about half-breed Indian men from horse cultures. Indian men are horses, smelling wild and gamey. When the Indian man unbuttons his pants, the white woman should think of topsoil. There must be one murder, one suicide, one attempted rape. Alcohol should be consumed. Cars must be driven at high speeds. Indians must see visions. White people can have the same visions if they are in love with Indians. If a white person loves an Indian then the white person is Indian by proximity. White people must carry an Indian deep inside themselves. Those interior Indians are half-breed and obviously from horse cultures. If the interior Indian is male then he must be a warrior, especially if he is inside a white man. If the interior Indian is female, then she must be a healer, especially if she is inside a white woman. Sometimes there are complications. An Indian man can be hidden inside a white woman. An Indian woman can be hidden inside a white man. In these rare instances, everybody is a half-breed struggling to learn more about his or her horse culture. There must be redemption, of course, and sins must be forgiven. For this, we need children. A white child and an Indian child, gender not important, should express deep affection in a childlike way. In the Great American Indian novel, when it is finally written, all of the white people will be Indians and all of the Indians will be ghosts.
Sherman Alexie
somehow deep down i realized that in order to live again i had to live without you
R.H. Sin (She Felt Like Feeling Nothing)
Somewhere deep inside many of us is an apology for our very existence. As Anne Wilson Schaef writes, “The original sin of being born female is not redeemable by works.”3 No
Christiane Northrup (Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom: Creating Physical And Emotional Health And Healing)
The middle of the 'Atlantis' the warm, luxurious cabins,ining-rooms, halls, shed light and joy, buzzed with the chatter of an elegant crowd, was fragrant with fresh flowers, and quivered with the sounds of a string orchestra. And again amidst that crowd, amidst the brilliance of lights, silks, diamonds, and bare feminine shoulders, a slim and supple pair of hired lovers painfully writhed and at moments convulsively clashed. A sinfully discreet, pretty girl with lowered lashes and hair innocently dressed, and a tallish young man with black hair looking as if it were glued on, pale with powder, and wearing the most elegant patent-leather shoes and a narrow, long-tailed dress coat, a beau resembling an enormous leech. And no one knew that this couple had long since grown weary of shamly tormenting themselves with their beatific love-tortures, to the sound of bawdy-sad music ; nor did any one know of that thing which lay deep, deep below at the very bottom of the dark hold, near the gloomy and sultry bowels of the ship that was so gravely overcoming the darkness, the ocean, the blizzard.
Ivan Bunin (The Gentleman from San Francisco and Other Stories)
We don’t like to hurt. And there is no worse pain for fallen people than facing an emptiness we cannot fill. To enter into pain seems rather foolish when we can run from it through denial. We simply cannot get it through our head that, with a nature twisted by sin, the route to joy always involves the very worst sort of internal suffering we can imagine. We rebel at that thought. We weren’t designed to hurt. The physical and personal capacities to feel that God built into us were intended to provide pleasures, like good health and close relationships. When they don’t, when our head throbs with tension and our heart is broken by rejection, we want relief. With deep passion, we long to experience what we were designed to enjoy.
Larry Crabb
Baila conmigo a la luz de la luna," he said, his deep voice raising the hair on my arms as those sinful lips formed Spanish words so smoothly I nearly melted into a puddle at his feet.
Adelaide Forrest (Until Tomorrow Comes (Beauty in Lies, #1))
Apathy? I see something taking place in the Church all over the world today that grieves God’s heart: a widespread apathy toward sin. God’s people are no longer outraged about the filth and evil bombarding their lives and homes. On the contrary, millions of believers sit by passively and let their minds become saturated with sensual movies, videos, television, the Internet, magazines and other media. It is unbelievable how these Christians willingly allow their lusts to be fed as their imaginations are filled with deep roots of evil. If you think I am focusing too much on the secret sins of Christians, then I say you are out of touch with what is happening in the world today. You must know nothing of how widespread the infection of sin is among God’s people. I cite to you, for example, the scores of Christians who flock to movie theaters each week and hear the name of Christ used as a curse word. I have never understood how anyone who fears almighty God and wishes to walk righteously before Him can sit by idly as the Lord’s name is being damned. That is simply beyond my comprehension. Yet multitudes of believers are doing just that. Little by little, they are drifting deeper into pits of secret, hidden sin. Slowly but surely, their sense of conviction is being drained out of them. They do not realize it, but their minds are being corrupted by what they are allowing their eyes to feast on.
David Wilkerson (Knowing God by Name: Names of God That Bring Hope and Healing)
For the Arabs, and the above all for the 1.2 million Arabs of Palestine, the partitioning of the land in which they had been a majority for seven centuries seemed a monstrous injustice thrust upon them by white Western imperialism in expiation of a crime they had not committed. With few exceptions, the Jewish people had dwelt in relative security among the Arabs over the centuries. The golden age of the Diaspora had come in the Spain of the caliphs, and the Ottoman Turks had welcomed the Jews when the doors of much of Europe were closed to them. The ghastly chain of crimes perpetrated on the Jewish people culminating in the crematoriums of Germany had been inflicted on them by the Christian nations of Europe, not those of the Islamic East, and it was on those nations, not theirs, the Arabs maintained, that the burden of those sins should fall. Beyond that, seven hundred years of continuous occupation seemed to the Arabs a far more valid claim to the land than the Jews' historic ties, however deep.
Larry Collins (Ô Jérusalem)
To begin with, there is an almost compulsive promiscuity associated with homosexual behavior. 75% of homosexual men have more than 100 sexual partners during their lifetime. More than half of these partners are strangers. Only 8% of homosexual men and 7% of homosexual women ever have relationships lasting more than three years. Nobody knows the reason for this strange, obsessive promiscuity. It may be that homosexuals are trying to satisfy a deep psychological need by sexual encounters, and it just is not fulfilling. Male homosexuals average over 20 partners a year. According to Dr. Schmidt, The number of homosexual men who experience anything like lifelong fidelity becomes, statistically speaking, almost meaningless. Promiscuity among homosexual men is not a mere stereotype, and it is not merely the majority experience—it is virtually the only experience. Lifelong faithfulness is almost non-existent in the homosexual experience. Associated with this compulsive promiscuity is widespread drug use by homosexuals to heighten their sexual experiences. Homosexuals in general are three times as likely to be problem drinkers as the general population. Studies show that 47% of male homosexuals have a history of alcohol abuse and 51% have a history of drug abuse. There is a direct correlation between the number of partners and the amount of drugs consumed. Moreover, according to Schmidt, “There is overwhelming evidence that certain mental disorders occur with much higher frequency among homosexuals.” For example, 40% of homosexual men have a history of major depression. That compares with only 3% for men in general. Similarly 37% of female homosexuals have a history of depression. This leads in turn to heightened suicide rates. Homosexuals are three times as likely to contemplate suicide as the general population. In fact homosexual men have an attempted suicide rate six times that of heterosexual men, and homosexual women attempt suicide twice as often as heterosexual women. Nor are depression and suicide the only problems. Studies show that homosexuals are much more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexual men. Whatever the causes of these disorders, the fact remains that anyone contemplating a homosexual lifestyle should have no illusions about what he is getting into. Another well-kept secret is how physically dangerous homosexual behavior is.
William Lane Craig
It’s all about your heart. Are you yielding yourself to Christ each moment because you love Him and desire to please Him? When that is truly the desire of your heart, you will begin to exhibit His life in your circumstances. As the apostle Paul reminds us, “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit” (Romans 8:5, NLT).
Sally Clarkson (Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love)
This is what sin does to us all. At a deep and often unnoticed level, sin replaces worship of God with worship of self. It replaces submission with self-rule. It replaces gratitude with demands for more. It replaces faith with self-reliance. It replaces vertical joy with horizontal envy. It replaces a rest in God’s sovereignty with a quest for personal control. We live for our glory. We set up our rules. We ask others to serve our agenda.
Paul David Tripp (Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do)
The first time you tried to save people, you were certain of victory?" "Yes. In my pride, I knew I could not fail." "Then, in your mind, you were risking nothing. Are you certain of victory tonight?" Roman stared into the darkness of the booth. "No, I am not." "Then why are you risking your life?" Tears filled his eyes. "I cannot bear for them to risk their own. I...love them." The priest took a deep breath. "Then you have your answer. You do this not out of pride, but out of love. And since love comes from the Father, He has not abandoned you." Roman scoffed."You do not understand the magnitude of my sins." "Perhaps you do not understand the magnitude of God's forgiveness.
Kerrelyn Sparks (How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake, #1))
Jake continues to sing, his voice growing deep and husky as he drawls out words like hotter, loving, and fucking. Raina chuckles against my throat. “When did country music start dropping F bombs?” “This is the dirty version.” “I bet you think this song’s gonna get you laid.” “I think…” I kiss her mouth, her jaw, and swirl my tongue around her earlobe. “I’m going to spend so much time inside you in the infinite future that your panties will get wet at the sound of my zipper.
Pam Godwin (Booted (Trails of Sin Book 3))
What the gospel does is confront our version of our story with God’s version of our story. It is a brutally honest, exuberantly liberating story, and it is good news. It begins with the sure and certain truth that we are loved. That in spite of whatever has gone horribly wrong deep in our hearts and has spread to every corner of the world, in spite of our sins, failures, rebellion, and hard hearts, in spite of what’s been done to us or what we’ve done, God has made peace with us.
Rob Bell (The Rob Bell Reader: Selections from Love Wins, Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Drops Like Stars, and Jesus Wants to Save Christians)
St. Thomas Aquinas deeply loved this beautiful chant thus understood. It is told of him that he could not keep back his tears when, during Compline of Lent, he chanted the antiphon: “In the midst of life we are in death: whom do we seek as our helper, but Thou, O Lord, who because of our sins art rightly incensed? Holy God, strong God, holy and merciful Savior, deliver us not up to a bitter death; abandon us not in the time of our old age, when our strength will abandon us.” This beautiful antiphon begs for the grace of final perseverance, the grace of graces, that of the predestined. How it should speak to the heart of the contemplative theologian, who has made a deep study of the tracts on Providence, predestination, and grace!
Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange (The Three Ages of the Interior Life: Prelude of Eternal Life)
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously - no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feelings for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner - no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses ... for in him also Christ 'vere latitat' - the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.
C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory)
Sin can be summed up as a "Declaration of Independence"—an attempt to do for ourselves what only God can do for us. What happened in the garden of Eden is duplicated millions of times daily, not only in the lives of unbelievers but in the lives of Christians also—Christians who use self-centered strategies to satisfy the deep thirst that is in their heart for God. Almost every spiritual or psychological problem has at its roots this condition—the person is failing in some way to let God satisfy his deep inner thirst.
Selwyn Hughes (Every Day with Jesus Daily Bible)
A gospel which is only about the moment of conversion but does not extend to every moment of life in Christ is too small. A gospel that gets your sins forgiven but offers no power for transformation is too small. A gospel that isolates one of the benefits of union with Christ and ignores all the others is too small. A gospel that must be measured by your own moral conduct, social conscience, or religious experience is too small. A gospel that rearranges the components of your life but does not put you personally in the presence of God is too small.
Fred Sanders (The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything)
At the heart of God is the desire to give and to forgive. Because of this, he set into motion the entire redemptive process that culminated in the cross and was confirmed in the resurrection. The usual notion of what Jesus did on the cross was something like this: people were so bad and so mean and God was so angry with them that he could not forgive them unless somebody big enough took the rap for the whole lot of them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Love, not anger, brought Jesus to the cross. Golgotha came as a result of God’s great desire to forgive, not his reluctance. Jesus knew that by his vicarious suffering he could actually absorb all the evil of humanity and so heal it, forgive it, redeem it. This is why Jesus refused the customary painkiller when it was offered him. He wanted to be completely alert for this greatest work of redemption. In a deep and mysterious way he was preparing to take on the collective sin of the human race. Since Jesus lives in the eternal now, this work was not just for those around him, but he took in all the violence, all the fear, all the sin of all the past, all the present, and all the future. This was his highest and most holy work, the work that makes confession and the forgiveness of sins possible…Some seem to think that when Jesus shouted “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” it was a moment of weakness (Mark 15:34). Not at all. This was his moment of greatest triumph. Jesus, who had walked in constant communion with the Father, now became so totally identified with humankind that he was the actual embodiment of sin. As Paul writes, “he made him to be sin who knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus succeeded in taking into himself all of the dark powers of this present evil age and defeated every one of them by the light of his presence. He accomplished such a total identification with the sin of the race that he experienced the abandonment of God. Only in that way could he redeem sin. It was indeed his moment of greatest triumph. Having accomplished this greatest of all his works, Jesus then took refreshment. “It is finished,” he announced. That is, this great work of redemption was completed. He could feel the last dregs of the misery of humankind flow through him and into the care of the Father. The last twinges of evil, hostility, anger, and fear drained out of him, and he was able to turn again into the light of God’s presence. “It is finished.” The task is complete. Soon after, he was free to give up his spirit to the father. …Without the cross the Discipline of confession would be only psychologically therapeutic. But it is so much more. It involves and objective change in our relationship with God and a subjective change in us. It is a means of healing and transforming the inner spirit.
Richard J. Foster (Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth)
Can you imagine how boring life would be without the seven little spices? you talk about sloth, but why would men and women get out of bed if there were no lust? Why would people want to be in a band if they couldn't feel the rush that rage bring to the musical table? Why would anyone want to be a bleeding heart without even a hint of greed in their dirty little soul? Why would the world go round if there weren't a few rules to break? A few revolutions to make? Let's put it this way: Why would you want to take a deep breath if you were expected to hold the damn thing?
Corey Taylor (Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good)
Clara believed with all her heart that God worked all things together for good to those who loved Him and were called according to His purpose. But she did not believe that everything that happened was good. The world was fallen and there was sin in every heart. But God’s grace was bigger. The other truth she believed, from a life of experiencing it, was that for real change to happen deep in the soul, God tended to make people miserable rather than happy. He brought them to the end of themselves and showed them how powerless they were in order to show them how powerful He was.
Chris Fabry (War Room: Prayer Is a Powerful Weapon)
I sometimes, in my sprightly moments, consider myself, in my great chair at school, as some dictator at the head of a common-wealth. In this little state I can discover all the great geniuses, all the surprising actions and revolutions of the great world in miniature. I have several renowned generals but three feet high, and several deep-projecting politicians in petticoats. I have others catching and dissecting flies, accumulating remarkable pebbles, cockleshells, etc., with as ardent curiosity as any virtuoso in the Royal Society …. At one table sits Mr. Insipid foppling and fluttering, spinning his whirligig, or playing with his fingers as gaily and wittily as any Frenchified coxcomb brandishes his cane and rattles his snuff box. At another sits the polemical divine, plodding and wrangling in his mind about Adam’s fall in which we sinned, all as his primer has it.
