Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Devotion

"A devotion to humanity... is too easily equated with a devotion to a Cause, and Causes, as we know, are notoriously bloodthirsty... Freedom is not something anybody can be given, freedom is something people take." -

"Earnestness is the devotion of all the faculties. It is the cause of patience; gives endurance; overcomes pain; strengthens weakness; braves dangers; sustains hope; makes light of difficulties, and lessens the sense of weariness in overcoming them." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"We communicate happiness to others not often by great acts of devotion and self-sacrifice, but by the absence of fault-finding and censure, by being ready to sympathize with their notions and feelings, instead of forcing them to sympathize with ours." - William Newton Clarke

"How many of us are waiting for the opportunity to do some great thing for the betterment of our community, forgetting that the solution of the problem requires only the active intelligent fulfillment of individual civic duty. The only things which are wrong about our Government are the things which are wrong with you and me. Democracy is never a thing done; it is and always will be a goal to be achieved. It means action, not passive acquiescence in things as they are; it requires alertness to duty, a dynamic faith, a willingness to give for the good of all. It can live only as a result of loyalty and devotion to its principles expressed by daily needs." - Douglas L. Edmonds, fully Douglas Lyman Edmonds

"Of all ennobling sentiments, patriotism may be the most easily manipulated. On the one hand, it gives powerful expression to what is best in a nation’s character: a commitment to principle, a willingness to sacrifice, a devotion to the community by the choice of the individual. But among its toxic fruits are intolerance, belligerence and blind obedience, perhaps because it blooms most luxuriantly during times of war." - Nancy Gibbs

"Servility is to devotion what hypocrisy is to virtue." - Madame Émile de Girardin, Delphine de Girardin, née Gay

"Heroism is active genius; genius, contemplative heroism. Heroism is the self-devotion of genius manifesting itself in action." - Julius Charles Hare (1795-1855) and his brother Augustus William Hare

"Heroism is the self-devotion of genius manifesting itself in action." - Julius Charles Hare (1795-1855) and his brother Augustus William Hare

"Prayer is intended to increase the devotion of the individual, but if the individual himself prays he requires no formula; he pours himself forth much more naturally in self-chosen and connected thoughts before God, and scarcely requires words at all. Real inward devotion knows no prayer but that arising form the depths of its own feelings." -

"There’ll be no night in Heav’n, In that blest world above; No anxious toil, no weary hours; For labor there is love. There’ll be no sorrow there, There’ll be no sorrow there, In Heav’n above, where all is love, There’ll be no sorrow there. There’ll be no grief in Heav’n, For life is one glad day, And tears are those of former things Which all have passed way. There’ll be no sin in Heav’n; Behold that blessèd throng, All holy in their spotless robes, All holy in their song." - Frederick Dan Huntington

"The highest flights of charity, devotion, trust, patience, bravery to which the wings of human nature have spread themselves have been flown for religious ideals." - William James

"The most illiterate man who is touched by devotion, and uses frequent exercises of it, contracts a certain greatness of mind, mingled with a noble simplicity, that raises him above others of the same condition." -

"Both the saint and the scientist must possess the same qualities in order to attain their ideals. But these qualities are selfless devotion, a meticulous love of truth, infinite patience, thoroughness, and a depth of mind which does not resent criticism. Without these qualities neither of the two can reach his goal. It is my firm belief that the goal which both science and religion reach by different routes is one and the same." - B. C. Kher

"Great devotion requires great sacrifice." -

"The Divine Mind communicates with the human mind through the imagination. A prayer, therefore, should be offered in the form of a mental image. Man must visualize the thing he desires, he must use his imaginative powers to form his petition in terms clearly outlined in his own mind. The profound concentration of attention and thought which this form of prayer requires fills also the heart with deep earnestness and devotion. Man must pray whole-heartedly as well as wholemindedly; he must believe in his heart that his well-being depends completely upon his prayer." - Morris Lichtenstein

"I find no quality so easy to counterfeit as religious devotion." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"The need for devotion to something outside ourselves is even more profound than the need for companionship. If we are not to go to pieces or wither away, we all must have some purpose in life; for no man can live for himself alone." - Ross Parmenter

