There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
I cannot find in my own
And he keeps his fire burning
To melt this heart of stone,
Keeps me aching, with a yearning,
Keeps me glad to have been caught,
In the reckless, raging fury,
That they call the love of God.
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.
A great painting, or symphony, or play, doesn’t diminish us, but enlarges us, and we too want to make our own cry of affirmation to the power of creation behind the universe.
Charles Van Sandwyk
Each time pen goes to paper, the general idea is to try to make the most beautiful book in the world. I’ve failed every time, but it’s still the impetus.
Imagine the dead waking, dazed, into a shadowless light in which they know themselves all together for the first time. It is a light that is merciless until they can accept its mercy… In it, they are loved completely, even as they have been, and so are changed into what they could not have been, but what, if they could have imagined it, they would have wished to be.
After all it is those who have a deep and real inner life who are best able to deal with the irritating details of outer life.
Life isn’t long enough to do all you could accomplish. And what a privilege even to be alive. In spite of all the pollutions and horrors, how beautiful this world is. Supposing you only saw the stars once every year. Think what you would think. The wonder of it!
Eucatastrophe is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of catastrophe, of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world poignant as grief.
Hans Urs Von Balthasar
We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it. Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance. We can be sure that whoever sneers at her name as if she were the ornament of a bourgeois past — whether he admits it or not — can no longer pray and soon will no longer be able to love.
I breathe deeply and certainty enters into me like light, like a piece of science, and curious music seems to hum inside my fingers. Is there a single person on whom I can press my belief? No sir. All I can do is say, here’s how it went. Here’s what I saw. I’ve been there and I’m going back. Make of it what you will.
Faithful was a boy who… supposed that the harder one’s life is the more desperate must be the struggle to find out how to be happy, and the more likely to be successful.
If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.