John Adams
Like the Church the individual Christian will not be able to escape the deep ambiguities of this-wordly existence whether in its cultural, social, political or other aspects, and he too will inevitably be a mixture of good and evil, with a compromised life, so that he can only live eschatologically in the judgment and mercy of God, putting off the old man and putting on Christ anew each day, always aware that even when he has done all that it is his duty to do he remains an unprofitable servant, but summoned to look away from himself to Christ, remembering that he is dead through the cross of Christ but alive and risen in Him. His true being is hid with Christ in God. The whole focus of his vision and the whole perspective of his life in Christ’s name will be directed to the unveiling of that reality of his new being at the parousia, but meantime he lives day by day out of the Word and Sacraments. As one baptized into Christ he is told by God’s Word that his sins are already forgiven and forgotten by God, that he has been justified once for all, and that he does not belong to himself but to Christ who loved him and gave Himself for him. As one summoned to the Holy Table he is commanded by the Word of God to live only in such a way that he feeds upon Christ, not in such a way that he feeds upon his own activities or lives out of his own capital of alleged spirituality. He lives from week to week, by drawing his life and strength from the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper, nourished by the body and blood of Christ, and in the strength of that communion he must live and work until Christ comes again. As often as he partakes of the Eucharist he partakes of the self-consecration of Jesus Christ who sanctified Himself for our sakes that we might be sanctified in reality and be presented to the Father as those whom He has redeemed and perfected (or consecrated) together with Himself in one. Here He is called to lift up his heart to the ascended Lord, and to look forward to the day when the full reality of his new being in Christ will be unveiled, making Scripture and Sacrament no longer necessary.
Thomas F. Torrance (Space, Time, And Resurrection)
If you teach people that something as deep inside them as their very personality is either a source of unimaginable shame or unmentionable sin, and if you tell them that their only ethical direction is either the suppression of that self in a life of suffering or a life of meaningless promiscuity followed by eternal damnation, then it is perhaps not surprising that their moral and sexual behavior becomes wildly dichotic; that it veers from compulsive activity to shame and withdrawal; or that it becomes anesthetized by drugs or alcohol or fatally distorted by the false, crude ideology of easy prophets. A
Andrew Sullivan (Love Undetectable: Notes on Friendship, Sex, and Survival (Vintage))
We are committed to involving as many people as possible, as young as possible, as soon as possible. Sometimes too young and too soon! But we intentionally err on the side of too fast rather than too slow. We don’t wait until people feel “prepared” or “fully equipped.” Seriously, when is anyone ever completely prepared for ministry? Ministry makes people’s faith bigger. If you want to increase someone’s confidence in God, put him in a ministry position before he feels fully equipped. The messages your environments communicate have the potential to trump your primary message. If you don’t see a mess, if you aren’t bothered by clutter, you need to make sure there is someone around you who does see it and is bothered by it. An uncomfortable or distracting setting can derail ministry before it begins. The sermon begins in the parking lot. Assign responsibility, not tasks. At the end of the day, it’s application that makes all the difference. Truth isn’t helpful if no one understands or remembers it. If you want a church full of biblically educated believers, just teach what the Bible says. If you want to make a difference in your community and possibly the world, give people handles, next steps, and specific applications. Challenge them to do something. As we’ve all seen, it’s not safe to assume that people automatically know what to do with what they’ve been taught. They need specific direction. This is hard. This requires an extra step in preparation. But this is how you grow people. Your current template is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently getting. We must remove every possible obstacle from the path of the disinterested, suspicious, here-against-my-will, would-rather-be-somewhere-else, unchurched guests. The parking lot, hallways, auditorium, and stage must be obstacle-free zones. As a preacher, it’s my responsibility to offend people with the gospel. That’s one reason we work so hard not to offend them in the parking lot, the hallway, at check-in, or in the early portions of our service. We want people to come back the following week for another round of offending! Present the gospel in uncompromising terms, preach hard against sin, and tackle the most emotionally charged topics in culture, while providing an environment where unchurched people feel comfortable. The approach a church chooses trumps its purpose every time. Nothing says hypocrite faster than Christians expecting non-Christians to behave like Christians when half the Christians don’t act like it half the time. When you give non-Christians an out, they respond by leaning in. Especially if you invite them rather than expect them. There’s a big difference between being expected to do something and being invited to try something. There is an inexorable link between an organization’s vision and its appetite for improvement. Vision exposes what has yet to be accomplished. In this way, vision has the power to create a healthy sense of organizational discontent. A leader who continually keeps the vision out in front of his or her staff creates a thirst for improvement. Vision-centric churches expect change. Change is a means to an end. Change is critical to making what could and should be a reality. Write your vision in ink; everything else should be penciled in. Plans change. Vision remains the same. It is natural to assume that what worked in the past will always work. But, of course, that way of thinking is lethal. And the longer it goes unchallenged, the more difficult it is to identify and eradicate. Every innovation has an expiration date. The primary reason churches cling to outdated models and programs is that they lack leadership.
Andy Stanley (Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend)
When a man fighteth against his sin only with arguments from the issue or the punishment due unto it, this is a sign that sin hath taken great possession of the will, and that in the heart there is a superfluity of naughtiness. Such a man as opposes nothing to the seduction of sin and lust in his heart but fear of shame among men or hell from God, is sufficiently resolved to do the sin if there were no punishment attending it; which, what it differs from living in the practice of sin, I know not. Those who are Christ’s, and are acted in their obedience upon gospel principles, have the death of Christ, the love of God, the detestable nature of sin, the preciousness of communion with God, a deep-grounded abhorrency of sin as sin, to oppose to any seduction of sin, to all the workings, strivings, fightings of lust in their hearts. So did Joseph. “How shall I do this great evil,” saith he, “and sin against the Lord ?” my good and gracious God.
John Owen (The Mortification of Sin (Vintage Puritan))
Are you a Genesis 1 Christian or a Genesis 3 Christian? Do you start your story with shalom or with sin? Shalom is the Hebrew word for “peace.” For rhythm. For everything lining up exactly how it was meant to line up. Shalom is happening in those moments when you are at the dinner table for hours with good friends, good food, and good wine. Shalom is when you hear or see something and can’t quite explain it, but you know it’s calling and stirring something deep inside of you. Shalom is a sunset, that sense of exhaustion yet satisfaction from a hard day’s work, creating art that is bigger than itself. Shalom is enemies being reconciled by love.
Jefferson Bethke (It's Not What You Think: Why Christianity Is About So Much More Than Going to Heaven When You Die)
Ibn al-Qayyim has a profound statement in his book Al-Fawaid. Referring to the effect of negative and sinful thoughts, he said: “You should repulse a thought. If you do not do so, it will develop into a desire. You should therefore wage war against it. If you do not do so, it will become a resolution and firm intention. If you do not repulse this, it will develop into a deed. If you do not make up for it by doing the opposite [the opposite of that evil deed], it will become a habit. It will then be very difficult for you to give it up”. Another similar quote: “You should know the initial stage of every knowledge that is within your choice is your thoughts and notions. These thoughts and notions lead you into fantasies. These fantasies lead towards the will and desire to carry out [those fantasies]. These wills and desires demand the act should be committed. Repeatedly committing these acts causes them to become a habit. So the goodness of these stages lies in the goodness of thoughts and notions, and the wickedness of these thoughts lies in the wickedness of thoughts and notions”. May Allah be pleased with him! He offers a deep insight into something so subtle. We should all memorise these words and use it whenever we feel unable to control the tsunami of negative thoughts that overtake our minds.
Mohammed Faris (The Productive Muslim: Where Faith Meets Productivity)
mind was impure and his moral behavior was gross. But he had in lavish abundance some of the dramatic trappings of holiness. Along with his burning eyes, he had a fluent tongue. His head was filled with Scriptures, and his deep, powerful voice made him a compelling preacher. Besides, he had wandered the length and breadth of Russia and twice made pilgrimages to the Holy Land. He presented himself as a humble penitent, a man who had sinned greatly, been forgiven and commanded to do God’s work. It was a touching symbol of his humility, people said, that he kept the nickname “Rasputin” which he had earned as a young man in his native village. “Rasputin” in Russian means “dissolute.
Robert K. Massie (Nicholas and Alexandra)
—¡Los símbolos tienen fuerza —anuncia—. Tú ves una cruz, y sientes algo. Ves una esvástica, y sientes otra cosa. Sin embargo, la esvástica es también un símbolo hindú que significa <>, y eso demuestra que los símbolos pueden ser mortalmente corrompidos. Por eso yo me invento los míos. Para mí están cargados de significado, y eso es lo que cuenta.
Neal Shusterman (Challenger Deep)
Those whom [the Lord] teaches, are always increasing in knowledge, both of themselves and of him. The heart is deep, and, like Ezekiel's vision, presents so many chambers of imagery, one within another, that it requires time to get a considerable acquaintance with it, and we shall never know it thoroughly. It is now more than twenty-eight years since the Lord began to open mine to my own view; and from that time to this, almost every day has discovered to me something which until then was unobserved; and the farther I go, the more I seem convinced that I have entered but a little way. A person who travels in some parts of Derbyshire may easily be satisfied that the country is cavernous; but how large, how deep, how numerous the caverns may be, which are hidden from us by the surface of the ground, and what is contained in them—are questions which our most discerning inquirers cannot fully answer… And if our own hearts are beyond our comprehension, how much more incomprehensible is the heart of Jesus! If sin abounds in us—grace and love superabound in him! His ways and thoughts are higher than ours, as the heavens are higher than the earth; his love has a height, and depth, and length, and breadth, which passes all knowledge! The riches of his grace are unsearchable riches! Eph. 3:8, Eph. 3:18, Eph. 3:19. All that we have received or can receive from him, or know of him in this life, compared with what he is in himself, or what he has for us—is but as the drop of a bucket—compared with the ocean; or a single ray of light—compared with the sun. The waters of the sanctuary flow to us at first almost ankle deep—so graciously does the Lord condescend to our weakness; but they rise as we advance, and constrain us to cry out, with the Apostle, O the depth! We find before us, as Dr. Watts beautifully expresses it, A sea of love and grace unknown, Without a bottom or a shore!
John Newton
Obama was the most powerful man in the world, but that didn’t mean he could control the forces at play in the Middle East. There was no Nelson Mandela who could lead a country to absolution for its sins and ours. Extremist forces were exploiting the Arab Spring. Reactionary forces—with deep reservoirs of political support in the United States—were intent on clinging to power. Bashar al-Assad was going to fight to the death, backed by his Russian and Iranian sponsors. Factions were going to fight it out in the streets of Libya. The Saudis and Emiratis were going to stamp out political dissent in Egypt before it could come to their kingdoms. A Likud prime minister was going to mouth words about peace while building settlements that made peace impossible. Meanwhile, innocent people were going to suffer, some of them were going to be killed, and there didn’t seem to be anything I could do about it. Obama had reached that conclusion before I had. History had opened up a doorway in 2011 that, by the middle of 2013, had been slammed shut. There would be more war, more conflict, and more suffering, until—someday—old men would make peace.
Ben Rhodes (The World As It Is: Inside the Obama White House)
No greater grief than to remember days Of joy, when misery is at hand. That kens Thy learn’d instructor. Yet so eagerly 120 If thou art bent to know the primal root, From whence our love gat being, I will do As one, who weeps and tells his tale. One day, For our delight we read of Lancelot, 4 How him love thrall’d. Alone we were, and no 125 Suspicion near us. Oft-times by that reading Our eyes were drawn together, and the hue Fled from our alter’d cheek. But at one point Alone we fell. When of that smile we read, The wished smile so raptorously kiss’d 130 By one so deep in love, then he, who ne’er From me shall separate, at once my lips All trembling kiss’d. The book and writer both Were love’s purveyors. In its leaves that day We read no more.
Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy)
Concerning sin and our proper attitude when we find ourselves in sin. Truly, to have committed a sin is not sinful if we regret what we have done. Indeed, not for anything in time or eternity should we want to commit a sin, neither of a mortal, venial or any other kind. Whoever knows the ways of God should always be mindful of the fact that God, who is faithful and loving, has led us from a sinful life into a godly one, thus making friends of us who were previously enemies, which is a greater achievement even than making a new earth. This is one of the chief reasons why we should be wholly established in God, and it is astonishing how much this inflames us with so great and so strong a love that we strip ourselves entirely of ourselves. Indeed, if you are rightly placed in the will of God, then you should not wish that the sin into which you fell had not happened. Of course, this is not the case because sin was something against God but, precisely because it was something against God, you were bound by it to greater love, you were humbled and brought low. And you should trust God that he would not have allowed it to happen unless he intended it to be for your profit. But when we raise ourselves out of sin and turn away from it, then God in his faithfulness acts as if we had never fallen into sin at all and he does not punish us for our sins for a single moment, even if they are as great as the sum of all the sins that have ever been committed. God will not make us suffer on their account, but he can enjoy with us all the intimacy that he ever had with a creature. If he finds that we are now ready, then he does not consider what we were before. God is a God of the present. He takes you and receives you as he finds you now, not as you have been, but as you are now. God willingly endures all the harm and shame which all our sins have ever inflicted upon him, as he has already done for many years, in order that we should come to a deep knowledge of his love and in order that our love and our gratitude should increase and our zeal grow more intense, which often happens when we have repented of our sins. Therefore God willingly tolerates the hurtfulness of sin and has often done so in the past, most frequently allowing it to come upon those whom he has chosen to raise up to greatness. Now listen! Was there ever anyone dearer to or more intimate with our Lord than the apostles? And yet not one of them escaped mortal sin. They all committed mortal sin. He showed this time and again in the Old and New Testament in those individuals who were to become the closest to him by far; and even today we rarely find that people achieve great things without first going astray. And thus our Lord intends to teach us of his great mercy, urging us to great and true humility and devotion. For, when repentance is renewed, then love too is renewed and grows strong.
Meister Eckhart (Selected Writings)
Friendship is formed between imperfect people among the concrete and messy realities of life. Biblical friendship is distinct in that it brings the grace, forgiveness, and truth of Jesus into those messy realities, but it is messy nevertheless. Just as marital love is forged in the daily acts of care and selflessness and mundane responsibilities, friendship is formed in real life—sin, suffering, conflict, and all.
Christine Hoover (Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding and Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships)
I do not know much about matters of the heart. But I know what it is like to harbor feelings for a man people greatly disapprove of. Who people regard as wrong, unsalvageable or sinful.” Maddie blushed. “But I also know what it is like when you are in their arms. In their hearts. It is different. You can make them different . . . you can show them that they too can be saved, even when they believe they are a lost cause.
