··· Southwest ···

No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.

— Zen proverb  <link>

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

— Winston Churchill  <link>

Three Tests

When I want to speak let me think first.
Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?
If not, let it be left unsaid.

— Maltbie Davenport Babcock  <link>

No matter how much tarter sauce you put on fish, it will still smell fishy. The same with bad boy friends.

— Author unknown  <link>

The present moment, the now, is gift. You can choose to receive it or resist it. Receiving is being; resistance is pride.

— Brother Joseph  <link>

The intricacies of theology are not usually what concerns the artist. They’re concerned with the big, beautiful fundamentals, and there I have never had any problem. In fact, anybody who has a narrow sense of their religion, whether they’re Jew or Christian or Muslim or whatever, has only to look long and intelligently at the great work of another tradition and they will see what the religions have in common.

— Sister Wendy Beckett  <link>

Finite Disappointment, Infinite Hope

We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.

— Martin Luther King Jr.  <link>

You can’t have art without resistance in the materials.

— William Morris  <link>

Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.

— Corita Kent  <link>

In God’s Sight

The Lord looks on his servants with pity and not with blame. In God’s sight we do not fall; in our sight, we do not stand. Both of these are true, but the deeper insight belongs to God.

— Julian of Norwich  <link>

In being, one must know, or be aware of, when one is not being.

— Author unknown  <link>

God’s love for us is not the reason for which we should love him. God’s love for us is the reason for us to love ourselves. How could we love ourselves without this motive? It is impossible for man to love himself except in this roundabout way.

— Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace  <link>

Faith Purifies Reason

…faith purifies reason. As a theological virtue, faith liberates reason from presumption, the typical temptation of the philosopher.

— Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, 76  <link>

Use the talents you possess,
for the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang except the best.

— Henry Van Dyke  <link>

Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, to work, to play, and to look up at the stars.

Henry Van Dyke  <link>

In the progress of personality, first comes a declaration of independence, then a recognition of interdependence.

— Henry Van Dyke  <link>

What you possess in the world will be found at the day of your death to belong to someone else. But what you are will be yours forever.

— Henry Van Dyke  <link>

These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower, there is no more; in the leafless root, there is no less. Its nature is satisfied, and it satisfies nature, in all moments alike. There is no time to it. But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson  <link>

God is not a means to an end.

— Author unknown  <link>

Reputation or honor — an empty vessel of other people’s good opinions of you.

— Fr. Corbett, O.P. [via]  <link>

What is essential is not the answer but the questions; the answers indeed are the death of the life that is in the questions.

— R.H. Blyth  <link>

Seek Love in the pity of others’ woe,
In the gentle relief of another’s care,
In the darkness of night and the winter’s snow,
In the naked and outcast, seek Love there!

— William Blake  <link>

Mystify us, arouse and confuse us. Shatter our illusions and plans so that we lose our way, and see neither path nor light until we have found you, where you are to be found and in your true form—in the peace of solitude, in prayer, in submission, in suffering, in succour given to another, and in flight from idle talk and worldly affairs. And, having tried all the known ways and means of pleasing you and not finding you any longer in any of them, we remain at a loss until, finally, the futility of all our efforts leads us at last to leave all to find you henceforth, you, yourself, everywhere and in all things without discrimination or reflection.

For, how foolish it is, O Divine Love, not to see you in all that is good and in all creatures. Why, then, try to find you in what you are not.

— Jean Pierre de Caussade, The Sacrament of the Present Moment  <link>

Answers and Questions

You can tell a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.

— Naguib Mahfouz  <link>

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

— Melody Beattie  <link>

As I was washing my hands, I noticed the lack of urinals along the wall and realized I had made this mistake twice in the same day.

— Author unknown [via]  <link>

My mother didn’t realize that teaching me to fight, shoot, and play pool made it hard to find a boyfriend without tattoos.

— Author unknown [via]  <link>

There are two kinds of friends in the world: the ones who help you up when you’ve passed out in a bar and call a cab and the ones that take “funny” pictures of you.

— Author unknown [via]  <link>

The first person asks, “What time is it?”

The second person looks at watch and replies, “Now.”

First person ponders for a moment and then says, “That’s a pretty boring answer.”

Second person retorts, “Is not. It’s the least boring answer imaginable.”

— Randall Munroe, xkcd  <link>

Everything is always falling out of balance against a background of perfect harmony.

— Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki [via]  <link>

Love consents to all and commands only those who consent. Love is abdication. God is abdication.

— Simone Weil  <link>

Truly, thou art a God who hidest thyself.

— Isaiah 45:15  <link>

Among angels there is no place for outward, but only for inward speech.

