Tsh Oxenreider


“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” - Archilochus

“Well, if it’s just a symbol, to hell with it.” - Flannery O’Connor (on the Eucharist)

“We shape our dwellings and afterward, our dwellings shape us.” - Winston Churchill

“Peace at home, that is the blessing…home should be made so truly home that the weary tempted heart could turn toward it anywhere on the dusty highway of life and recieve light and strength.”

“When a maniac is at the door, feuding brothers reconcile.” - Peter Kreeft

“Anyone who does not believe in miracles is not a realist.“ - Audrey Hepburn

If you want your behavior and your philosophy to make sense, you should want to believe. You need not give up a shred of your vitality, of your intelligence, of your openness to discovery or space travel. On the contrary, if you want your language to mean anything, your space travel to be worthwhile, and your virtue to be more than an empty performance, there must be some ultimate truth to which it is all referring and against which it can all be judged.” - Spencer Klavan

“You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working, and just so, you learn to love by loving.” - St. Francis de Sales

“To believe in suffering is pride — but to suffer, believing in God, is humility.” - Thomas Merton

“It takes a lot of energy to insist on being special all the time. Feel what relief there is in the ordinary.” - Peter Høeg

“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labor tends.” - Samuel Johnson

“There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.” - David Foster Wallace

“Ancient liberty: you are most free when you have disciplined your passions and can pursue the good. Modern freedom: you are most free when you have the greatest options in satiating your passions on what you deem good. One makes you God-like; the other is worse than cattle.” - Harrison Garlick

“If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.” - John Irving

“Maybe you are searching in the branches for what only exists in the roots.” - Rumi

“Weak things must boast of being new. …Strong things can boast of being old.” - GK Chesterton

“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” - Gustav Mahler

“Everyone thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.” - Leo Tolstoy

“Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” - Stephen King

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” - Oscar Wilde

“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.” - Seneca

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” - Coco Chanel

“The Catholic Church is the only thing which saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.” - G.K. Chesterton

“Hang on to your youthful enthusiasms — you’ll be able to use them better when you’re older.” - Seneca

“We are what we love. If we love God, in whose image we were created, we discover ourselves in him and we cannot help being happy: we have already achieved something of the fullness of being for which we were destined in our creation. If we love everything else but God, we contradict the image born in our very essence, and we cannot help being unhappy, because we are living a caricature of what we are meant to be.” - Thomas Merton

“October had tremendous possibility. The summer’s oppressive heat was a distant memory, and the golden leaves promised a world full of beautiful adventures. They made me believe in miracles.” - Sarah Guillory

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” - Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Tolerance will reach such a level that intelligent people will be banned from thinking so as not to offend the imbeciles.” - Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Every heresy is a truth taught out of proportion.” - G.K. Chesterton

“Men are free when they are obeying some deep, inward voice of religious belief. Obeying from within. Men are free when they belong to a living, organic, believing community, active in fulfilling some unfulfilled, perhaps unrealized purpose. Not when they are escaping to some wild west. The most unfree souls go west, and shout of freedom.” - D.H. Lawrence

“A Catholic is a person who has plucked up enough courage to face the incredible and inconceivable idea that something else may be wiser than he is.” - GK Chesterton

“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.” - Margaret Thatcher

“Don’t worry about being effective. Just concentrate on being faithful to the truth.” - Dorothy Day

“If you care too much about being praised, in the end you will not accomplish anything serious.” — Leo Tolstoy

“I insist that the object of all true education is not to make men carpenters, but to make carpenters men.” - WEB Dubois

“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.” - Dorothy Day

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage.” - Rainer Marie Rilke

“For those who expect everything, there are many curses. For those who appreciate everything, there are many blessings.” - James Clear

“We become so consumed with education that it becomes entertainment.” — Clark Kegley

“Every action casts a vote for the person you want to become.” — James Clear

“We need beauty because it makes us ache to be worthy of it.” — Mary Oliver

“You don’t have to be the victim of your environment, you can also be the architect of it.” — James Clear

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.” — Ransom Riggs

“The only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books.” — C.S. Lewis

“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” — C.S. Lewis

“We meet no ordinary people in our lives.” — C.S. Lewis

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.” — C.S. Lewis

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” — C.S. Lewis

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” — C.S. Lewis

“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” — Mark Twain

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” — Mark Twain

“Courage is found in unlikely places.” — J.R.R. Tolkien

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” — J.R.R. Tolkien

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” — J.R.R. Tolkien

“The gift of gardening, as I see it, is that it tells us who we are — or, perhaps more accurately, who we’re supposed to be.” — Joy Ike

“If we have been pleased with life, we should not be displeased with death, since it comes from the hand of the same master.” — Michelangelo