Tillie Cole (Deep Redemption (Hades Hangmen, #4))
It is not possible that you will repent unless you are aware of your sin; it is not likely that you will look to Christ unless you first know what it is for which you are to look to him. Therefore, I pray you, set apart some season every day, or at least some season as often as you can get it, in which the business of your mind shall be to take your longitude and latitude, that you may know exactly where you are. You may be drifting towards the rocks, and you may be wrecked before you know your danger. I implore you, do not let your ship go at full steam through a fog; but slacken speed a bit, and heave the lead, to see whether you are in deep waters or shallow. I am not asking you to do more than any kind and wise man would advise you to do; do I even ask you more than your own conscience tells you is right? Sit alone a while, that you may carefully consider your case.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Latter-day Saints are far from being the only ones who call Jesus the Savior. I have known people from many denominations who say those words with great feeling and deep emotion. After hearing one such passionate declaration from a devoutly Christian friend, I asked, “From what did Jesus save us?” My friend was taken aback by the question, and struggled to answer. He spoke of having a personal relationship with Jesus and being born again. He spoke of his intense love and endless gratitude for the Savior, but he still never gave a clear answer to the question. I contrast that experience with a visit to an LDS Primary where I asked the same question: “If a Savior saves, from what did Jesus save us?” One child answered, “From the bad guys.” Another said, “He saved us from getting really, really, hurt really, really bad.” Still another added, “He opened up the door so we can live again after we die and go back to heaven.” Then one bright future missionary explained, “Well, it’s like this—there are two deaths, see, physical and spiritual, and Jesus, well, he just beat the pants off both of them.” Although their language was far from refined, these children showed a clear understanding of how their Savior has saved them. Jesus did indeed overcome the two deaths that came in consequence of the Fall of Adam and Eve. Because Jesus Christ “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light” (2 Timothy 1:10), we will all overcome physical death by being resurrected and obtaining immortality. Because Jesus overcame spiritual death caused by sin—Adam’s and our own—we all have the opportunity to repent, be cleansed, and live with our Heavenly Father and other loved ones eternally. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). To Latter-day Saints this knowledge is basic and fundamental—a lesson learned in Primary. We are blessed to have such an understanding. I remember a man in Chile who scoffed, “Who needs a Savior?” Apparently he didn’t yet understand the precariousness and limited duration of his present state. President Ezra Taft Benson wrote: “Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ. No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effects upon all mankind” (“Book of Mormon,” 85). Perhaps the man who asked, “Who needs a Savior?” would ask President Benson, “Who believes in Adam and Eve?” Like many who deny significant historical events, perhaps he thinks Adam and Eve are only part of a folktale. Perhaps he has never heard of them before. Regardless of whether or not this man accepts the Fall, he still faces its effects. If this man has not yet felt the sting of death and sin, he will. Sooner or later someone close to him will die, and he will know the awful emptiness and pain of feeling as if part of his soul is being buried right along with the body of his loved one. On that day, he will hurt in a way he has not yet experienced. He will need a Savior. Similarly, sooner or later, he will feel guilt, remorse, and shame for his sins. He will finally run out of escape routes and have to face himself in the mirror knowing full well that his selfish choices have affected others as well as himself. On that day, he will hurt in a profound and desperate way. He will need a Savior. And Christ will be there to save from both the sting of death and the stain of sin.
Brad Wilcox (The Continuous Atonement)
I was now blinded by a flood of light, but when I realised how many countless numbers of angels were imprisoned in Bardo’s dismal prison, it took my breath away. “Gabriel!” I shouted to my leader with all my might, but he gave no sign of hearing me. “Gabriel!” I said, trying again, and it seemed that the handsome face reacted just a little. At that moment, a band of goblins reached the hall with a terrible ruckus. I had to flee. I grabbed the chains binding Gabriel and cried one last time . “Gabriel!” …the angel’s emerald green eyes looked up. He gazed deep into my eyes, . “Please forgive me,” I whispered. My chest felt like it would burst with pain from the guilt burning inside me. “I swear I’ll atone for my sin and get you out of here!” . Gabriel gave no reply, but just looked at me sadly. I would have been less tortured if he had screamed at me or come at me, but he simply let me sink into my guilt.
A.O. Esther (Elveszett lelkek (Összetört glóriák, #1))
Any critique of Islam is denounced as an expression of Western Islamophobia, Salman Rushdie is denounced for unnecessarily provoking Muslims and being (partially, at least) responsible for the fatwa condemning him to death, and so on. The result of such stances is what one should expect in such cases: the more the Western liberal Leftists probe into their guilt, the more they are accused by Muslim fundamentalists of being hypocrites who try to conceal their hatred of Islam. [T]his constellation perfectly reproduces the paradox of the superego: the more you obey what the Other demands of you, the guiltier you are. It is as if the more you tolerate Islam, the stronger its pressure on you will be. What this implies is that terrorist fundamentalists, be they Christian or Muslim, are not really fundamentalists in the authentic sense of the term--what they lack is a feature that is easy to discern in all authentic fundamentalists, from Tibetan Buddhists to the Amish in the US: the absence of resentment and envy, the deep indifference towards the non-believers' way of life. If today's so-called fundamentalists really believe they have found their way to Truth, why should they feel threatened by non-believers, why should they envy them? When a Buddhist encounters a Western hedonist, he hardly condemns. He just benevolently notes that the hedonist's search for happiness is self-defeating. In contrast to true fundamentalists, the terrorist pseudo-fundamentalists are deeply bothered, intrigued and fascinated by the sinful life of the non-believers. One can feel that, in fighting the sinful other, they are fighting their own temptation. The passionate intensity of a fundamentalist mob bears witness to the lack of true conviction; deep in themselves, terrorist fundamentalists also lack true conviction--their violent outbursts are proof of it. How fragile the belief of a Muslim would be if he felt threatened by, say, a stupid caricature in a low-circulation Danish newspaper? Fundamentalist Islamic terror is not grounded in the terrorists' conviction of their superiority and in their desire to safeguard their cultural-religious identify from the onslaught of global consumerist civilization. The problem with fundamentalists is not that we consider them inferior to us, but, rather, that they themselves secretly consider themselves inferior. This is why our condescending politically correct assurances that we feel no superiority towards them only makes them more furious and feed their resentment. The problem is not cultural difference (their effort to preserve their identity), but the opposite: the fact that the fundamentalists are already like us, that, secretly, they have already internalized our standards and measure themselves by them.
Slavoj Žižek
The first meditation is the meditation of love, in which you so adjust your heart that you long for the weal and welfare of all beings, including the happiness of your enemies. "The second meditation is the meditation of pity, in which you think of all beings in distress, vividly representing in your imagination their sorrows and anxieties so as to arouse a deep compassion for them in your soul. "The third meditation is the meditation of joy, in which you think of the prosperity of others, and rejoice with their rejoicings. "The fourth meditation is the meditation of impurity, in which you consider the evil consequences of corruption, the effects of sin and diseases. How trivial often the pleasure of the moment, and how fatal its consequences. "The fifth meditation is the meditation on serenity, in which you rise above love and hate, tyranny and oppression, wealth and want, and regard your own fate with impartial calmness and perfect tranquillity.
James Allen (The Way of Peace)
The mercy of God is infinite too, and the man who has felt the grinding pain of inward guilt knows that this is more than academic. "Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Abounding sin is the terror of the world, but abounding grace is the hope of mankind. however sin may abound it still has its limits, for it is the product of finite minds and hearts; but God's much more" introduces us to infinitude. Against our deep creature-sickness stands God's infinite ability to cure. The Christian witness through the centuries has been that "God so loved the world . . ."; it remains for us to see that love in the light of God's infinitude. His love is measureless. It is more: it is boundless. It has no bounds because it is not a thing but a facet of the essential nature of God. His love is something He is, and because He is infinite that love can enfold the whole created world in itself and have room for ten thousand times ten thousand worlds beside.
A.W. Tozer (The Knowledge of the Holy)
Adam's reply reflects his fear, as well as a note of deep sorrow. But there's no confession. Adam seems to have realized that it was pointless to try to plead innocence, but neither did he make a full confession. What he did was try to pass off the blame. He immediately pointed the finger at the one closest to him: Eve. Also implicit in Adam's words (The Woman whom YOU gave) was an accusation against God. So quickly did sin corrupt Adam's mind that in his blame shifting, he did not shy away from making God Himself an acessary to the crime. This is so typical of sinners seeking to exonerate themselves that the New Testament epistle of James expressly instructs us, "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed"James 1:13. Adam, however, was subtly trying to put at least some of the blame on God himself.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Twelve Extraordinary Women: How God Shaped Women of the Bible, and What He Wants to Do with You)
As for the vice of lust - aside from what it means for spiritual persons to fall into this vice, since my intent is to treat of the imperfections that have to be purged by means of the dark night - spiritual persons have numerous imperfections, many of which can be called spiritual lust, not because the lust is spiritual but because it proceeds from spiritual things. It happens frequently that in a person's spiritual exercises themselves, without the person being able to avoid it, impure movements will be experienced in the sensory part of the soul, and even sometimes when the spirit is deep in prayer or when receiving the sacraments of Penance or the Eucharist. These impure feelings arise from any of three causes outside one's control. First, they often proceed from the pleasure human nature finds in spiritual exercises. Since both the spiritual and the sensory part of the soul receive gratification from that refreshment, each part experiences delight according to its own nature and properties. The spirit, the superior part of the soul, experiences renewal and satisfaction in God; and the sense, the lower part, feels sensory gratification and delight because it is ignorant of how to get anything else, and hence takes whatever is nearest, which is the impure sensory satisfaction. It may happen that while a soul is with God in deep spiritual prayer, it will conversely passively experience sensual rebellions, movements, and acts in the senses, not without its own great displeasure. This frequently happens at the time of Communion. Since the soul receives joy and gladness in this act of love - for the Lord grants the grace and gives himself for this reason - the sensory part also takes its share, as we said, according to its mode. Since, after all, these two parts form one individual, each one usually shares according to its mode in what the other receives. As the Philosopher says: Whatever is received, is received according to the mode of the receiver. Because in the initial stages of the spiritual life, and even more advanced ones, the sensory part of the soul is imperfect, God's spirit is frequently received in this sensory part with this same imperfection. Once the sensory part is reformed through the purgation of the dark night, it no longer has these infirmities. Then the spiritual part of the soul, rather than the sensory part, receives God's Spirit, and the soul thus receives everything according to the mode of the Spirit.
Juan de la Cruz (Dark Night of the Soul)
Nowadays, to be sure, we are more “comprehensive.” In particular, we pay more attention to the body. It may even be that we go too far. On the other hand, are there not too many intellectuals about who, without knowing it, have put a muzzle on their hearts, and whose “spiritual life” misses those deep intuitions that are of the world of the spirit? All these people–the “brains,” the spiritualists, as well as those who are embarrassed or engrossed by the body–may be taught Yoga (I saw “may,” because they have to give themselves to it) that they cannot become truly themselves unless they accept their nature as men and aim at establishing balance between the parts of man in is; this nature of ours which is at one and the same time an animal body (corpus-anima), thinking soul (animus-mens) and spirit (spiritus-cor). It is a harmony among these “three” that is sought in each of us by the grace of redemption. Christ came in the first place so that this “creature of God” within us, concealed under a human complex, bruised and torn by original sin, should flower and open out in its full beauty and wealth of talent. Any ascetic discipline that works towards this works, in fact, hand in hand with grace, and that is why I have roundly stated that a Yoga that calms the senses, pacifies the soul, and frees certain intuitive or affective powers in us can be of inestimable service to the West. It can make people into true Christians, dynamic and open, by helping them to be men.
Jean Déchanet (Christian Yoga)
He immediately turned to her as the carriage rocked into motion, wrapping her in his cloak and examined her. She had bruises on her shoulders and on her arms. Her wrists were bloodied- he growled under his breath as he examined them, picking away the remains of the ropes. Her plump little toes were muddied and cut and cold. He warmed them with his hands, crooning to them. She had quite a nasty bruise on her left side and he tenderly pressed his fingers around that, soft sounds leaving his lips helplessly. Oh, that he had been there when this had been done! He would have put their eyes out. He would have cut off their noses and made them eat them. He would have- "Valentine." He blinked and realized that she had the palms of her hands on his face and was looking at him. "Valentine. I'm all right." His eyes narrowed as he looked at her face, for he was no fool. They must've had her for several days to bring her here. "Are you, though?" She looked at him very firmly. "Yes." "They didn't rape you?" "No." "Or touch you in any way?" She sighed. "They grabbed me when they took me. They tied me up." He thought about that. He didn't like it. "Did they make you do anything you didn't want to?" She hesitated. He went icy cold. "Tell me." "They..." She went a deep red and looked away. "They... when I needed to... to urinate they didn't turn away." "Ah." Well. That settled that. He wrapped his arms around her. "I am truly sorry you had to endure such horrific events, my Séraphine.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10))
We carry old secrets too painful to utter,                                 too shameful to acknowledge,                                 too burdensome to bear,     of failures we cannot undo,     of alienations we regret but cannot fix,     of grandiose exhibits we cannot curb. And you know them.     You know them all.     And so we take a deep sigh in your presence,        no longer needing to pretend and                       cover up and                       deny.   We mostly do not have big sins to confess,     only modest shames that do not         fit our hoped-for selves.   And then we find that your knowing is more     powerful than our secrets. You know and do not turn away,     and our secrets that seemed too powerful         are emptied of strength,     secrets that seemed too burdensome                  are now less severe.   We marvel that when you find us out         you stay with us,      taking us seriously,      taking our secrets soberly,          but not ultimately,     overpowering our little failure     with your massive love                and abiding patience.   We long to be fully, honestly         exposed to your gaze of gentleness.     In the moment of your knowing                we are eased and lightened,     and we feel the surge of joy move in our bodies,          because we are not ours in cringing                  but yours in communion.   We are yours and find the truth before you     makes us free for         wonder, love, and praise—and new life.
Walter Brueggemann (Prayers for a Privileged People)
When a sin comes back (its memory) you absolutely must bury it. How to bury the memory of a sin that comes from a distant past? I shut it up in a clay pot. Then I dug right into the cold hard ground, deep down. Without of course telling anyone what I had in the pot,then I stuck this pot the size of a little quart saucepan into the ground and I covered the hole in the ground with ice for a long time, and that despite the presence of people who had no inkling what I was ridding myself of in this little improvised coffin.
Hélène Cixous (Dream I Tell You)
I'm talking about your lovely long arms and your perfectly shaped legs... I find I am quite jealous of those stockings for knowing the feel of you, the warmth of you." She shifted, unable to keep still beneath the onslaught of his words. "I'm talking about that corset that hugs you where you are lovely and soft... is it uncomfortable?" She hesitated. "Not usually." "And now?" She heard the knowledge in the question. She nodded once. "It's rather- constricting." He tutted once, and she opened her eyes, instantly meeting his, hot and focused on her. "Poor Pippa. Tell me, with your knowledge of the human body, why do you think that is?" She swallowed, tried for a deep breath. Failed. "It's because my heart is threatening to beat out of my chest." The smile again. "Have you overexerted yourself?" She shook her head. "No." "What, then?" She was not a fool. He was pushing her. Attempting to see how far she would go. She told the truth. "I think it is you." He closed his eyes then, hands fisting again, and pressed his head back against the side of the desk, exposing the long column of his neck and his tightly clenched jaw. Her mouth went dry at the movement, at the way the tendons there bunched and rippled, and she was quite desperate to touch him. When he returned his gaze to hers, there was something wild in those pewter depths... something she was at once consumed and terrified by. "You shouldn't be so quick with the truth," he said. "Why?" "It gives me too much control." "I trust you." "You shouldn't." He leaned forward, bracing his arm against his raised knee. "You are not safe with me." She had never once felt unsafe with him. "I don't think that's correct." He laughed, low and dark, and the sound rippled through her, a wave of pleasure and temptation. "You have no idea what I could do to you, Philippa Marbury. The ways I could touch you. The wonders I could show you. I could ruin you without thought, sink with you into the depths of sin and not once regret it. I could lead you right into temptation and never ever look back." The words stole her breath. She wanted it. Every bit of it.