"Maturity is a quality of personality made up of a number of elements. It is stick-to-itiveness, the ability to stick to a job, to work on it and to struggle through it until it is finished, or until one has given all one has in the endeavor. It is the quality or capacity of giving more than is asked or required in a given situation. It is this characteristic that enables others to count on one; thus it is reliability. Persistence is an aspect of maturity; persistence to carry out a a goal in the face of difficulties. Endurance enters into the concept of maturity; the endurance of difficulties, unpleasantness, discomfort, frustration, hardship. The ability to size things up, make one's own decisions, is a characteristic of maturity. This implies a considerable amount of independence. A mature person is not dependent unless ill. Maturity includes a determination, a will to succeed and achieve, a will to live. Of course, maturity represents the capacity to cooperate; to work with others; to work in an organization and under authority. The mature person is flexible, can defer to time, persons, circumstances. He can show tolerance. He can be patient, and, above all, he has qualities of adaptability and compromise. Basically, maturity represents a wholesome amalgamation of two things: 1) Dissatisfaction with the status quo, which calls forth aggressive, constructive effort, and 2) Social concern and devotion. Emotional maturity is the morale of the individual." - Edward A. Strecker

"Our daily worship of God is not really the process of gradual acquisition of him, but the daily process of surrendering ourselves, removing all obstacles to union and extending our consciousness of him in devotion and service, in goodness and in love" -

"The pious sectarian is proud because he is confident of his right of possession in God. The man of devotion is meek because he is conscious of God’s right of love over his life and soul. The object of our possession becomes smaller than ourselves, and without acknowledging it in so many words the bigoted sectarian has an implicit belief that God can be kept secured for certain individuals in a cage which is of their own make. In a similar manner the primitive races of men believe that their ceremonials have a magic influence upon their deities." -

"Better a little with devotion than much without it." - Jacob ben Asher, known as Ba'al ha-Turimas and Rabbi Yaakov ben Raash

"Earnestness is the devotion of all the faculties. It is the cause of patience; gives endurance; overcome pain; strengthens weakness; braves dangers; sustains hope; make light of difficulties, and lessens the sense of weariness in overcoming them." - John Christian Bovee

"I use the Scriptures, not as an arsenal to be resorted to only for arms and weapons, but as a matchless temple, where I delight to contemplate the beauty, the symmetry, and the magnificence of the structure, and to increase my awe and excite my devotion to the Deity there preached and adored." - Robert Boyle

"Doubt the man who swears to his devotion." -

"They believe their words. Everybody shows a respectful deference to certain sounds that he and his fellows can make. But about feelings people really know nothing. We talk with indignation or enthusiasm; we talk about oppression, cruelty, crime, devotion, self-sacrifice, virtue, and we know very little beyond the words." - Joseph Conrad, born Teodor Josef Konrad Korzeniowski

"The chamber of sickness is the chapel of devotion." - Thomas Draxe

"The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible." - Mary Baker Eddy

"It is by faith that poetry, as well as devotion, soars above this dull earth; that imagination breaks through its clouds, breathes a purer air, and lives in a softer light." - Henry Giles

"All is holy where devotion kneels." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

"Holiness is religious principle put into motion. It is the love of God sent forth into circulation, on the feet, and with the hands of love to men. It is faith gone to work. It is charity coined into actions, and devotion breathing benediction on human suffering, while it goes up in intercession to the Father of all piety." - Frederick Dan Huntington

"The Divine Mind communicates with the human mind through the imagination. A prayer, therefore, should be offered in the form of a mental image. Man must visualize the thing he desires, he must use his imaginative powers to form his petition in terms clearly outlined in his own mind. The profound concentration of attention and thought which this form of prayer requires fills also the heart with deep earnestness and devotion. Man must pray whole-heartedly as well as wholemindedly; he must believe in his heart that his well-being depends completely upon his prayer." - Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein

"The prayer is an attempt at influencing the divine will. In short, one is back in the realm of superstition. It is true that love of god’s will can be found in whatever happens, but the prayer of petition is best understood, not as an attempt at influencing the ways things go, but as an expression of, and a request for, devotion to God through the way of things." - D. Z. Phillips, fully Dewi Zephaniah Phillips

"Temperance is a virtue which casts the truest lustre upon the person it is lodged in, and has the most general influence upon all other particular virtues of any that the soul of man is capable of; indeed so general, that there is hardly any noble quality or endowment of the mind, but must own temperance either for its parent or its nurse; it is the greatest strengthener and clearer of reason, and the best preparer of it for religion, the sister of prudence, and the handmaid to devotion." - Robert South, fully Bishop Robert South

"Both music and painting add a spirit to devotion, and elevate the ardor." - Lawrence Sterne, alternatively Laurence Sterne

"You ought to say fewer fixed prayers so that you may do more reading. Reading is good prayer. Reading teaches us how to pray, and what to pray for, and then prayer achieves it. In the course of reading, when the heart is pleased, there arises a spirit of devotion which is worth many prayers." - Ancrene Wisse, aka Ancrene Riwle NULL

"In religion fear and approval to some extent must always combine... In religion approval implies devotion, and devotion seems hardly possible, unless there is some fear, if only the fear of estrangement." - Francis Herbert Bradley

"Charisma is the ability to inspire followers with devotion and enthusiasm to a cause. It encourages disciples rather than independent persons. It is a way of investing oneself with authority over other rather than vesting others with authority over themselves." - Peter R. Breggin

"Music being the universal expression of the mysterious and supernatural, the best that man has ever attained to, is capable of uniting in common devotion minds that are only separated by creeds, and it comforts our hope with a brighter promise of unity than any logic offers." - Robert Bridges, fully Robert Seymour Bridges

"Religion is not mere conformity to moral law, it is an espousal of moral ideals, a dedication of the heart, a loyal devotion, the perpetual renewal of a right spirit within us." - Durant Drake

"Granted that ritual in any realm from courtesy to worship can become formal, empty, and stiff. Nevertheless, with all its dangers it is an absolute necessity. We cannot… train children in the spirit of religion if the appropriate activities of worship and devotion are forgotten." -

"All of one’s life can be a “reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice” to deity, a sacrifice whose value depends on the quality of life, and this depends on the depth of the devotion to all good things, to all life’s possibilities, neither as mine nor as not mine but as belonging to God’s creatures and thus to God." - Charles Hartshorne

"By inwardness alone we do not come close to God. The purest intentions, the finest sense of devotion, the noblest spiritual aspirations are fatuous when not realized in action." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Detachment of doctrine from devotion, detachment of reason from reverence, of scrutiny from the sense of the ineffable reduces God as a challenge to a logical hypothesis… God is relevant only when overwhelmingly urgent." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Faith is intellectual humility, devotion of the mind, a true offering, the finest feat the heart can perform." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"In visions of wisdom, in devotion to the good, in submission to beauty, and when overwhelmed by the holy, we awake to behold existence in this relationship. In reverence, suffering, and humility we discover our existence and find the bridge that leads from existence to God. And this is religion." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"The kingdom of God is neither an unconditional divine gift sent down from heaven all at once, nor a simple human task to be completed in a few generations. It is both a gift and a task: an infinitely difficult, infinitely glorious divine-human undertaking requiring all God’s power and all man’s devotion, and even so stretching on from age to age as though it were endless." - Walter Marshall Horton

"It is our first duty to serve society, and, after we have done that, we may attend wholly to the salvation of our own souls. A youthful passion for abstracted devotion should not be encouraged." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"Men forget to ask: “What will God think?” And so they live in fear because they tend to seek social approval on the horizontal plane rather than spiritual devotion on the vertical plane." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Do not scrupulously confine yourself to fixed rules, or particular forms of devotion, but act with faith in God, with love or humility." - Brother Nicholas Herman of Lorraine, born Nicolas Herman, aka Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection or

"Devotion to an ideal is worship; the higher the ideal, the nobler the worship." -