“After Michelangelo died, someone found in his studio a piece of paper on which he had written a note to his apprentice in the handwriting of his old age: ‘Draw Antonio, draw, Antonio, draw and do not waste time.’”—Annie Dillard
“For love is flesh, it is a
flower flooded with blood.
Either love is
or else a scar?
love is a bow-string pulled
back to the point of breaking.
Yes, love is a matter of gifts
thrown in the fire, for nothing.”—Marina Tsvetayeva, Russian Poetess
“I think there is no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe. I know what torment this is, but I can only see it, in myself anyway, as the process by which faith is deepened. A faith that just accepts is a child’s faith and all right for children, but eventually you have to grow religiously as every other way, though some never do. What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is a cross. It is much harder to believe than not to believe. If you feel you can’t believe, you must at least do this: keep an open mind. Keep it open toward faith, keep wanting it, keep asking for it, and leave the rest to God. When we get our spiritual house in order, we’ll be dead. This goes on. You arrive at enough certainty to be able to make your way, but it is making it in darkness. Don’t expect faith to clear things up for you. It is trust, not certainty.”—Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being
“What philosophy tries to do, however, is something far more difficult, namely to permeate everything with the thought of eternity and necessity, and to do this in the present moment, which is to murder the present with the thought of eternity and yet preserve its life fresh.”—Soren Kierkegaard, Johannes Climacus
“Our good God only abandons us in order better to secure us; never does he leave us except to watch over us all the more; never does he wrestle with us except in order to give himself to us and bless us.”—Saint Francois de Sales, Oeuvres, t. XIII, Letter 308
"Doubt wisely; in a strange way
To stand inquiring right, is not to stray;
To sleep, or run wrong, is.”
— John Donne, Satire III
"One must know when it is right to doubt, to affirm, to submit."
— Blaise Pascal, Pensees
"And thus our good Lord answered to all the questions and doubts I could raise, saying most comfortingly in this fashion: I will make all things well, I shall make all things well, I may make all things well and I can make all things well; and you will see that yourself, that all things will be well.”— Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love
"Perplext in faith, but pure in deeds,
At last he beat his music out.
There lives more faith in honest doubt,
Believe me, than in half the creeds.”
— Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam
"We cannot imagine any certainty that is not tinged with doubt, or any assurance that is not assailed by some anxiety."
— John Calvin, Institutes 3.2.17
“Reading good books is like having a conversation with the most distinguished men of past ages — indeed, a rehearsed conversation in which these authors reveal to us only their best thoughts.”— Rene Descartes, Discourse 1
“Elevated in relation to the caravan that flows below, Jacob and the angel are only more alone, and Jacob has even turned his back to it. It is all already far away for him. From this point on, between him and everything else, there will always be the thickness of this night.”— Jean-Louis Chretien, How To Wrestle With The Irresistable