Sarah MacLean (One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2))
Against a set of desolate scenery, amid spectral crags and livid mountains of ash, beneath the funereal daylight of slopes illuminated in blue, she personified the spirit of the witches' sabbat. Morbid and voluptuous, sometimes with extenuated grace and infinite lassitude, she seemed to carry the burden of a criminal beauty, a beauty charged with all the sins cf the multitude. She fell again and again upon her pliant legs, and as she outlined the symbolic gestures of her two beautiful dead arms she seemed to be towing them behind her. Then, the vertigo of the abyss took hold of her again, and like one possessed she stood on point, holding herself fully erect from top to toe, like a spike of flesh and shadows. Her arms, weighed down just a few moments earlier, became menacing, demoniac, and audacious. Twisting like a screw, she whirled around, like a winnowing-machine - no, like a great lily stirred by a storm-wind. Clownish and macabre, a nacreous gleam showed between her lips... oh, that cruel and sardonic smile, and the two deep pools of her terrible eyes! Ize Kranile!
Jean Lorrain (Monsieur De Phocas)
First a Christian wades in the rivers of God his grace up to the ankles, with some good frame of spirit; yet but weakly, for a man hath strength in his ankle bones... and yet may have but feeble knees.... So farre as you walk in the waters, so far are you healed; why then in the next place, he must wade till he come to the knees, goe a thousand Cubits, a mile further, and get more strenght to pray, and to walk on in your callings with more power and strength. Secondly, but yet a man that wades but to the knees, his loynes are not drenched, for nothing is healed but what is in the water. Now the affections of a man are placed in his loynes, God tries the reines; a man may have many unruly affections, though he be padling in the wayes of grace; he may walk on in some eavennesse, and yet have of the rottennesse of his heart in the sight of God: why then, though hast waded but to the knees, and it is a mercy that thou art come so farre; but yet the loynes want healing, why, wade a mile further then; the grace of God yet comes too shallow in us, our passions are yet unmortified, so as we know not how to grieve in measure, our wrath is vehement and immoderate, you must therefore wade untill the loynes bee girt with a golden girdle; wade an-end, & think all is not well untill you be so deep, & by this you may take a scantling, what measure of grace is poured out upon you. And if thou hast gone so farre, that God hath in some meaure healed thy affections, that thou canst be angry and sin not, &c. it is well, and this we must attain to. But suppose the loyns should be in a good measure healed, yet there is more goes to it then all this; and yet when a man is come thus farre, he may laugh at all temptations, and blesse God in all changes; But yet goe another thousand Cubits, and then you shall swimme; there is such a meaure of grace in which a man may swimme as fish in water, with all readinesse and dexterity, gliding an-end, as if he had water enough to swimme in; such a Christian doth not creep or walk, but he runs the wayes of Gods Commandements; what ever he is to doe or to suffer he is ready for all, so every way drenched in grace, as let God turn him any way, he is never drawn dry.
John Cotton
Forcing new loans upon the bankrupt on condition that they shrink their income is nothing short of cruel and unusual punishment. Greece was never bailed out. With their ‘rescue’ loan and their troika of bailiffs enthusiastically slashing incomes, the EU and IMF effectively condemned Greece to a modern version of the Dickensian debtors’ prison and then threw away the key. Debtors’ prisons were ultimately abandoned because, despite their cruelty, they neither deterred the accumulation of new bad debts nor helped creditors get their money back. For capitalism to advance in the nineteenth century, the absurd notion that all debts are sacred had to be ditched and replaced with the notion of limited liability. After all, if all debts are guaranteed, why should lenders lend responsibly? And why should some debts carry a higher interest rate than other debts, reflecting the higher risk of going bad? Bankruptcy and debt write-downs became for capitalism what hell had always been for Christian dogma – unpleasant yet essential – but curiously bankruptcy-denial was revived in the twenty-first century to deal with the Greek state’s insolvency. Why? Did the EU and the IMF not realize what they were doing? They knew exactly what they were doing. Despite their meticulous propaganda, in which they insisted that they were trying to save Greece, to grant the Greek people a second chance, to help reform Greece’s chronically crooked state and so on, the world’s most powerful institutions and governments were under no illusions. […] Banks restructure the debt of stressed corporations every day, not out of philanthropy but out of enlightened self-interest. But the problem was that, now that we had accepted the EU–IMF bailout, we were no longer dealing with banks but with politicians who had lied to their parliaments to convince them to relieve the banks of Greece’s debt and take it on themselves. A debt restructuring would require them to go back to their parliaments and confess their earlier sin, something they would never do voluntarily, fearful of the repercussions. The only alternative was to continue the pretence by giving the Greek government another wad of money with which to pretend to meet its debt repayments to the EU and the IMF: a second bailout.
Yanis Varoufakis (Adults in the Room: My Battle with Europe's Deep Establishment)
Grace." He drew out the word so it became a long, deep, guttural growl. A sound as primitive as a lion's roar for its mate. Her skin prickled with animal awareness and the breath caught in her throat. Every drop of moisture evaporated from her mouth. Low in her belly, blood began to beat slow and hard with anticipation. Her face must have betrayed her unfurling arousal. Or perhaps, like her, he reacted to the sudden charge in the air, as electric as the pause before a lightning strike. Still without shifting his fierce focus, he set down the box he carried. Then he reached to close the doors and slide the bolt across. Any doubt as to his purpose fled. A delicious thrill rippled through her. The summerhouse was raised on a platform so the windows opened above eye height. With the doors locked, it was a bower designed for private sin. Sin was clearly his aim. Now she looked more closely, she realized it wasn't anger that tightened the skin over the bones of his face. It was incendiary hunger. She should protest. Question. Demand he tell her why he was here. But overwhelming need kept her silent and pinned to the window seat.
Anna Campbell (Untouched)
Three miles from my adopted city lies a village where I came to peace. The world there was a calm place, even the great Danube no more than a pale ribbon tossed onto the landscape by a girl’s careless hand. Into this stillness I had been ordered to recover. The hills were gold with late summer; my rooms were two, plus a small kitchen, situated upstairs in the back of a cottage at the end of the Herrengasse. From my window I could see onto the courtyard where a linden tree twined skyward — leafy umbilicus canted toward light, warped in the very act of yearning — and I would feed on the sun as if that alone would dismantle the silence around me. At first I raged. Then music raged in me, rising so swiftly I could not write quickly enough to ease the roiling. I would stop to light a lamp, and whatever I’d missed — larks flying to nest, church bells, the shepherd’s home-toward-evening song — rushed in, and I would rage again. I am by nature a conflagration; I would rather leap than sit and be looked at. So when my proud city spread her gypsy skirts, I reentered, burning towards her greater, constant light. Call me rough, ill-tempered, slovenly— I tell you, every tenderness I have ever known has been nothing but thwarted violence, an ache so permanent and deep, the lightest touch awakens it. . . . It is impossible to care enough. I have returned with a second Symphony and 15 Piano Variations which I’ve named Prometheus, after the rogue Titan, the half-a-god who knew the worst sin is to take what cannot be given back. I smile and bow, and the world is loud. And though I dare not lean in to shout Can’t you see that I’m deaf? — I also cannot stop listening.
Rita Dove
God showed to man that compliance with His dictates would ever mean eternal bliss and joy unspeakable and life and knowledge forevermore, but that ceasing to comply would mean loss of life with God and eternal death. That was in the world’s bright morning when the morning stars sang together and all creation leaped in joy, but the wild, wild desolation of sin, disobedience, pride, and selfish sinfulness entered and drove a great gulf between God’s children and Himself. But, as ever, love found a way. God came to us and for us, and we this day with chastened hearts, quivering lips, and glistening eyes, yet with love deep and strong in our hearts, say, afresh with deep adoration, God is love. If God exhibits such glorious love in His nature, what shall we say of the glories of the dispensation of His grace? That God would have walked this earth had sin never entered is very likely, yet sin did not refrain Him from graciously walking and revealing Himself in communion with men. No, still He came. But men were so blinded by sin that they saw Him not, they knew Him not, while He hewed a way back through the hard face of sin to the heavenly shores.
Oswald Chambers (The Love of God: An Intimate Look at the Father-Heart of God)
Buddhism offers a basic challenge to this cultural worldview. The Buddha taught that this human birth is a precious gift because it gives us the opportunity to realize the love and awareness that are our true nature. As the Dalai Lama pointed out so poignantly, we all have Buddha nature. Spiritual awakening is the process of recognizing our essential goodness, our natural wisdom and compassion. In stark contrast to this trust in our inherent worth, our culture’s guiding myth is the story of Adam and Eve’s exile from the Garden of Eden. We may forget its power because it seems so worn and familiar, but this story shapes and reflects the deep psyche of the West. The message of “original sin” is unequivocal: Because of our basically flawed nature, we do not deserve to be happy, loved by others, at ease with life. We are outcasts, and if we are to reenter the garden, we must redeem our sinful selves. We must overcome our flaws by controlling our bodies, controlling our emotions, controlling our natural surroundings, controlling other people. And we must strive tirelessly—working, acquiring, consuming, achieving, e-mailing, overcommitting and rushing—in a never-ending quest to prove ourselves once and for all.
Tara Brach (Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha)
No, when the stresses are too great for the tired metal, when the ground mechanic who checks the de-icing equipment is crossed in love and skimps his job, way back in London, Idlewild, Gander, Montreal; when those or many things happen, then the little warm room with propellers in front falls straight down out of the sky into the sea or on to the land, heavier than air, fallible, vain. And the forty little heavier-than-air people, fallible within the plane's fallibility, vain within its larger vanity, fall down with it and make little holes in the land or little splashes in the sea. Which is anyway their destiny, so why worry? You are linked to the ground mechanic's careless fingers in Nassau just as you are linked to the weak head of the little man in the family saloon who mistakes the red light for the green and meets you head-on, for the first and last time, as you are motoring quietly home from some private sin. There's nothing to do about it. You start to die the moment you are born. The whole of life is cutting through the pack with death. So take it easy. Light a cigarette and be grateful you are still alive as you suck the smoke deep into your lungs. Your stars have already let you come quite a long way since you left your mother's womb and whimpered at the cold air of the world. Perhaps they'll even let you go to Jamaica tonight. Can't you hear those cheerful voices in the control tower that have said quietly all day long, 'Come in BOAC. Come in Panam. Come in KLM'? Can't you hear them calling you down too: 'Come in Transcarib. Come in Transcarib'? Don't lose faith in your stars. Remember that hot stitch of time when you faced death from the Robber's gun last night. You're still alive, aren't you? There, we're out of it already. It was just to remind you that being quick with a gun doesn't mean you're really tough. Just don't forget it. This happy landing at Palisadoes Airport comes to you courtesy of your stars. Better thank them.
Ian Fleming (Live and Let Die (James Bond, #2))
We often think that an “anger problem” must mean some major personal or interpersonal trouble. We think that the main sins to be solved are the violence, the tantrums, the arguing, the rancor, the deep-seated bitterness, the sour attitude. It’s true, these are serious business. If they remain unsolved, human life becomes a living hell. But in my experience, I’ve found that it’s often best to start with little problems. Disentangle your complaining. Come out to the clear, firm alternative. How on earth does a sour, negative attitude become a sweet, constructive spirit? Learn that and you’ve learned how to live well. You learn the secret of contentment (Philippians 4: 11–12).
David A. Powlison (Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness)
Stars flicker above, points of bright ice in a dark river. I pull a heavy sheepskin around my legs and stretch my feet toward the fire. Despite the cold, Liam plays his flute, the sound whistling through the night. Soon my eyes are heavy, my head nodding.I open my eyes at the deep melodious baritone of Salvius’s voice telling a tale. Liam’s flute is silent now. I have heard Salvius tell many tales on market days; he is known for his memory of wandering minstrels and mummers who visit us at Whitsunday and through Midsummer. Salvius is a mockingbird: he can give a fair charade of the rhythmic tones of any wandering bard or any noble of the Royal Court.In this darkness, his eyes catch the light like a cat in the night.
Ned Hayes (Sinful Folk)
That was the moment Anna felt something inside her trip and fall, something come clean away from all the snares and traps and tangles of the propriety in which she’d been steeped all these years. And as he began to move, she pressed into him as he had shown her, looked up at him from beneath her lashes as he’d directed, and said, in a purring voice, “My, my, sir, how well you move us about the dance floor! One can’t help but wonder if you move as well in other, more intimate circumstances,” she said, and let her lips stretch into a soft smile. It worked. Grif’s grin faded; he slowed his step a little and blinked down at her for a moment. But that dangerous smile slowly appeared again, starting in his eyes and casually reaching his lips. “If ye were to pose such a question to me, lass, I’d say, ‘As fast or as slow, as soft or as hard as ye’d want, leannan. Pray tell, how would ye want?’” The tingling in her groin was a signal that she was on perilous ground. Anna looked into his green eyes, so dark and so deep that she couldn’t quite determine if this was a game they were playing or something far more dangerous. And her good sense, shaped and controlled from years of living among high society, quietly shut down, allowing the real Anna, the Anna who yearned to be loved, to be held and caressed and adored and know all manner of physical pleasure, to slide deeper into the circle of his arms. “I don’t rightly know how I’d want, sir, other than to say…” Her voice trailed away as she let her gaze roam his face, the perfectly tied neckcloth, the breadth of his shoulders, his thick arms. And then she lifted her gaze to his, saw something smoldering there, and recklessly whispered, “… that I’d most definitely want.” He said nothing. The muscles in his jaw bulged as if he refrained from speaking, and she realized that they had come to a halt. But then his hand spread beneath hers, his palm pressed to her palm, and he laced his fingers between hers, one by one, and with the last one, he closed his hand, gripping hers tightly. “Tha sin glè mhath,” he whispered hoarsely. Anna smiled, lifted a curious brow. “I said, that’s very good, lass. Very good indeed
Julia London (Highlander in Disguise (Lockhart Family #2))
the challenges of our day-to-day existence are sustained reminders that our life of faith simply must have its center somewhere other than in our ability to hold it together in our minds. Life is a pounding surf that wears away our rock-solid certainty. The surf always wins. Slowly but surely. Eventually. It may be best to ride the waves rather than resist them. What are your one or two biggest obstacles to staying Christian? What are those roadblocks you keep running into? What are those issues that won’t go away and make you wonder why you keep on believing at all? These are questions I asked on a survey I gave on my blog in the summer of 2013. Nothing fancy. I just asked some questions and waited to see what would happen. In the days to come, I was overwhelmed with comments and e-mails from readers, many anonymous, with bracingly honest answers often expressed through the tears of relentless and unnerving personal suffering. I didn’t do a statistical analysis (who has the time, plus I don’t know how), but the responses fell into five categories.         1.        The Bible portrays God as violent, reactive, vengeful, bloodthirsty, immoral, mean, and petty.         2.        The Bible and science collide on too many things to think that the Bible has anything to say to us today about the big questions of life.         3.        In the face of injustice and heinous suffering in the world, God seems disinterested or perhaps unable to do anything about it.         4.        In our ever-shrinking world, it is very difficult to hold on to any notion that Christianity is the only path to God.         5.        Christians treat each other so badly and in such harmful ways that it calls into question the validity of Christianity—or even whether God exists. These five categories struck me as exactly right—at least, they match up with my experience. And I’d bet good money they resonate with a lot of us. All five categories have one big thing in common: “Faith in God no longer makes sense to me.” Understanding, correct thinking, knowing what you believe—these were once true of their faith, but no longer are. Because life happened. A faith that promises to provide firm answers and relieve our doubt is a faith that will not hold up to the challenges and tragedies of life. Only deep trust can hold up.
