There are some people who can receive a truth by no other way than to have their understanding shocked and insulted. — Carl Sandburg
The call of Jesus to abandon homes, families and land is not the imposition of a new “holiness” code, as if material reality is impure and must be spurned in the quest for the “purity” of spiritual life. Rather, his charge is to recognize the way normal security arrangements—homes, which provide private sanctuary from physical threat; families, which were the basic means of economic production in ancient societies; and land, the pivotal measure of wealth—distract us from the true spirituality of shared resources. The only lasting security is mutual security. Whereas the roots of terrorism lie in the hoarding of sanctuary, economic production and land ownership. But to get there requires a radical reorienting of our minds and hearts. This is what it means to get saved.
When a friend counseled him to “do try to moderate your indignation, and keep more cool,” abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison responded, “I have need to be all on fire, for I have mountains of ice to melt!” — Suzanne Jurmain
Just listen to retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to [Secretary of State] Colin Powell. In a speech in Washington last year, Wilkerson, an outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s unilateralism, revealed a plan that was far more ambitious—and ominous. “We had a discussion in policy-planning about actually mounting an operation to take the oil fields in the Middle East, internationalize them, put them under some sort of U.N. trusteeship, and administer the revenues and the oil accordingly. That’s how serious we thought about it,” he said. — Cynthia Tucker
America has become a Linus nation . . . always searching for our security blanket. . . . There is nothing more dangerous than a powerful nation that is afraid. — Methodist Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker
My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions—or bury the results. — – Marine Lt. Gen. Greg Newbold, former director of operations at the Pentagon’s military joint staff, writing in Time magazine. Newbold resigned four months before the invasion of Iraq.
[G]race uses faltering beginnings to achieve its own unforeseeable ends. — James Finley
For it is in the act of worship that the church steadily renews itself in the discipline of wisdom. Worship is a vigorous act of reordering our desires in the light of God’s burning desire for the wellness of creation.
In our culture, mysticism is sadly misunderstood and maligned as disconnected with reality: impractical at best and dangerously irresponsible at worst. Even those who may admire mysticism often regard it as the special capacity of a few spiritually gifted people, almost all of whom lived in the Middle Ages. . . . Mysticism is not an escape from reality, but the opposite. It is a prayerful penetration of reality. — Ellen F. Davis
The doxologies of ancient Israel, the lyrical soaring of Paul’s Epistles, and the regular amazement evoked by the deeds and teaching of Jesus all converge in the stunning affirmation that the world is other than we had taken it to be, because the world is the venue for God’s reign.