“In light of heaven, the worst suffering on earth will be seen to be no more serious than one night in an inconvenient hotel.” — St. Teresa of Avila

“Liberalism is the view that the only story I have is the one I tell myself.” — Stanley Horowitz

“He who is virtuous is wise; and he who is wise is good; and he who is good is happy.” — Boethius

“Where there is no horse, a donkey will do good work.” — Italian Proverb

“I’m not saying that you have to be a reader to save your soul in the modern world. I’m saying it helps.” — Walter Mosley

“I do not write for notoriety or money or publication or my own damned ego; I write because the writing itself—the pure craft—is worth the work.” — Seth Haines

“The great poet in writing himself writes his time.” — TS Eliot

“He who has a why can endure any how.” — Frederick Nietzsche

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” — Stephen King

“Personal responsibility is the ultimate freedom. When you refuse to take responsibility for yourself, you are, whether you know it or not, giving it to somebody else.” — Zuby Udezue

“What you risk reveals what you value.” — Jeanette Winterson

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.” — Ranson Riggs

“Catholicism does not say ‘you do you,’ because news flash, you may be beautiful and blessed but you’re also broken as hell. You’re also a sinner who is naturally going to think of themselves and their own comforts first. In truth, nobody is a full on you-do-you believer.” — Claire Swinarski

“If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want.” — Oscar Wilde

“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” — Dinos Christianopoulos

“It takes readers as well as writers to make literature.” — Flannery O’Connor

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” — Epicurus

“A man with a car in a world designed for feet is a god. A man with a car in a world designed for cars is in traffic.” — Marc Barnes

“If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” — Frank A. Clark

“The truth is the truth even if no one believes it, and a lie is a lie even if everyone believes it.” — Fulton Sheen

“Freedom that lacks moral truth becomes its own worst enemy.” — George Weigel

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” — GK Chesterton

“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” — Flannery O’Connor

“I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.” — Lee Maynard

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” — George Eliot

“Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk—and to act.” — André Malraux

“For me, success is not a public thing. It’s a private thing. It’s when you have fewer and fewer regrets.” — Toni Morrison

“Don’t just do something, sit there.” — Sylvia Boorstein

“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” — Henry David Thoreau

“Actions speak louder than words. Let your words teach and your actions speak.” — St. Anthony of Padua

“I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous, or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular, but because it never forgot what it could do.” — Naomi Shihab Nye

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” — Madeleine L’Engle

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like, ‘What about lunch?’” — Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne

“Seven deadly sins: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, science without humanity, knowledge without character, politics without principle, commerce without morality, worship without sacrifice.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way.” — Flannery O’Connor

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” — Antoine de Saint Exúpery

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.” — William Butler Yeats

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” — Aristotle

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” — Winston Churchill

“Rub your eyes and purify your heart — and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well.” — Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” — G.K. Chesterton

“What you gaze on is what you become.” — Sam Guzman

“You become like what you worship. When you gaze in awe, admiration, and wonder at something or someone, you begin to take on something of the character of the object of your worship.” — N.T. Wright

“There can be no spiritual health, individually or communally, when there is no real involvement with the struggles of the poor.” — Ronald Rolheiser

“I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.” — Dorothy Day

“I watch what I’m doing to see what I believe.” — Sr. Helen Prejean

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” — Audrey Hepburn

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” — Sam Keen

“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.” — Wallace Stevens

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” — John Lubbock

“Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the tree house; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape.” — Harper Lee

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

“People generally quarrel because they cannot argue. And it is extraordinary to notice how few people in the modern world can argue. This is why there are so many quarrels, breaking out again and again, and never coming to any natural end.” — GK Chesterton

“Education is not the acquisition of marketable skills, or self-improvement, culture, personal fulfillment or even knowledge—though these benefits normally occur; but, essentially, it’s a call to something higher than ourselves.” — John Senior

“Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself…do not be disheartened by your imperfections, but always rise up with fresh courage.” — St. Francis de Sales

“The object of education is to teach us to love what is beautiful.” — Plato

“The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.” — Wendell Berry

Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant." — Alice Walker

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“If all the world is a commodity, how poor we grow. When all the world is a gift in motion, how wealthy we become… a great longing is upon us, to live again in a world made of gifts.” — Robin Wall Kimmerer

“To be mature you have to realize what you value most. It is extraordinary to discover that comparatively few people reach this level of maturity. They seem never to have paused to consider what has value for them. They spend great effort and sometimes make great sacrifices for values that, fundamentally, meet no real needs of their own. Perhaps they have imbibed the values of their particular profession or job, of their community or their neighbors, of their parents or family. Not to arrive at a clear understanding of one’s own values is a tragic waste. You have missed the whole point of what life is for.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