Peter Enns (The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our "Correct" Beliefs)
The Sultan tapped his tented fingers, staring into the distance. Suddenly, he lunged toward me, took hold of my wrist, and pulled me roughly down to sit on the cushion beside him. “This . . . mermaid,” he said through clenched teeth, leaning in so close to me that I could smell the mint on his breath. “The one who sang to the king at night.” His voice was fierce, but quiet. I couldn’t tell if anyone but me could hear. “How . . .” he began. “How did she think of the king . . . in her heart?” I glanced quickly up at his face and saw there a look that took me by surprise. An oddly soft, vulnerable, hurting look. The look of a man who might cry out in his sleep at night, like a child. But then the stony mask slid back. “Did she despise him,” the Sultan asked, “for making her sing for her life each night? Did she only pretend affection to save her own skin? Did she . . . loathe him for what he had done before, to his other wives? For his . . . sins?” “No, my lord,” I said softly. “She loved him.” “Do you swear it?” He gripped my wrist harder, until it hurt. “Yes, my lord. She told me—” I stopped, corrected myself. “She told the mermaid with the broken fin. She said the king—the merman king, my lord—she said that he had a deep hurting inside him. She said that she wanted to soothe him. And when the mermaid with the broken fin . . . questioned how the queen could love him—because of the things you just said, my lord—the queen said, ‘I’m not ashamed of loving him. There’s nothing wrong with loving someone. It’s hating—that’s what’s wrong.
Susan Fletcher (Shadow Spinner)
[M]ost Americans are still drawing some water from the Christian well. But a growing number are inventing their own versions of what Christianity means, abandoning the nuances of traditional theology in favor of religions that stroke their egos and indulge or even celebrate their worst impulses. . . . Both doubters and believers stand to lose if religion in the age of heresy turns out to be complicit in our fragmented communities, our collapsing families, our political polarization, and our weakened social ties. Both doubters and believers will inevitably suffer from a religious culture that supplies more moral license than moral correction, more self-satisfaction than self-examination, more comfort than chastisement. . . . Many of the overlapping crises in American life . . . can be traced to the impulse to emphasize one particular element of traditional Christianity—one insight, one doctrine, one teaching or tradition—at the expense of all the others. The goal is always progress: a belief system that’s simpler or more reasonable, more authentic or more up-to-date. Yet the results often vindicate the older Christian synthesis. Heresy sets out to be simpler and more appealing and more rational, but it often ends up being more extreme. . . . The boast of Christian orthodoxy . . . has always been its fidelity to the whole of Jesus. Its dogmas and definitions seek to encompass the seeming contradictions in the gospel narratives rather than evading them. . . . These [heretical] simplifications have usually required telling a somewhat different story about Jesus than the one told across the books of the New Testament. Sometimes this retelling has involved thinning out the Christian canon, eliminating tensions by subtracting them. . . . More often, though, it’s been achieved by straightforwardly rewriting or even inventing crucial portions of the New Testament account. . . . “Religious man was born to be saved,” [Philip Rieff] wrote, but “psychological man is born to be pleased.” . . . In 2005, . . . . Smith and Denton found no evidence of real secularization among their subjects: 97 percent of teenagers professed some sort of belief in the divine, 71 percent reported feeling either “very” or “somewhat” close to God, and the vast majority self-identified as Christian. There was no sign of deep alienation from their parents’ churches, no evidence that the teenagers in the survey were poised to convert outright to Buddhism or Islam, and no sign that real atheism was making deep inroads among the young. But neither was there any evidence of a recognizably orthodox Christian faith. “American Christianity,” Smith and Denton suggested, is “either degenerating into a pathetic version of itself,” or else is “actively being colonized and displaced by a quite different religious faith.” They continued: “Most religious teenagers either do not really comprehend what their own religious traditions say they are supposed to believe, or they do understand it and simply do not care to believe it.” . . . An ego that’s never wounded, never trammeled or traduced—and that’s taught to regard its deepest impulses as the promptings of the divine spirit—can easily turn out to be an ego that never learns sympathy, compassion, or real wisdom. And when contentment becomes an end unto itself, the way that human contents express themselves can look an awful lot like vanity and decadence. . . . For all their claims to ancient wisdom, there’s nothing remotely countercultural about the Tolles and Winfreys and Chopras. They’re telling an affluent, appetitive society exactly what it wants to hear: that all of its deepest desires are really God’s desires, and that He wouldn’t dream of judging. This message encourages us to justify our sins by spiritualizing them. . . . Our vaunted religiosity is real enough, but our ostensible Christian piety doesn’t have the consequences a casual observer might expect. . . . We nod to God, and then we do as we please.
Ross Douthat (Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics)
He smiled and pulled the ugly white fichu from her neck. She blinked and looked down at the simple, square neckline of her bodice as if she'd never seen it. Perhaps she hadn't. Perhaps she dressed in the dark like a nun. "What are you doing?" He sighed. "I confess, I find your naïveté perplexing. How have you arrived at the advanced age of six and twenty without having anyone attempt seduction upon yourself? I'm of two minds on the matter: One, utter astonishment at my sex and their deaf disregard for your siren call. Two, glee at the thought that your innocence might signal that you are indeed innocent. Why this should excite me so, I don't know- virginity has never before been a particular whim of mine. I think perhaps it's the setting. Who knows how many virgins were deflowered here by my lusty ancestors? Or," he said as he deftly unpinned and tossed aside her apron, "maybe it's simply you." "I don't..." Her words trailed off and then, interestingly, she blushed a deep rose. Well. That question settled, then. His little maiden was really a maiden. "What?" "I think it's you," he confided, pulling the strings tying her hideous mobcap beneath her chin. She made a wild grab for it, but he was faster, snatching the bloody thing off- finally, and with a great deal of satisfaction. She might've deprived him of a wife that it'd taken him half a year and a rather large sum of money to entangle, but by God, he'd taken off her awful cap. And underneath... "Oh, Séraphine," he breathed, enchanted, for her hair was as black as coal, as black as night, as black as his own soul, save for one white streak just over her left eye. But she'd twisted and braided and tortured the strands, binding them tight to her head, and his fingers itched to let them free. "Don't!" she said, as if she knew what he wanted, her hands flying up to cover her hair. He batted them aside, laughing, pulling a pin here, a pin there, dropping them carelessly to the carpet as she squealed like a little girl and backed away from him, trying frantically to ward off his fingers. He might've taken pity on her had he not just spent an hour on a freezing moor, wondering if he was going to find her dead, neck broken, at the bottom of a hill. Her hair came down all at once, a tumbling mass, tousled and heavy and nearly down to her waist. "Wonderful," he murmured, taking it in both hands and lifting it.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10))
Deep in our hearts, we feel sick about the hostility, dishonor, and disdain in our world. A kind of collective fatigue manifests itself in our disgust for our culture. We are exhausted by the devaluing of others but feel powerless to stop. I feel this at times after I am done looking at social media. There is so much condescension and so much anger. I feel both grieved and overwhelmed. I want to lash out, but I don’t exactly know how. We don’t know how to change the channel of contempt. Unity feels like a pipe dream, and healing, out of reach. Our hearts are grieved by the failure of the church as well. The way we devalue people for their theology or lack of it, different practices and traditions, and struggles with sin. Our vision of God has been lowered, his power is scarce, and his love is a rumor that’s been chased away. I believe there is a cure for the cancer of contempt: honor.
Jon Tyson (Beautiful Resistance: The Joy of Conviction in a Culture of Compromise)
Enlightenment, first of all, implies an insight into the nature of Self. It is an emancipation of mind from illusion concerning Self. All kinds of sin take root deep in the misconception of Self, and putting forth the branches of lust, anger, and folly, throw dark shadows on life. To extirpate this misconception Buddhism[FN#179] strongly denies the existence of the individual soul as conceived by common sense-that is, that unchanging spiritual entity provided with sight, hearing, touch, smell, feeling, thought, imagination, aspiration, etc., which survives the body. It teaches us that there is no such thing as soul, and that the notion of soul is a gross illusion. It treats of body as a temporal material form of life doomed to be destroyed by death and reduced to its elements again. It maintains that mind is also a temporal spiritual form of life, behind which there is no immutable soul. [FN#179]
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
The life of man is a story; an adventure story; and in our vision the same is true even of the story of God. The Catholic faith is the reconciliation because it is the realisation both of mythology and philosophy. It is a story and in that sense one of a hundred stories; only it is a true story. It is a philosophy and in that sense one of a hundred philosophies; only it is a philosophy that is like life. But above all, it is a reconciliation because it is something that can only be called the philosophy of stories. That normal narrative instinct which produced all the fairy tales is something that is neglected by all the philosophies—except one. The Faith is the justification of that popular instinct; the finding of a philosophy for it or the analysis of the philosophy in it. Exactly as a man in an adventure story has to pass various tests to save his life, so the man in this philosophy has to pass several tests and save his soul. In both there is an idea of free will operating under conditions of design; in other words, there is an aim and it is the business of a man to aim at it; we therefore watch to see whether he will hit it. Now this deep and democratic and dramatic instinct is derided and dismissed in all the other philosophies. For all the other philosophies avowedly end where they begin; and it is the definition of a story that it ends differently; that it begins in one place and ends in another. From Buddha and his wheel to Akhen Aten and his disc, from Pythagoras with his abstraction of number to Confucius with his religion of routine, there is not one of them that does not in some way sin against the soul of a story. There is none of them that really grasps this human notion of the tale, the test, the adventure; the ordeal of the free man. Each of them starves the story-telling instinct, so to speak, and does something to spoil human life considered as a romance; either by fatalism (pessimist or optimist) and that destiny that is the death of adventure; or by indifference and that detachment that is the death of drama; or by a fundamental scepticism that dissolves the actors into atoms; or by a materialistic limitation blocking the vista of moral consequences; or a mechanical recurrence making even moral tests monotonous; or a bottomless relativity making even practical tests insecure. There is such a thing as a human story; and there is such a thing as the divine story which is also a human story; but there is no such thing as a Hegelian story or a Monist story or a relativist story or a determinist story; for every story, yes, even a penny dreadful or a cheap novelette, has something in it that belongs to our universe and not theirs. Every short story does truly begin with creation and end with a last judgement.
G.K. Chesterton (The Everlasting Man)
Today we place lots of emphasis on increasing racial diversity in our churches. That’s a good thing. It’s needed. But there’s more to having a genuinely mosaic church than just racial and socioeconomic diversity. We also have to learn to work through the passionate and mutually exclusive opinions that we have in the realms of politics, theology, and ministry priorities. The world is watching to see if our modern-day Simon the Zealots and Matthew the tax collectors can learn to get along for the sake of the Lord Jesus. If not, we shouldn’t be surprised if it no longer listens to us. Jesus warned us that people would have a hard time believing that he was the Son of God and that we were his followers if we couldn’t get along. Whenever we fail to play nice in the sandbox, we give people on the outside good reason to write us off, shake their heads in disgust, and ask, “What kind of Father would have a family like that?”1 BEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER To create and maintain the kind of unity that exalts Jesus as Lord of all, we have to learn what it means to genuinely bear with one another. I fear that for lots of Christians today, bearing with one another is nothing more than a cliché, a verse to be memorized but not a command to obey.2 By definition, bearing with one another is an act of selfless obedience. It means dying to self and overlooking things I’d rather not overlook. It means working out real and deep differences and disagreements. It means offering to others the same grace, mercy, and patience when they are dead wrong as Jesus offers to me when I’m dead wrong. As I’ve said before, I’m not talking about overlooking heresy, embracing a different gospel, or ignoring high-handed sin. But I am talking about agreeing to disagree on matters of substance and things we feel passionate about. If we overlook only the little stuff, we aren’t bearing with one another. We’re just showing common courtesy.
Larry Osborne (Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith)
...Because the sacred fire that lights all nature liveliest of all in its own image glows. All these prerogatives the human creature possesses, and if one of them should fail, he must diminish from his noble stature. Sin only can disenfranchise him, and veil his likeness to the Highest Good; whereby the light in him is lessened and grows pale. Ne'er can he win back dignities so high till the void made by guilt be all filled in with just amends paid for by illicit joy. Now, when your nature as a whole did sin in its first root, it lost these great awards, and lost the Eden of its origin; nor might they be recovered afterwards by any means, as if thou search thou'lt see, except by crossing one of these two fords; either must God, of his sole courtesy, remit, or man must pay with all that's his, the debt of sin in its entirety. Within the Eternal Counsel's deep abyss rivet thine eye, and with a heed as good as thou canst give me, do thou follow this. Man from his finite assets never could make satisfaction; ne'er could he abase him so low, obey thereafter all he would, as he'd by disobedience sought to raise him; and for this cause man might not pay his due himself, nor from the debtor's roll erase him. Needs then must God, by his own ways, renew man's proper life, and reinstate him so; his ways I say - by one, or both of two. And since the doer's actions ever show more gracious as the style of them makes plain the goodness of the heart from which they flow, that most high Goodness which is God was fain - even God, whose impress Heaven and earth display - by all His ways to lift you up again; nor, between final night and primal day, was e'er proceeding so majestical and high, nor shall not be, by either way; for God's self-giving, which made possible that man should raise himself, showed more largesse than if by naked power He'd cancelled all; and every other means would have been less than justice, if it had not pleased God's Son to be humiliate in fleshliness.