— St. Thomas Aquinas  <link>

Whenever technology promises comfort (as it always has and always will: that is its raison d’être), it will be allowed free rein—even if its promises are, as so often, bogus.

— Dale C. Allison, Jr. The Luminous Dusk  <link>

The stars sing an anthem of glory
     I cannot put into speech.

— Robert William Service  <link>

Well-makers lead the water wherever they like; fletchers bend the arrow; carpenters bend a log of wood; wise people fashion themselves.

The Dhammapada, v80  <link>

Boredom is the self being stuffed with itself.

— Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos  <link>

The science of the scientist can understand everything in the Cosmos but the self of the scientist.

— Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos  <link>

If you’re a big enough fool to climb a tree and like a cat refuse to come down, then someone who loves you has to make as big a fool of himself to rescue you.

— Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos  <link>

The difference between a non-suicide and an ex-suicide leaving the house for work, at eight o’clock on an ordinary morning:

The non-suicide is a little traveling suck of care, sucking care with him from the past and being sucked toward care in the future. His breath is high in his chest.

The ex-suicide opens his front door, sits down on the steps, and laughs. Since he has the option of being dead, he has nothing to lose by being alive. It is good to be alive. He goes to work because he doesn’t have to.

— Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos  <link>

We are unknown, we knowners, to ourselves… Of necessity we remain strangers to ourselves, we understand ourselves not, in our selves we are bound to be mistaken, for each of us holds good to all eternity the motto, “Each is the farthest away from himself”—as far as ourselves are concerned we are not knowers.

— Friedrich Nietzsche  <link>

There is nothing harder than the softness of indifference.

— Juan Montalvo


More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing in nothing than by believing in too much.

— P.T. Barnum  <link>

Everyday Mind

Everyday mind is getting out of bed, eating breakfast, going to work, coming home, going to bed. It is laughing and crying, being anxious and joyful. Everyday mind is walking and talking, sitting down and standing up. It is the mind of suffering, conflict, anger and hatred, love and devotion. How can everyday mind be the way? Everyday mind, we say, is too mundane, too ordinary, and so we want the opposite, we want the magical.

It is our very search, our lust for the miraculous and magical, that hides from us the truth that simply to be, simply to know I am, is already the miracle that we seek. Everything, as it is, is perfect, but you must stop seeing it as if in a mirror, as if in a dream.

— Albert Low [via]  <link>

When there is an elephant in the room, introduce it.

— Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture  <link>

An injured lion still wants to know he can still roar.

— Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture  <link>

When you’re screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they’ve given up on you.

— Author unknown, quoted by Randy Pausch in The Last Lecture  <link>

Brick Walls

The brick walls are there for a reason. They’re not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

— Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture  <link>

Sometimes, the most impenetrable brick walls are made of flesh.

— Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture  <link>

No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse. At the same time, it is often within our power to make them better.

— Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture  <link>

Earnest vs. Hip

I’ll take an earnest person over a hip person every time, because hip is short-term. Earnest is long-term.

Earnestness is highly underestimated. It comes from the core, while hip is trying to impress you with the surface.

— Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture  <link>

Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.

— Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture  <link>

If you wait long enough, people will surprise and impress you.

— Jon Snoddy, quoted by Randy Pausch in The Last Lecture  <link>

When it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do.

— Author unknown, quoted by Randy Pausch in The Last Lecture  <link>

It’s not how hard you hit. It’s how hard you get hit…and keep moving forward.

— Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture  <link>


Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

— Author unknown, quoted by Randy Pausch in The Last Lecture  <link>


Halfhearted or insincere apologies are often worse than not apologizing at all because recipients find them insulting. If you’ve done something wrong in your dealings with another person, it’s as if there’s an infection in your relationship. A good apology is like an antibiotic; a bad apology is like rubbing salt in the wound.

— Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture  <link>

When we are connected to others, we become better people.

— Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture  <link>

Krishnamurti was once asked what is the most appropriate thing to say to a friend who was about to die. He answered: “Tell your friend that in his death, a part of you dies and goes with him. Wherever he goes, you also go. He will not be alone.”

— Jiddu Krishnamurti, quoted by Randy Pausch in The Last Lecture  <link>

Angels tremble to gaze at things we yawn at.

— Peter Kreeft, Making Sense Out of Suffering (excerpt)  <link>

Withness—that is the word of love.

— Peter Kreeft, Making Sense Out of Suffering (excerpt)  <link>

A hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head.

— C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man  <link>

And all the time—such is the tragi-comedy of our [educational] situation—we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that our civilization needs more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests [hearts] and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

— C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man  <link>

When the Gospel went to Greece, it became a philosophy.
When it got to Rome, it became an Empire.
When it reached Europe, it became a civilization.
And when it got to America, it became a business.

