Quotables

I am a great collector of quotes, and the ones featured here are words I live by as a Christian and a storyteller.


“The Evangelium [the Gospel] has not abrogated legends; it has hallowed them, especially the ‘happy ending.’ The Christian has still to work, with mind as well as body, to suffer, hope, and die; but he may now perceive that all his bents and faculties have a purpose, which can be redeemed. So great is the bounty with which he has been treated that he may now, perhaps, fairly dare to guess that in Fantasy he may actually assist in the effoliation and multiple enrichment of creation. All tales may come true; and yet, at the last, redeemed, they may be as like and unlike the forms that we give them as Man, finally redeemed, will be like and unlike the fallen that we know.” –J.R.R. Tolkien

“Fairy tales…are not responsible for producing in children fear…Fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a Saint George to kill the dragon.” –G.K. Chesterton

“To love is to be selfless. To be selfless is to be fearless. To be fearless is to strip your enemies of their greatest weapon. Even if they break our bodies and drain our blood, we are unvanquished. Our goal was never to live; our goal is to love. It is the goal of all truly noble men and women. Give all that can be given. Give even life itself.” –N.D. Wilson

“Earth’s crammed with heaven / And every common bush afire with God; / But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, / The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries, / And daub their natural faces unaware / More and more from the first similitude.” –Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to Him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? … No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful, and great. Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation…Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and He gives you everything. When we give ourselves to Him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ–and you will find true life.” –Pope Benedict XVI

“The little bodies of children are the repositories of the greatness of a future age. And they must be encouraged, must eat from the tales of those who’ve gone before, and brandished their swords, and slayed dragons.”—Peggy Noonan, When Character Was King

“Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.”–Saint Catherine of Sienna

“If a man has greatness in him, it comes to light, not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work.”–Beryl Markham

“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his head and his hands is a craftsman. He who works with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist.”–Saint Francis of Assisi

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”–Robert Heinlein

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”–Winston Churchill

“If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.” –Anonymous, sometimes attributed to Martin Luther

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.” -–Theodore Roosevelt

“Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world—’No, you move.’ ” —Captain America

“I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought and then made by God is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all of thinking.” –George MacDonald

“Good is not goodness that seeks advantage. Good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit without hope, without witness, without reward. Virtue is only virtue in extremis.”–Doctor Who

“The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.”–Saint Augustine