Dante Alighieri (Paradiso (The Divine Comedy, #3))
We live in a world where we have to sacrifice our comfort for the sake of others. Where we have to go an extra mile to meet others' needs. Where we have to dig deep in our resources to please others. I have gone out of my comfort zone for some people. Some people have gone out of their comfort zone for me. And I'm grateful. It's life. It's a common thing. There is no right or wrong to this behaviour. We do it because either we want to or that we must. By the way, our self-sacrificing service can be unhealthy to us. Some people burn themselves down trying to keep others warm. Some break their backs trying to carry the whole world. Some break their bones trying to bend backwards for their loved ones. All these sacrifices are, sometimes, not appreciated. Usually we don't thank the people who go out of their comfort zone to make us feel comfortable. Again, although it's not okay, it's a common thing. It's another side of life. To be fair, we must get in touch with our humanity and show gratitude for these sacrifices. We owe it to so many people. And sometimes we don't even realise it. Thanks be to God for forgiving our sins — which we repeat. Thanks to our world leaders and the activists for the work that they do to make our economic life better. Thanks to our teachers, lecturers, mentors, and role models for shaping our lives. Thanks to our parents for their continual sacrifices. Thanks to our friends for their solid support. Thanks to our children, nephews, and nieces. They allow us to practise discipline and leadership on them. Thanks to the doctors and nurses who save our lives daily. Thanks to safety professionals and legal representatives. They protect us and our possessions. Thanks to our church leaders, spiritual gurus and guides, and meditation partners. They shape our spiritual lives. Thanks to musicians, actors, writers, poets, and sportspeople for their entertainment. Thanks to everyone who contributes in a positive way to our society. Whether recognised or not. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
Mitta Xinindlu
Equal protection under the law is not a hard principle to convince Americans of. The difficulty comes in persuading them that it has been violated in particular cases, and of the need to redress the wrong. Prejudice and indifference run deep. Education, social reform, and political action can persuade some. But most people will not feel the sufferings of others unless they feel, even in an abstract way, that 'it could have been me or someone close to me'. Consider the astonishingly rapid transformation of American attitudes toward homosexuality and even gay marriage over the past decades. Gay activism brought these issues to public attention but attitudes were changed during tearful conversations over dinner tables across American when children came out to their parents (and, sometimes, parents came out to their children). Once parents began to accept their children, extended families did too, and today same-sex marriages are celebrated across the country with all the pomp and joy and absurd overspending of traditional American marriages. Race is a wholly different matter. Given the segregation in American society white families have little chance of seeing and therefore understanding the lives of black Americans. I am not black male motorist and never will be. All the more reason, then, that I need some way to identify with one if I am going to be affected by his experience. And citizenship is the only thing I know we share. The more differences between us are emphasized, the less likely I will be to feel outrage at his mistreatment. Black Lives Matter is a textbook example of how not to build solidarity. There is no denying that by publicizing and protesting police mistreatment of African-Americans the movement mobilized supporters and delivered a wake-up call to every American with a conscience. But there is also no denying that the movement's decision to use this mistreatment to build a general indictment of American society, and its law enforcement institutions, and to use Mau-Mau tactics to put down dissent and demand a confession of sins and public penitence (most spectacularly in a public confrontation with Hillary Clinton, of all people), played into the hands of the Republican right. As soon as you cast an issue exclusively in terms of identity you invite your adversary to do the same. Those who play one race card should be prepared to be trumped by another, as we saw subtly and not so subtly in the 2016 presidential election. And it just gives that adversary an additional excuse to be indifferent to you. There is a reason why the leaders of the civil rights movement did not talk about identity the way black activists do today, and it was not cowardice or a failure to be "woke". The movement shamed America into action by consciously appealing to what we share, so that it became harder for white Americans to keep two sets of books, psychologically speaking: one for "Americans" and one for "Negroes". That those leaders did not achieve complete success does not mean that they failed, nor does it prove that a different approach is now necessary. No other approach is likely to succeed. Certainly not one that demands that white Americans agree in every case on what constitutes discrimination or racism today. In democratic politics it is suicidal to set the bar for agreement higher than necessary for winning adherents and elections.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
Her gaze fell on his lips, and she remembered the ointment in her basket. She bit her lower lip. Dare she? A small smile formed on the man's mouth, and Serena reared back. Could he read her mind? Of course not, she chided herself. He was probably just feeling better- he'd certainly needed the water he had been able to ingest. Slowly, so as not to disturb his sleep, she leaned toward the basket on the floor and rummaged through it until her fingers wrapped around a little clay pot. It was in her lap and opened before she realized she had made her decision. She looked down at the ointment. Normally, she would have given it to the patient and allowed him to apply it himself, but this man clearly could not manage that. She dipped her finger into the pot before she could convince herself otherwise, the soothing smells of lemon and beeswax filling the space around them. Her hand stretched out toward his face, her heart pounding. What if he woke? How would she explain what she was doing? She dabbed a bit on his lower lip and sat back to see what response he would have. Nothing. He slept on. She nodded. She was a nurse; she could do this. Leaning in again, she quickly spread the ointment across his bottom lip. He moved his head away, as if avoiding a fly, but didn't wake. Determined to finish the job, she reached for the upper lip, which wasn't quite as chapped. It was softer and curved, dark rose in color with an indention in the middle that must be sinful, it was so well shaped. Her heart pounded in her chest and her breath quickened as she spread the ointment across the top of his upper lip. She halted, realizing how close she had leaned in, how deep her breathing had become... When had she closed her eyes? Heaven help her, she wanted to kiss him. "You can, you know." At first she didn't know if the deep voice had come from the man or some other being in the room, so deep and quiet and inside her head it was. Her eyelids shot open as she straightened. "Can what?" "Kiss me." He smiled, but didn't open his eyes. Serena gasped, "Thee has been awake this entire time?" One of his shoulders lifted. "I didn't think it would help my cause-" he paused pressing his lips together, as though struggling to stay conscious- "for you to realize that.
Jamie Carie (The Duchess and the Dragon)
My husband and I have been a part of the same small group for the past five years.... Like many small groups, we regularly share a meal together, love one another practically, and serve together to meet needs outside our small group. We worship, study God’s Word, and pray. It has been a rich time to grow in our understanding of God, what Jesus has accomplished for us, God’s purposes for us as a part of his kingdom, his power and desire to change us, and many other precious truths. We have grown in our love for God and others, and have been challenged to repent of our sin and trust God in every area of our lives. It was a new and refreshing experience for us to be in a group where people were willing to share their struggles with temptation and sin and ask for prayer....We have been welcomed by others, challenged to become more vulnerable, held up in prayer, encouraged in specific ongoing struggles, and have developed sweet friendships. I have seen one woman who had one foot in the world and one foot in the church openly share her struggles with us. We prayed that God would show her the way of escape from temptation many times and have seen God’s work in delivering her. Her openness has given us a front row seat to see the power of God intersect with her weakness. Her continued vulnerability and growth in godliness encourage us to be humble with one another, and to believe that God is able to change us too. Because years have now passed in close community, God’s work can be seen more clearly than on a week-by-week basis. One man who had some deep struggles and a lot of anger has grown through repenting of sin and being vulnerable one on one and in the group. He has been willing to hear the encouragement and challenges of others, and to stay in community throughout his struggle.... He has become an example in serving others, a better listener, and more gentle with his wife. As a group, we have confronted anxiety, interpersonal strife, the need to forgive, lust, family troubles, unbelief, the fear of man, hypocrisy, unemployment, sickness, lack of love, idolatry, and marital strife. We have been helped, held accountable, and lifted up by one another. We have also grieved together, celebrated together, laughed together, offended one another, reconciled with one another, put up with one another,...and sought to love God and one another. As a group we were saddened in the spring when a man who had recently joined us felt that we let him down by not being sensitive to his loneliness. He chose to leave. I say this because, with all the benefits of being in a small group, it is still just a group of sinners. It is Jesus who makes it worth getting together. Apart from our relationship with him...,we have nothing to offer. But because our focus is on Jesus, the group has the potential to make a significant and life-changing difference in all our lives. ...When 7 o’clock on Monday night comes around, I eagerly look forward to the sound of my brothers and sisters coming in our front door. I never know how the evening will go, what burdens people will be carrying, how I will be challenged, or what laughter or tears we will share. But I always know that the great Shepherd will meet us and that our lives will be richer and fuller because we have been together. ...I hope that by hearing my story you will be encouraged to make a commitment to become a part of a small group and experience the blessing of Christian community within the smaller, more intimate setting that it makes possible. 6
Timothy S. Lane (How People Change)
What franticke fit (quoth he) hath thus distraught Thee, foolish man, so rash a doome to give? What justice ever other judgement taught, But he should die, who merites not to live? None else to death this man despayring drive, But his owne guiltie mind deserving death. Is then unjust to each his due to give? Or let him die, that loatheth living breath? Or let him die at ease, that liveth here uneath? Who travels by the wearie wandring way, To come unto his wished home in haste, And meetes a flood, that doth his passage stay, Is not great grace to helpe him over past, Or free his feet, that in the myre sticke fast? Most envious man, that grieves at neighbours good, And fond, that joyest in the woe thou hast, Why wilt not let him passe, that long hath stood Upon the banke, yet wilt thy selfe not passe the flood? He there does now enjoy eternall rest And happie ease, which thou doest want and crave, And further from it daily wanderest: What if some litle paine the passage have, That makes fraile flesh to feare the bitter wave? Is not short paine well borne, that brings long ease, And layes the soule to sleepe in quiet grave? Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie seas, Ease after warre, death after life does greatly please. [...] Is not his deed, what ever thing is donne, In heaven and earth? did not he all create To die againe? all ends that was begonne. Their times in his eternall booke of fate Are written sure, and have their certaine date. Who then can strive with strong necessitie, That holds the world in his still chaunging state, Or shunne the death ordaynd by destinie? When houre of death is come, let none aske whence, nor why. The lenger life, I wote the greater sin, The greater sin, the greater punishment: All those great battels, which thou boasts to win, Through strife, and bloud-shed, and avengement, Now praysd, hereafter deare thou shalt repent: For life must life, and bloud must bloud repay. Is not enough thy evill life forespent? For he, that once hath missed the right way, The further he doth goe, the further he doth stray. Then do no further goe, no further stray, But here lie downe, and to thy rest betake, Th'ill to prevent, that life ensewen may. For what hath life, that may it loved make, And gives not rather cause it to forsake? Feare, sicknesse, age, losse, labour, sorrow, strife, Paine, hunger, cold, that makes the hart to quake; And ever fickle fortune rageth rife, All which, and thousands mo do make a loathsome life. Thou wretched man, of death hast greatest need, If in true ballance thou wilt weigh thy state: For never knight, that dared warlike deede, More lucklesse disaventures did amate: Witnesse the dongeon deepe, wherein of late Thy life shut up, for death so oft did call; And though good lucke prolonged hath thy date, Yet death then, would the like mishaps forestall, Into the which hereafter thou maiest happen fall. Why then doest thou, O man of sin, desire To draw thy dayes forth to their last degree? Is not the measure of thy sinfull hire High heaped up with huge iniquitie, Against the day of wrath, to burden thee? Is not enough, that to this Ladie milde Thou falsed hast thy faith with perjurie, And sold thy selfe to serve Duessa vilde, With whom in all abuse thou hast thy selfe defilde? Is not he just, that all this doth behold From highest heaven, and beares an equall eye? Shall he thy sins up in his knowledge fold, And guiltie be of thine impietie? Is not his law, Let every sinner die: Die shall all flesh? what then must needs be donne, Is it not better to doe willinglie, Then linger, till the glasse be all out ronne? Death is the end of woes: die soone, O faeries sonne.
Edmund Spenser (The Faerie Queene)
Others, however, have an overwhelming sense of their own inadequacy and see only their failings, and to these Edwards brings the sweetness of the Christian experience of God's comfort. He reminds us that when we come to the gospel, there is repentance and reliance upon Christ. The biblical repentance to which Edwards draws us is marked out by its all-encompassing nature. We repent not only of our sins but also of our righteousness, as we see the utter unacceptability of even our best deeds. By resting in Christ, by which we see ourselves as completely accepted by him, his record becomes ours, and our record is imputed to him. His blessings and the reward of his sacrifice become ours, and our sin is imputed to him. The consequence of this is an intense humility in our lives, and with it a blessing of comfort and sense of pardon. Paradoxically, we discover that the more sinful we see ourselves, the more radical appears the nature of the grace of God, and the sweeter the fruit of repentance becomes in our lives. Genuine repentance is brought about, ultimately, neither by the fear of consequences nor by the fear of rejection, but as a ministry of the Holy Spirit, who gives to us a deep conviction of the mercy of God.
Robert M. Norris
But I don't know anyone who has an easy life forever. Everyone I know gets their heart broken sometime, by something. The question is not, will my life be easy or will my heart break? But rather, when my heart breaks, will I choose to grow? Sometimes in the moments of the most searing pain, we think we don't have a choice. But we do. It's in those moments that we make the most important choice: grow or give up. It's easy to want to give up under the weight of what we're carrying. It seems sometimes like the only possible choice. But there's always, always, always another choice, and transformation is waiting for us just beyond that choice. This is what I know: God can make something beautiful out of anything, out of darkness and trash and broken bones. He can shine light into even the blackest night, and he leaves glimpses of hope all around us. An oyster, a sliver of moon, one new bud on a black branch, a perfect tender shoot of asparagus, fighting up through the dirt for the spring sun. New life and new beauty are all around us, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be seen. I'm coming to think there are at least two kinds of pain. There's the anxiety and fear I felt when we couldn't sell our house. And then there's the sadness I felt when I lost the baby or when my grandma passed away. Very different kinds of pain. The first kind, I think, is the king that invites us to grow. The second kind is the kind that invites us to mourn. God's not trying to teach me a lesson through my grandma's death. I wasn't supposed to love her less so the loss hurt less acutely, I'm not supposed to feel less strongly about the horror of death and dying. When we lose someone we love, when a dear friend moves away, when illness invades, it's right to mourn. It's right to feel deep, wrenching sadness. But then there's the other kind of pain, that first kind. My friend Brian says that the heart of all human conflict is the phrase "I'm not getting what I want." When you're totally honest about the pain, what's at the center? Could it be that you're not getting what you want? You're getting an invitation to grow, I think, as unwelcome as it may be. It's sloppy theology to think that all suffering is good for us, or that it's a result of sin. All suffering can be used for good, over time, after mourning and healing, by God's graciousness. But sometimes it's just plain loss, not because you needed to grow, not because life or God or anything is teaching you any kind of lesson. The trick is knowing the difference between the two.
Shauna Niequist
How painfully ignorant are many! They know literally nothing about religion. Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and faith, and grace, and conversion, and sanctification are mere "words and names" to them. They could not explain what they mean, if it were to save their lives. And can such ignorance as this take anyone to heaven? Impossible! Without knowledge, "without Christ!" How painfully self-righteous are many! They can talk complacently about having "done their duty," and being "kind to everybody," and having always "kept to their Church," and having "never been so very bad" as some--and therefore they seem to think they must go to heaven! And as to deep sense of sin and simple faith in Christ's blood and sacrifice, these seem to have no place in their religion. Their talk is all of doing and never of believing. And will such self-righteousness as this land anyone in heaven? Never! Without faith, "without Christ!" How painfully ungodly are many! They live in the habitual neglect of God's Sabbath, God's Bible, God's ordinances, and God's sacraments. They think nothing of doing things which God has flatly forbidden. They are constantly living in ways which are directly contrary to God's commandments. And can such ungodliness end in salvation? Impossible! Without the Holy Ghost, "without Christ!