— Author unknown  <link>

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.

— G.K. Chesterton  <link>

Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together.

— Pearl S. Buck  <link>

A great many of those who ‘debunk’ traditional or (as they say) ‘sentimental’ values have in the background values of their own which they believe to be immune from the debunking process.

— C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man  <link>

Listening to Instinct

To listen to that instinct speaking in its own cause and deciding it in its own favor would be rather simple-minded. Each instinct, if you listen to it, will claim to be gratified at the expense of all the rest. By the very act of listening to one rather than to others we have already prejudged the case. If we did not bring to the examination of our instincts a knowledge of their comparative dignity we could never learn it from them. And that knowledge cannot itself be instinctive: the judge cannot be one of the parties judged; or, if he is, the decision is worthless…

— C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man  <link>

Natural Law

This thing which I called for convenience the Tao, and others may call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical Reason or the First Platitude, is not one among a series of possible systems of value. It is the sole source of all value judgments. If it is rejected, all value is rejected. If any value is retained, it is retained. The effort to refute it and raise a new system of value in its place is self-contradictory. There has never been, and never will be, a radically new judgment of value in history of the world. What purport to be new systems or (as they now call them) ‘ideologies’, all consist of fragments from the Tao itself, arbitrarily wrenched from their context in the whole and then swollen to madness in their isolation, yet still owing to the Tao and to it alone such validity as they possess. If my duty to my parents is superstition, then so is my duty to posterity. If justice is superstition, then so is my duty to my country or my race. If pursuit of scientific knowledge is a real value, then so is conjugal fidelity. The rebellion of new ideologies against the Tao is a rebellion of the branches against the tree: if the rebels could succeed they would find that they destroyed themselves. The human mind has no more power of inventing a new value than imagining a new primary colour, or, indeed, of creating a new sun and a new sky for it to move in.

— C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man  <link>

Those who stand outside all judgments of value cannot have any ground for preferring one of their own impulses to another except the emotional strength of that impulse.

— C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man  <link>

Morality is always dreadfully complicated to a man who has lost all his principles.

— G.K. Chesterton  <link>

When all that says ‘it is good’ has been debunked, what says ‘I want’ remains.

— C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man  <link>

Hypocrisy is a politician who cuts down a redwood and then mounts the stump to give a speech on conservation.

— Adlai Stevenson  <link>

One’s feelings of hatred must be washed away with forgiveness and humble service toward others—they should never be left to linger long enough to poison the soul.

— Pope Benedict XVI  <link>

The desire that something be true, rather than the desire for truth itself, may well be the root of all evil. It is certainly the origin of all ideology, and ideology was the source of much of the evil in the past century.

— Ben Wiker  <link>

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.

— Helen Keller  <link>

Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing.

— Blessed Teresa of Calcutta  <link>

The Beauty of Creation

In general, every time you feel in God’s creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say: “O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art thou thyself, Creator of all!”

— Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain  <link>

Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost Him. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won’t also cost you yours.

— Rich Mullins  <link>

A virtuous life is simply impossible without the aid of prayer.

— St. John Chrysostom  <link>

Silence exists so that we might speak to God. And it is in silence that God communicates His graces to us.

— St. Vincent de Paul  <link>

Silence is the limit of our world of description or language. Silence is silence and completely different from any kind of language.

— S.N. Ganguly  <link>

Culture breeds and fosters the individual in his uniqueness and yet the individual feels cramped through participating in his culture. Strange, how culture itself brings in us the consciousness of being dissatisfied with it.

— S.N. Ganguly, “Culture, Communication and Silence”  <link>

The devil will try to upset you by accusing you of being unworthy of the blessings that you have received. Simply remain cheerful and do your best to ignore the devil’s nagging. If need be even laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Satan, the epitome of sin, accuses you of unworthiness! When the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future!

— St. Teresa of Avila  <link>

To Love at All

To love at all is to be vulnerable… If you want to make sure of keeping your heart intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken—it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable… The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from love is Hell.

— C.S. Lewis  <link>

Actually one decides one’s life by responding to a word that is not well defined, easily explicable, safely accounted for. One decides to love in the face of an unaccountable void, and from the void comes an unaccountable truth. By this truth one’s existence is sustained in peace—until the truth is too firmly grasped and too clearly accounted for. Then one is relying on words—i.e., on his own understanding and his own ingenuity in interpreting existence and its “signs.” Then one is lost—has to be found once again in the patient Void.

— Thomas Merton, Learning to Love  <link>

And I saw the River
over which every soul must pass
to reach the Kingdom of Heaven,
and the name of the River was SUFFERING…
and I saw the Boat which carries souls across the River,
and the name of that Boat was…LOVE.

— St. John of the Cross  <link>