The individual, the great artist when he comes, uses everything that has been discovered or known about his art up to that point, being able to accept or reject in a time so short it seems that the knowledge was born with him, rather than that he takes instantly what it takes the ordinary man a lifetime to know, and then the great artist goes beyond what has been done or known and makes something of his own.
Exile (being where we don't want to be with people we don't want to be with) forces a decision: Will I focus my attention on what is wrong with the world and feel sorry for myself? Or will I focus my energies on how I can live at my best in this place I find myself?...I will do my best with what is here.
The irony here is that the rise of interest in spiritual direction almost certainly comes from the proliferation of role-defined activism in our culture. We are sick and tired of being slotted into a function and then manipulated with Scripture and prayer to do what someone has decided (often with the help of some psychological testing) that we should be doing to bring glory to some religious enterprise or other. And so when people begin to show up who are interested in us just as we are - our souls - we are ready to be paid attention to in this prayerful, listening, non-manipulative, nonfunctional way. Spiritual direction.
I wanted, before I died, to paint a big picture I had in mind and I have worked feverishly night and day all month ... It was all dashed off, directly with the top of a brush, on a piece of sacking full of knots and rough bits.
For chance fights ever on the side of the prudent.
For the good, when praised, feel something of disgust, if to excess commended.
The greatest pleasure of life is love.
Grace is God himself, his loving energy at work within his church and within our souls.
Two movements merge in the real act of communion. First, the creature's profound sense of need, of incompleteness: its steadfast desire... Next, a humble and loving acceptance of God's answer to that prayer of desire, however startling, disappointing, and unappetizing it may be.
Perhaps all our lovers are merely hints and symbols; vagabond languages scrawled on gate-posts and paving stones along the weary road that others have trampled before us; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond each other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us.
The modern artist must live by craft and violence. His gods are violent gods. Those artists, so called, whose work does not show this strife, are uninteresting.
A man may be truly religious without imagining God as good at all, and he may be good without believing that there is any moral order in the universe or even that God exists. Religion does not necessarily make men better citizens, whether of their neighborhoods or of the world.
Who has love in his heart has spurs in his sides.