J.C. Ryle (Holiness)
Perhaps it is a deep-seated reluctance to face up to the gravity of sin which has led to its omission from the vocabulary of many of our contemporaries. One acute observer of the human condition, who has noticed the disappearance of the word, is the American psychiatrist Karl Menninger. He has written about it in his book, Whatever Became of Sin? Describing the malaise of western society, its general mood of gloom and doom, he adds that ‘one misses any mention of “sin”’. ‘It was a word once in everyone’s mind, but is now rarely if ever heard. Does that mean’, he asks, ‘that no sin is involved in all our troubles...? Has no-one committed any sins? Where, indeed, did sin go? What became of it?’ (p.13). Enquiring into the causes of sin’s disappearance, Dr Menninger notes first that ‘many former sins have become crimes’, so that responsibility for dealing with them has passed from church to state, from priest to policeman (p.50), while others have dissipated into sicknesses, or at least into symptoms of sickness, so that in their case punishment has been replaced by treatment (pp.74ff.). A third convenient device called ‘collective irresponsibility’ has enabled us to transfer the blame for some of our deviant behaviour from ourselves as individuals to society as a whole or to one of its many groupings (pp.94ff.).
John R.W. Stott (The Cross of Christ)
LUKE 5 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by  uthe lake of Gennesaret, 2 vand he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were  wwashing their nets. 3Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And  xhe sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,  y“Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5And Simon answered, “Master,  zwe toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6And when they had done this,  athey enclosed a large number of fish, and  atheir nets were breaking. 7They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them.  bAnd they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying,  c“Depart from me, for  dI am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” [1] 11And when they had brought their boats to land,  ethey left everything and followed him.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
Psalm 5 Song of the Clouded Dawn For the Pure and Shining One, for her who receives the inheritance.11 By King David. 1Listen to my passionate prayer! Can’t You hear my groaning? 2Don’t You hear how I’m crying out to You? My King and my God, consider my every word, For I am calling out to You. 3At each and every sunrise You will hear my voice As I prepare my sacrifice of prayer to You. Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar And wait for Your fire to fall upon my heart.12 4I know that You, God, Are never pleased with lawlessness, And evil ones will never be invited As guests in Your house. 5Boasters collapse, unable to survive Your scrutiny, For Your hatred of evildoers is clear. 6You will make an end of all those who lie. How You hate their hypocrisy And despise all who love violence! 7But I know the way back home, And I know that You will welcome me Into Your house, For I am covered by Your covenant of mercy and love. So I come to Your sanctuary with deepest awe, To bow in worship and adore You. 8Lord, lead me in the pathways of Your pleasure, Just like You promised me You would, Or else my enemies will conquer me. Smooth out Your road in front of me, Straight and level so that I will know where to walk. 9For you can’t trust anything they say. Their hearts are nothing but deep pits of destruction, Drawing people into their darkness with their speeches. They are smooth-tongued deceivers Who flatter with their words! 10Declare them guilty, O God! Let their own schemes be their downfall! Let the guilt of their sins collapse on top of them, For they rebel against You. 11But let them all be glad, Those who turn aside to hide themselves in You, May they keep shouting for joy forever! Overshadow them in Your presence As they sing and rejoice, Then every lover of Your name Will burst forth with endless joy. 12Lord, how wonderfully You bless the righteous. Your favor wraps around each one and Covers them Under Your canopy of kindness and joy. 11. 5:Title The Hebrew word used here is Neliloth, or “flutes.” It can also be translated “inheritances.” The early church father, Augustine, translated this: “For her who receives the inheritance,” meaning the church of Jesus Christ. God the Father told the Son in Psalm 2 to ask for His inheritance; here we see it is the church that receives what Jesus asks for. We receive our inheritance of eternal life through the cross and resurrection of the Son of God. The Septuagint reads “For the end,” also found in numerous inscriptions of the Psalms. 12. 5:3 Implied in the concept of preparing the morning sacrifice. The Aramaic text states, “At dawn I shall be ready and shall appear before You.
Brian Simmons (The Psalms, Poetry on Fire (The Passion Translation))
God, Jane, you’re exactly as I imagined. Only better.” “You’re exactly…as I imagined,” she said in a strained tone. “Only bigger.” That got his attention. He drew back to stare at her. “Are you all right?” She forced a smile. “Now I’m rethinking the seduction.” He brushed a kiss to her forehead. “Let’s see what I can do about that.” He grabbed her beneath her thighs. “Hook your legs around mine if you can.” When she did, the pressure eased some, and she let out a breath. “Better?” he rasped. She nodded. Covering her breast with his hand, he kneaded it gently as he pushed farther into her below. “It will feel even better if you can relax.” Relax? Might as well ask a tree to ignore the ax biting into it. “I’ll try,” she murmured. She forced herself to concentrate on other things than his very thick thing--like how he was touching her, how he was fondling her…how amazing it felt to be joined so intimately to the man she’d been waiting nearly half her life for. Then it got easier. She actually seemed to adjust to his size. And when he slid his hand down from her breast to stroke that special spot between her legs that sent her flying, it was most effective. She wasn’t quite flying, exactly, but she was definitely leaping a bit. A giggle escaped her at that thought, and he bit out, “Something strike you as funny, sweeting?” “I never guessed that…this would feel…so odd.” “You’ll get used to it.” The hint of a future for them melted her even more than his hand down there. And that’s when he began to move, sliding out and then back in. Heavens. That was intriguing. Rather nice, actually. The more he did it, the better it felt. Then he removed his hand so he could better grip her hips, and he plunged harder into her. Oh, now that was quite…oh my. Very, very nice. His gaze burned into her as he drove deep. “Less odd now?” he managed. “Definitely…less odd.” She kissed the taut line of his jaw. “Quite…enjoyable, in fact.” He grunted and buried his face in her hair the way he was burying his…thing inside her, and it was deliciously sinful. Now she really was flying, up toward the sun. As if he realized it, he dug his hands into her hips and thrust fiercely, repeatedly, and she met his rhythm with a pushing of her own that sent her soaring. “Dom…oh, Dom…oh my…” “Jane,” he rasped as his strokes grew frenzied. “It’s always…been you. Only you.” “Only you,” she echoed. She’d been fooling herself about Edwin. There had only ever been one man in her heart. And as he drove himself deep inside her, he sent her vaulting into the sun. When he followed her into the bliss, she clutched him close to her chest and prayed that he would let her inside his heart as deeply as she’d let him into hers. That she wasn’t making a mistake by taking up with him again. Because it was too late to go back now. This time, he had her for better or worse.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
Their mouths crashed together. Tongues tangled. He kissed her as if he wanted to consume her, devour her alive. Fierce kisses, hard kisses, desperate, wanting kisses. He tasted like chocolate and smelled like sin. "Sam..." She pulled away. "I can't breathe." "Neither can I." Her wrapped his arms around her and drew her in for another hungry kiss. Hot, hard, and wet, melting her to the side of the Jeep. His tongue worked past her lips to plunge into her mouth, every stroke tugging at things low and deep in her belly. Her hands moved to his chest, sliding over his pecs and the ripple of abs beneath his shirt. Harman was perfect but Sam was real, his body hard from his fight training, muscles thick from use. He hissed out a breath when her fingers grazed the top of his belt, his infamous self-control giving way to her curious hands. "What are we doing?" he murmured as he drew her earlobe into his mouth, his five-o'clock shadow rough against her sensitive skin. "I don't know, but don't stop." "No chance of that." He shifted against her, his arousal as evident from his ragged breaths as the growing hardness pressed against her hips. When he thrust a thick thigh between her legs, she rocked against him, reckless and wanton in her need for release. She was dying, burning, her body on fire. She'd never felt anything like the toxic combination of anger and lust that pounded through her veins. It made her head spin, drove logic away.
Sara Desai (The Marriage Game (Marriage Game #1))
Beginning in 1519 and continuing until the end of his life, Luther expounded a theme that the Sacrament brings and means a fellowship of love and mercy: "This fellowship consists in this, that all the spiritual possessions of Christ and his saints are shared with and become the common property of him who receives this sacrament. Again all sufferings and sins also become common property; and thus love engenders love in return and [mutual love] unites . . . It is like a city where every citizen shares with all the others the city's name, honor, freedom, trade, customs, usages, help, support, protection, and the like, while at the same time he shares all the dangers of fire and flood, enemies and death, losses taxes and the like. For he who would share in the profits must also share in the costs, and ever recompense love with love . . ." For Luther, unity with respect to the Sacrament meant both doctrinal agreement and love. When the prerequisite to church fellowship is defined merely (however important!) in terms of doctrinal fellowship, it can end in a Platonic pursuit of a frigid and rigid mental ideal. Doctrinal unity, true unity in Christ's body and blood, is also a unity of deep love and mercy. If I will not lay down my burden on Christ and the community, or take up the burdens of others who come to the Table, then I should not go to the Sacrament. Close(d) Communion is also a fellowship of love and mercy with my brother and sister in Christ as Luther taught in the previous citation.
Matthew C. Harrison (Christ Have Mercy: How to Put Your Faith in Action)
Not long after I'd first met Doc, we were sitting on our rock on the hill behind the rose garden and I had asked him why I was a sinner and what I had done to be condemned to eternal hell fire unless I was born again. He sat for a long time looking over the valley, and then he said, :Peekay, God is too busy making the sun come up and go down and watching so the moon floats just right in the sky to be concerned with such rubbish. Only man ants always God should be there to condemn this on and save that one. Always it is man who wants to make heaven and hell. God is too busy training the bees to make honey and every morning opening up all the new flowers for business."He paused and smiled "In Mexico there is a cactus that even sometimes you would think God forgets. But no, my friend, this is not so. On a full moon in the desert every one hundred years he remembers and he opens up a single flower to bloom. And if you should be there and you see this beautiful cactus blossom painted silver by the moon and laughing up at the stars, this, Peekay, is heaven.: He looked at me, his deep blue eyes sharp and penetrating. "This is the faith in God the cactus has". We had sat for a while before he spoke again. "it is better just to get on with the business living and minding your own business and maybe, if God likes the way you do things, he may just let you flower for a day or a night. But don't go pestering and begging and telling him all your stupid little sins, that way you will spoil his day. Absoloodle.
Bruce Courtenay
The intellectual life may be kept clean and healthful if man will live the life of nature and not import into his mind difficulties which are none of his. No man need be perplexed in his speculations. Not less conspicuous is the preponderance of nature over will in all practical life. There is less intention in history than we ascribe to it. We impute deep-laid far-sighted plans to Cæsar and Napoleon; but the best of their power was in nature, not in them. Our life might be much easier and simpler than we make it; that the world might be a happier place than it is; that there is no need of struggle, convulsions, and despairs, of the wringing of the hands and the gnashing of the teeth; that we miscreate our own evil. A little consideration of what takes place around us every day would show us that a higher law than that of our will regulates events; that our painful labors are unnecessary and fruitless; that only in our easy, simple, spontaneous action are we strong, and by contenting ourselves with obedience we become divine. No man can learn what he has not preparation for learning, however near to his eyes is the object. Not in nature but in man is all the beauty and worth he sees. The world is very empty, and is indebted to this gilding, exalting soul for all its pride. He may see what he maketh. Our dreams are the sequel of our waking knowledge. The visions of the night bear some proportion to the visions of the day. Hideous dreams are exaggerations of the sins of the day. We see our evil affections embodied in bad physiognomies. The same reality pervades all teaching. The man may teach by doing, and not otherwise. If he can communicate himself he can teach, but not you words. He teaches who gives, and he learns who receives. There is no teaching until the pupil is brought into the same state or principle in which you are; a transfusion takes place; he is you and you are he; then is a teaching, and by no unfriendly chance or bad company can he never quite lose the benefit. The effect of every action is measured by the depth of the sentiment from which it proceeds. The great man knew not that he was great. It look a century or two for that fact to appear. What he did, he did because he must; it was the most natural thing in the world, and grew out of the circumstances of the moment. But now, every thing he did, even to the lifting of his finger or the eating of bread, looks large, all-related, and is called an institution. We are full of these superstitions of sense, the worship of magnitude. We call the poet inactive, because he is not a president, a merchant, or a porter. We adore an institution, and do not see that it is founded on a thought which we have. But real action is in silent moments. The epochs of our life are not in the visible facts of our choice of a calling, our marriage, our acquisition of an office, and the like, but in a silent thought by the wayside as we walk; in a thought which revises our entire manner of life and says,—‘Thus hast thou done, but it were better thus.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sin embargo, a lo largo de los últimos miles de años, los humanos nos hemos ido especializando. Un taxista o un cardiólogo se especializan en un ámbito mucho más estrecho que un cazador-recolector, lo que hace que sea más fácil sustituirlos con IA. Incluso los directores a cargo de todas estas actividades pueden ser sustituidos. Gracias a sus potentes algoritmos, Uber es capaz de gestionar a millones de taxistas con solo un puñado de humanos. La mayoría de las órdenes las dan los algoritmos sin necesidad alguna de supervisión humana.[16] En mayo de 2014, Deep Knowledge Ventures, una empresa de capital riesgo de Hong Kong especializada en medicina regenerativa, abrió un nuevo ámbito al designar a un algoritmo llamado VITAL en su consejo directivo. VITAL efectúa recomendaciones de inversión después de analizar enormes cantidades de datos de la situación financiera, ensayos clínicos y propiedad intelectual de compañías potenciales. Al igual que los otros cinco miembros del consejo, el algoritmo tiene derecho a voto en la decisión de la empresa de invertir o no en una determinada compañía. Al examinar la actuación de VITAL hasta ahora, parece que ya ha adquirido uno de los vicios de los directores generales: el nepotismo. Ha recomendado invertir en compañías que conceden más autoridad a los algoritmos. Por ejemplo, con la bendición de VITAL, Deep Knowledge Ventures ha invertido recientemente en Pathway Pharmaceuticals, que emplea un algoritmo llamado OncoFinder para seleccionar y evaluar terapias personalizadas contra el cáncer.[17]
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: Breve historia del mañana)
It is the postscript to the war that offers the most revelatory and startling commentary on Dutugemunu's life. Despite his newfound wealth and his peactime luxuries, Dutugemunu wanders gloomily about his palace, too often remembering the carnage he wrought on the battlefield and worried over the deep karmic deficits he has incurred. The elders of the Sangha, the Buddhist clergy, notice this and send a delegation of eight monks to minister to his anguish. 'In truth, venerable sirs,' Dutugemunu tells the monks when they arrive, 'how can there be comfort to me in that I caused the destruction of a great army of myriads of men?' 'There is no hindrance on the way to heaven because of your acts,' one of the monks assures his king. Slaughtering Tamils is no moral mistake. Only the equivalent of one and a half men died at Dutugemunu's hands, according to the Sangha's official arithmetic, because the Tamils 'were heretical and evil and dies as though they were animals. You will make the Buddha's faith shine in many ways. Therefore, Lord of Men, cast away your mental confusion.' Being thus exhorted, the great king was comforted; his kill rate would never disturb him again. He does, however, recall that, once upon a breakfast, he ate a red-pepper pod without consciously setting aside a portion of it for the Sangha, as was the royal practice. 'For this,' he decides, 'penance must be done by me.' A hierarchy of sin springs into being, in which dishonouring the Sangha by denying it a due share of a red-pepper pod counts as a graver transgression, worthier of penance, than massacring thousands of Tamils on the battlefield.
