Father

Followers of the Way, you each have a father and mother. So what more do you seek? Turn round and look into yourselves.

Unworthy am I of all the mercies and all the truth
Which Thou hast wrought for Thy servant.
Verily, O Lord my God, will I thank Thee
For that Thou hast given me a holy soul,
Though by my deeds I have defiled it,
Polluted and profaned it with my evil inclination.
But I know that if I wrought wickedly,
I harmed but myself, never Thee.
In sooth, at my right hand my fierce inclination
As an adversary standeth,
Allowing me no breathing-space to establish my tranquillity.
Oft have I purposed with double bridle to lead him,
From the sea of his lusts to dry land to restore him,
But I could not prevail.
My devices he baulked, made profanities flow from my lips.
I think thoughts of simplicity, he fabricates guile and iniquity,
I am for peace, and he is for war,
To the point that he made me his footstool,
And even in peace-time shed the blood of war.
How oft have I sallied forth to combat against him,
And set in battle-array
My camp of service and repentance,
And placed the host of Thy mercies beside me for auxiliary,
For I said, if my evil inclination
Shall come to one camp and shall smite it,
Then the camp that is left shall escape.
As I thought, so it was.
For temptation has routed me and scattered my forces,
So that there is nothing left me but the camp of Thy mercies.
But yet I know that by these I shall overcome it,
And they shall be unto me better than a city of refuge.
Peradventure I shall prevail and smite it and drive it away.

In Koln, a town of monks and bones,
And pavement fang'd with murderous stones,
And rags and hags, and hideous wenches,
I counted two-and-seventy stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks!
Ye nymphs that reign o'er sewers and sinks,
The River Rhine, it is well known,
Doth wash your city of Cologne;
But tell me, nymphs! what power divine
Shall henceforth whash the river Rhine.

The threat of coercion is part of the authorization we give to the traffic police, for example, to prevent accidents at dangerous intersections. Not only do we want that threat to inhibit the impulses of other drivers, we also look to it at times to bridle out own.

When the Hymalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride, He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside. But the she-bear thus accosted, rends the peasant tooth and nail,For the female of the species is more deadly than the male. 

You knock at the door of Reality. You shake your thought wings, loosen your shoulders, and open.

If you make a fool to pray to God, he will hurt (both his) forehead (and other people's toes).

A Platonic friendship is perhaps only possible when one or other of the Platonists is in love with a third person.

God's patience is infinite. Men, like small kettles, boil quickly with wrath at the least wrong. Not so God. If God were as wrathful, the world would have been a heap of ruins long ago.

And you may be certain of this — unless you really are more ignorant than anyon — that the arm of holy Church, though it may well be weak, is not broken. From its weakness this arm always emerges strengthened, as do those who stay close to it.

O unfathomable depth! O Deity eternal! O deep ocean! What more could You give me than to give me Yourself? You are an ever-burning Fire; You consume and are not consumed. By Your fire, You consume every trace of self-love in the soul. You are a Fire which drives away all coldness and illumines minds with its light, and with this light You have made known Your truth. Truly this light is a sea which feeds the soul until it is all immersed in You, O peaceful Sea, eternal Trinity! The water of this sea is never turbid; it never causes fear, but gives knowledge of the truth. This water is transparent and discloses hidden things; and a living faith gives such abundance of light that the soul almost attains to certitude in what it believes.

Let us, therefore, have charity and humility and give alms because it washes the stains of our sins from our clothes. For people lose everything they leave behind in this world; but they carry with them the rewards of charity and the alms which they gave, for which they will have a reward and a just retribution from the Lord.

Our actions are our own; their consequences belong to Heaven.

That person sins who wishes to receive more from his neighbor than what he is willing to give of himself to the Lord God.

The secret consciousness of duty well performed; the public voice of praise that honors virtue, and rewards it; all these are yours.

God sustains every soul and dwells in it substantially, even though it be that of the greatest sinner in the world, and this union is natural. The supernatural union exists when God’s will and the soul’s will are in conformity. Therefore the soul rests transformed in God through love. The illumination of the soul and its union with God corresponds to its purity.

You should strive in your prayer for a pure conscience, a will that is wholly with God, and a mind truly set upon Him.

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.