“It’s at the tomb that we discover things about ourselves. It’s at the tomb that we come to make sense of the questions that have dogged us down the weeks of Lent. At the tomb they all come together in one great, blinding awareness.” — Joan Chittister

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” — Lao Tzu

“I got tears in my eyes, but they were not the crying kind, they were just the kind that show you your body agrees so much with what your mind just said.” — Elizabeth Berg

“How are you complicit in creating the conditions you say you don’t want?” — Jerry Colonna

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense that once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” — James Baldwin

“In an age that has thrown off all tradition, the only rebellion possible is orthodoxy.” — Peter Kreeft

“We live the given life, and not the planned.” — Wendell Berry

“My soul is more at rest from the tempter when I am busily employed.” — Francis Asbury

“The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God.” — St. John of Damascus

“God remembers everything violence forgets.” — David Dark

“For Christ plays in ten thousand places, Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his To the Father through the features of men’s faces.” — Gerald Manley Hopkins

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” — John Muir

“Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.” — Thomas Merton

“The person who loves their dream of community, will destroy community, but the person who loves those around him will create community.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“People fall so in love with their pain, they can’t leave it behind. The same as the stories they tell. We trap ourselves.” — Chuck Palahniuk

“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” — G.K. Chesterton

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” — Galileo

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God, but only he who sees takes off his shoes; the rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” — Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.” — T.S. Eliot

“The world will be a quieter, less hostile place if we replace the desire to shout with the desire to be heard, if we replace the desire to win the argument with the desire to move the person who wants to argue, and if we reserve for ourselves some of the toughest questions we can conjure up.” — Trey Gowdy

“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happens better than all the riches or power in the world. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.” — Mary Oliver

“Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.” — Prentis Hemphill

“Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.” — C.S. Lewis

“Maturity is learning how to start when you feel like procrastinating and learning how to listen when you feel like talking.” — James Clear

“Fantasy is what people want, but reality is what they need.” — Lauryn Hill

“Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.” — E.B. White

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” — Voltaire

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” — T.S. Eliot

“Never underestimate a man who overestimates himself.” — Mark Shields

“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise; seek what they sought.” — Kūkai

“So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.” — Rainbow Rowell

“In the long-run, the people who succeed are the ones who want to live the lifestyle that precedes the results. Stop asking, ‘What results do I want to have?’ Start asking, ‘What lifestyle do I want to live?’ It’s common to want results. It’s rare to want the lifestyle.” — James Clear

“Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.” — Steve Maraboli

“Into this world, this demented inn in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited.” — Thomas Merton

“And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.” — Fred Rogers

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” — Epicurus

“Ordinary isn’t the enemy but instead something nourishing and unavoidable, the bedrock upon which the rest of experience ebbs and flows. Embrace this — the warm water, the pruned hands, the prismatic gleam of the bubbles and the steady passage from dish to dish to dish — and feel, however briefly, the breath of actual time, a reality that lies dormant and plausible under all the clutter we pile on top of it. A bird makes its indecipherable call to another bird, a song from a passing car warps in the Doppler effect and I’m reminded, if only for a moment, that I need a lot less than I think I do and that I don’t have to leave my kitchen to get it.” — Mike Powell

“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” — Abraham Lincoln

“The desire to be right and the desire to have been right are two desires, and the sooner we separate them the better off we are. The desire to be right is the thirst for truth. The desire to have been right is the pride that goeth before a fall. It stands in the way of our seeing we were wrong, and thus blocks the progress of our knowledge.” — W.V. Quine & J.S. Ullian

“The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and a thousand other things well.” — Hugh Walpole

“Many people assume they are bad at writing because it is hard. This is like assuming you are bad at weightlifting because the weight is heavy. Writing is useful because it is hard. It’s the effort that goes into writing a clear sentence that leads to better thinking.” — James Clear

“If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people. It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to carpet the whole of the earth.” — Anthony de Mello

“October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!” — Rainbow Rowell

“Do few things, but do them well. Simple joys are holy.” — St. Francis of Assisi

“The only way we will love our neighbor as ourselves is by getting to know our neighbors, even in the midst of our differences. And the only way to truly know someone is by being with them.” — Eric Overby

“The artistry of the well-crafted words used to sketch the imaginative worlds of my favorite books livened me to the mystery and splendor of the real world around me.” — Sally Clarkson

“It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.” — Viktor Frankl

“Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.” — Jose Ortega y Gassett

“Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul… but I must confess that I love you only because you are a prelude to my beloved October.” — Peggy Toney Horton

“There is nothing more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.” — Homer

“Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull. …Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a man can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or indulge in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of rules and set tasks.” — G.K. Chesterton