Samanth Subramanian (This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War)
I see at least three reasons why the gospel, as many white Christians understand and proclaim it, causes so few disturbances within our racialized society. The first has to do with the dualistic spirituality that separates people’s souls from their bodies. In this view, the priority of evangelism is to save souls for an eternity with God; everything else is secondary. An evangelistic sermon climaxes with a call to conversion without ever meaningfully addressing the material realities in the new Christian’s life. So this new believer is left to assume that the point of the Christian life is salvation from sin for heaven. A second reason for our culturally palatable evangelism is the hyper-individualism we’ve discussed in previous chapters. Because white Christianity tends to view people as self-contained individuals, we can miss significant relational connections and networks. We are blind, for example, to the cultural privilege into which white people are born in this country. Similarly, the generational oppression and disempowerment attached to the African-American experience is generally invisible to people who believe so strongly in people’s ability to determine their own future. From this individualistic vantage point, inviting people to follow Jesus will almost never disrupt the societal forces that resist the kingdom of God in their lives. Finally, in the previous chapter we observed how race detaches people from place. When Paul began proclaiming the gospel in Ephesus, both the Jews and the Greeks immediately saw how the kingdom of God challenged the deep cultural and religious assumptions of their city. But our detachment from place blinds us to how we have been impacted by our society as well as to how the gospel may very well be an offense to that same society.
David W. Swanson (Rediscipling the White Church: From Cheap Diversity to True Solidarity)
Listen, my friend! [Siddhartha speaking] I am a sinner and you are a sinner, but someday the sinner will be Brahma again, will someday attain Nirvana, will someday become a Buddha. Now this ‘someday’ is illusion; it is only a comparison. The sinner is not on the way to a Buddha-like state; he is not evolving, although our thinking cannot conceive things otherwise. No, the potential Buddha already exists in the sinner; his future is already there. The potential hidden Buddha must be recognized in him, in you, in everybody. The world, Govinda, is not imperfect or slowly evolving along a long path to perfection. No, it is perfect at every moment; every sin already carries grace within it, all small children are potential old men, all sucklings have death within them, all dying people—eternal life. It is not possible for one person to see how far another is on the way; the Buddha exists in the robber and dice player; the robber exists in the Brahmin. During deep meditation it is possible to dispel time, to see simultaneously all the past, present and future, and then everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman. Therefore, it seems to me that everything that exists is good, death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. I learned through my body and soul that it was necessary for me to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property and experience nausea and the depths of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world, and no longer compare it with some kind of desired imaginary world, some imaginary vision of perfection, but to leave it as it is, to love it and be glad to belong to it….
Henry Miller (Stand Still Like the Hummingbird (New Directions Paperbook))
THE OBEDIENCE GAME DUGGAR KIDS GROW UP playing the Obedience Game. It’s sort of like Mother May I? except it has a few extra twists—and there’s no need to double-check with “Mother” because she (or Dad) is the one giving the orders. It’s one way Mom and Dad help the little kids in the family burn off extra energy some nights before we all put on our pajamas and gather for Bible time (more about that in chapter 8). To play the Obedience Game, the little kids all gather in the living room. After listening carefully to Mom’s or Dad’s instructions, they respond with “Yes, ma’am, I’d be happy to!” then run and quickly accomplish the tasks. For example, Mom might say, “Jennifer, go upstairs to the girls’ room, touch the foot of your bed, then come back downstairs and give Mom a high-five.” Jennifer answers with an energetic “Yes, ma’am, I’d be happy to!” and off she goes. Dad might say, “Johannah, run around the kitchen table three times, then touch the front doorknob and come back.” As Johannah stands up she says, “Yes, sir, I’d be happy to!” “Jackson, go touch the front door, then touch the back door, then touch the side door, and then come back.” Jackson, who loves to play army, stands at attention, then salutes and replies, “Yes, sir, I’d be happy to!” as he goes to complete his assignment at lightning speed. Sometimes spotters are sent along with the game player to make sure the directions are followed exactly. And of course, the faster the orders can be followed, the more applause the contestant gets when he or she slides back into the living room, out of breath and pleased with himself or herself for having complied flawlessly. All the younger Duggar kids love to play this game; it’s a way to make practicing obedience fun! THE FOUR POINTS OF OBEDIENCE THE GAME’S RULES (MADE up by our family) stem from our study of the four points of obedience, which Mom taught us when we were young. As a matter of fact, as we are writing this book she is currently teaching these points to our youngest siblings. Obedience must be: 1. Instant. We answer with an immediate, prompt “Yes ma’am!” or “Yes sir!” as we set out to obey. (This response is important to let the authority know you heard what he or she asked you to do and that you are going to get it done as soon as possible.) Delayed obedience is really disobedience. 2. Cheerful. No grumbling or complaining. Instead, we respond with a cheerful “I’d be happy to!” 3. Thorough. We do our best, complete the task as explained, and leave nothing out. No lazy shortcuts! 4. Unconditional. No excuses. No, “That’s not my job!” or “Can’t someone else do it? or “But . . .” THE HIDDEN GOAL WITH this fun, fast-paced game is that kids won’t need to be told more than once to do something. Mom would explain the deeper reason behind why she and Daddy desired for us to learn obedience. “Mom and Daddy won’t always be with you, but God will,” she says. “As we teach you to hear and obey our voice now, our prayer is that ultimately you will learn to hear and obey what God’s tells you to do through His Word.” In many families it seems that many of the goals of child training have been lost. Parents often expect their children to know what they should say and do, and then they’re shocked and react harshly when their sweet little two-year-old throws a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. This parental attitude probably stems from the belief that we are all born basically good deep down inside, but the truth is, we are all born with a sin nature. Think about it: You don’t have to teach a child to hit, scream, whine, disobey, or be selfish. It comes naturally. The Bible says that parents are to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Jill Duggar (Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships)
Slowly, his hands coasted down to my hips, tracing my panties before he tugged them down. He looked up at me, even as his hand eased between my thighs. Ice-green eyes burned bright. "I've never wanted anyone as much as I want you." The calloused tips of his fingers slid along my swollen, slick sex. "Now that I have you, I don't know where to start." My lids fluttered, hands clutching at his shoulders as he rubbed back and forth. "Right there works for me." His smile was sin and promise. "You like that, honey?" "Yes." He toyed with the entrance to my sex, pausing there to push just enough for me to feel it, to want it. "How about here?" "There is..." My breath caught. He pushed in, long strong fingers filling me. "Is what?" he murmured darkly, those talented fingers slowly fucking me, as though he had all the time in the world. The blunt end of his thumb found my puffy clit and circled it. I whimpered again, falling against him, my arms wrapping around his neck. "So fucking good." He made a noise, possessive and greedy, his mouth finding my nipple, his long fingers pushing up into me. "God, you're perfect. So perfect for me." The slight curl of his fingers hit a spot, and that was it. I came in waves, shaking with it, heat swamping me. His eyes held mine as he coaxed me along, drawing my pleasure out. With a groan that sounded almost pained, Lucian slid to the floor, his wide shoulders edging between my legs. He palmed my thighs in his big hands to hold me steady. And then, with an impatient grunt, he leaned in and kissed my throbbing clit. Kissed it like he kissed my mouth, greedy and deep, licking and sucking, nibbling with firm lips. I cried out again, my knees so weak he had to hold me up. He ate me like a dessert, lapping at my slit before thrusting his tongue inside me. I couldn't take it. It was too much. I came again, writhing against his mouth. "That's it," he said between frantic kisses. "That's it, Em. Work that sweet pussy on my mouth." Oh, hell. I crumpled, dislodging myself before falling onto his lap. I cupped the thick column of his nape and kissed him, drawing in his breath as he groaned and devoured me.
Kristen Callihan (Make It Sweet)
The temple was in a field of graves suddenly a pitiful-looking skeleton appeared and said: A melancholy autumn wind Blows through the world; the pampas grass waves As we drift to the moor, Drift to the sea. What can be done With the mind of a man That should be clear But though he is dressed up in a monk's robe, Just lets life pass him by? Such deep musings Made me uneasy, I could not sleep. Towards dawn I dozed off... I found myself surrounded by a group of skeletons, acting as they had when they were still alive. One skeleton came over to me and said: Memories Flee and Are no more. All are empty dreams Devoid of meaning. Violate the reality of things And babble about 'God' and 'the Buddha' And you will never find the true Way. Still breathing, You feel animated, So a corpse in a field Seems to be something Apart from you. If chunks of rock Can serve as a memento To the dead A better headstone Would be a simple tea-mortar. Humans are indeed frightful things. A single moon Bright and clear In an unclouded sky; Yet we still stumble In the world's darkness. This world Is but A fleeting dream So why be alarmed At its evanescence? The vagaries of life, Though painful, Teach us Not to cling To this floating world. Why do people Lavish decoration On this set of bones, Destined to disappear Without a trace? The original body Must return to Its original place. Do not search For what cannot be found. No one really knows The nature of birth Nor the true dwelling place. We return to the source And turn to dust. Many paths lead from The foot of the mountain, But at the peak We all gaze at the Single bright moon. If at the end of our journey There is no final Resting place, Then we need not fear Losing our Way. No beginning. No end. Our mind Is born and dies; The emptiness of emptiness! Relax, And the mind Runs wild; Control the world And you can cast it aside. Rain, hail, snow, and ice: All are different But when they fall They become to same water As the valley stream. The ways of proclaiming The Mind all vary, But the same heavenly truth Can be seen In each and every one. Cover your path With fallen pine needles So no one will be able To locate your True dwelling place. How vain, The endless funderals at the Cremation grounds of Mount Toribe! Don't the mourner realize That they will be next? 'Life is fleeeting!' We think at the sight Of smoke drifting from Mount Toribe, But when will we realize That we are in the same boat? All is in vain! This morning, A healthy friend; This evening, A wisp of cremation smoke. What a pity! Evening smoke from Mount Toribe Blown violently To and fro By the wind. When burned We become ashes, and earth when buried. Is it only our sins That remain behind? All the sins Committed In the Three Worlds Will fade away Together with me.
Ikkyu
maternal love, the most successful object of the religious imagination of romantic art. For the most part real and human, it is yet entirely spiritual, without the interest and exigency of desire, not sensuous and yet present: absolutely satisfied and blissful spiritual depth. It is a love without craving, but it is not friendship; for be friendship never so rich in emotion, it yet demands a content, something essential, as a mutual end and aim. Whereas, without any reciprocity of aim and interests, maternal love has an immediate support in the natural bond of connection. But in this instance the mother’s love is not at all restricted to the natural side. In the child which she conceived and then bore in travail, Mary has the complete knowledge and feeling of herself; and the same child, blood of her blood, stands all the same high above her, and nevertheless this higher being belongs to her and is the object in which she forgets and maintains herself. The natural depth of feeling in the mother’s love is altogether spiritualized; it has the Divine as its proper content, but this spirituality remains lowly and unaware, marvellously penetrated by natural oneness and human feeling. It is the blissful maternal love, the love of the one mother alone who was the first recipient of this joy. Of course this love too is not without grief, but the grief is only the sorrow of loss, lamentation for her suffering, dying, and dead son, and does not, as we shall see at a later stage,[9] result from injustice and torment from without, or from the infinite battle against sins, or from the agony and pain brought about by the self. Such deep feeling is here spiritual beauty, the Ideal, human identification of man with God, with the spirit and with truth: a pure forgetfulness and complete self-surrender which still in this forgetfulness is from the beginning one with that into which it is merged and now with blissful satisfaction has a sense of this oneness. In such a beautiful way maternal love, the picture as it were of the Spirit, enters romantic art in place of the Spirit itself because only in the form of feeling is the Spirit made prehensible by art, and the feeling of the unity between the individual and God is present in the most original, real, and living way only in the Madonna’s maternal love. This love must enter art necessarily if, in the portrayal of this sphere, the Ideal, the affirmative satisfied reconciliation is not to be lacking. There was therefore a time when the maternal love of the blessed Virgin belonged in general to the highest and holiest [part of religion] and was worshipped and represented as this supreme fact. But when the Spirit brings itself into consciousness of itself in its own element, separated from the whole natural grounding which feeling supplies, then too it is only the spiritual mediation, free from such a grounding, that can be regarded as the free route to the truth; and so, after all, in Protestantism, in contrast to mariolatry in art and in faith, the Holy Spirit and the inner mediation of the Spirit has become the higher truth.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Many people approach Tolstoy with mixed feelings. They love the artist in him and are intensely bored by the preacher; but at the same time it is rather difficult to separate Tolstoy the preacher from Tolstoy the artist—it is the same deep slow voice, the same robust shoulder pushing up a cloud of visions or a load of ideas. What one would like to do, would be to kick the glorified soapbox from under his sandalled feet and then lock him up in a stone house on a desert island with gallons of ink and reams of paper—far away from the things, ethical and pedagogical, that diverted his attention from observing the way the dark hair curled above Anna's white neck. But the thing cannot be done : Tolstoy is homogeneous, is one, and the struggle which, especially in the later years, went on between the man who gloated over the beauty of black earth, white flesh, blue snow, green fields, purple thunderclouds, and the man who maintained that fiction is sinful and art immoral—this struggle was still confined within the same man. Whether painting or preaching, Tolstoy was striving, in spite of all obstacles, to get at the truth. As the author of Anna Karenin, he used one method of discovering truth; in his sermons, he used another; but somehow, no matter how subtle his art was and no matter how dull some of his other attitudes were, truth which he was ponderously groping for or magically finding just around the corner, was always the same truth — this truth was he and this he was an art. What troubles one, is merely that he did not always recognize his own self when confronted with truth. I like the story of his picking up a book one dreary day in his old age, many years after he had stopped writing novels, and starting to read in the middle, and getting interested and very much pleased, and then looking at the title—and seeing: Anna Karenin by Leo Tolstoy. What obsessed Tolstoy, what obscured his genius, what now distresses the good reader, was that, somehow, the process of seeking the Truth seemed more important to him than the easy, vivid, brilliant discovery of the illusion of truth through the medium of his artistic genius. Old Russian Truth was never a comfortable companion; it had a violent temper and a heavy tread. It was not simply truth, not merely everyday pravda but immortal istina—not truth but the inner light of truth. When Tolstoy did happen to find it in himself, in the splendor of his creative imagination, then, almost unconsciously, he was on the right path. What does his tussle with the ruling Greek-Catholic Church matter, what importance do his ethical opinions have, in the light of this or that imaginative passage in any of his novels? Essential truth, istina, is one of the few words in the Russian language that cannot be rhymed. It has no verbal mate, no verbal associations, it stands alone and aloof, with only a vague suggestion of the root "to stand" in the dark brilliancy of its immemorial rock. Most Russian writers have been tremendously interested in Truth's exact whereabouts and essential properties. To Pushkin it was of marble under a noble sun ; Dostoevski, a much inferior artist, saw it as a thing of blood and tears and hysterical and topical politics and sweat; and Chekhov kept a quizzical eye upon it, while seemingly engrossed in the hazy scenery all around. Tolstoy marched straight at it, head bent and fists clenched, and found the place where the cross had once stood, or found—the image of his own self.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lectures on Russian Literature)