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” — St. Augustine

“If you wish to become wise, learn from wise people.” — Peter Redpath

“Our responsibility to our children is not to pretend that if we don’t look, evil will go away, but to give them weapons against it.” — Madeleine L’Engle

“Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before.” — Cal Newport

“We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.” — Confucius

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” — Michel de Montaigne

“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.” — G.K. Chesterton

“Might we consider boredom as not only necessary for our life but also as one of its greatest blessings? A gift, pure and simple, a precious chance to be alone with our thoughts and alone with God?” — Kathleen Norris

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.” — Wendell Berry

“To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant.” — John Henry Newman

“The greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously.” — Julian Barnes

“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.” — H.L. Menken

“You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.” — George Bernard Shaw

“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” — Samuel Adams

“My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation’s history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.” — Edward Abbey

“There is no story that is not true.” — Chinua Achebe

“It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.” — Viktor Frankl

“What writers know is that, ultimately, we learn to write by practice, hard work, by repeated trial and error, success and failure, and from the books we admire.” — Francine Prose

“Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.” — Flannery O’Connor

“Oh would some Power the gift give us, to see ourselves as others see us.” — Robert Burns

“An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.” — GK Chesterton

“Beauty will save the world.” — Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Leisure is not the privilege of those who have time, but rather the virtue of those who give to each instance of life the time it deserves.” — David Steindl-Rast

“No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helps you.” — Wilma Rudolph

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” — Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” — JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“I cannot answer the question, ‘What ought I to do?’ unless I first answer the question, ‘Of which story am I a part?’” — Alasdair MacIntyre

“He who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” — Mark Twain

“Our imaginations are aesthetic organs. Our hearts are like stringed instruments that are plucked by story, poetry, metaphor, images. We tap our feet to the rhythm of imaginative drums.” — James K.A. Smith, You Are What You Love

“Fiction does not ask us to believe things, but to imagine them. Imagining the heat of the sun on your back is about as different an activity as can be from believing that it will be sunny.” — James Wood, How Fiction Works

“The key to reading well is to treat books like people.” — Andrew Kern

“But in the end, stories are about one person saying to another: This is the way it feels to me. Can you understand what I’m saying? Does it also feel this way to you?” — Kazuo Ishiguro

“We used to stroll together on the green Who now divide the squares upon the screen, The faces of our friends, so far apart Tease us with tenderness that might have been

Some day we’ll break the bread, we’ll pour the wine And meet and kiss and feast beneath the vine, Till then we’ll sweeten solitude with verse And yearn through pain, and watch each day decline.” — Malcolm Guite, Quarantine Quatrains: Zoom

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work. Rather, teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

“If you are what you love, and love is a habit, then discipleship is a rehabituation of your loves. This means that discipleship is more a matter of reformation than of acquiring information.” — James K.A. Smith, You Are What You Love

“There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.” — David Foster Wallace

“Your deepest desire is the one manifested by your daily life and habits.” — Geoff Dyer

“There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.” — G.K. Chesterton

“The ordinary activities I find most compatible with contemplation are walking, baking bread, and doing laundry.” — Kathleen Norris

“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” — Wendell Berry

“What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.” — Pedro Arrupe, SJ

“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” — G.K. Chesterton

“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love.” — Reinhold Niebuhr

“I have discovered that the rule of silence is one of the most beautiful things in the world. It preserves one from the temptation of the idle world, the fresh remark, the wisecrack, the angry challenge.” — Frances Perkins

“A person who embraces a calling doesn’t take a direct route to self-fulfillment. She is willing to surrender the things that are most dear, and by seeking to forget herself and submerge herself she finds a purpose that defines and fulfills herself.” — David Brooks, The Road to Character

“True restfulness, though, is a form of awareness, a way of being in life. It is living ordinary life with a sense of ease, gratitude, appreciation, peace and prayer. We are restful when ordinary life is enough.” — Ronald Rolheiser

“To live in the presence of great truths and eternal laws, to be led by permanent ideals, that is what keeps a man patient when the world ignores him and calm and unspoiled when the world praises him.” — Epicetus

“Character is the main object for education.” — Mary Woolley, first woman graduate of Brown; president of Mt. Holyoke College in 1901

“Don’t ask ‘What do I want from life?’ Ask a different set of questions: ‘What does life want from me? What are my circumstances calling me to do?’” — David Brooks, The Road to Character

“Souls are like athletes that need opponents worthy of them, if they are to be tried and extended and pushed to the full use of their powers.” — Thomas Merton

“We can be knowledgable with other men’s knowledge, but we can’t be wise with other men’s wisdom.” — Montaigne

“Wash the plate not because it is dirty nor because you are told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next.” — St. Teresa of Calcutta