“Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am.”
Thomas Merton, Journal
“Just as coffee can grow . . . under 7,000 [feet] and cedar over 7,000, I think that every human being requires a certain type of soil, temperature, and altitude, very narrowly defined for some, almost universal for others,—in order to feel free and happy, that is to say, free to develop his nature to the utmost of which it is capable. I believe that one can feel completely free both in a Trappist monastery or at the court in Berlin; but I think it would have to be an unusual and an unusually gracious personality that would feel free in both places.”
Isak Dinesen, letter, August 19, 1923
“All severity that does not tend to increase good, or prevent evil, is idle.”
Samuel Johnson, quoted in John Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson
Come to terms with death. Thereafter anything is possible.
Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now!
Pope Paul VI
What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.
To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good, but that most people can’t eat it.
No brain is stronger than its weakest think.
humorist and editor
Deep breaths are very helpful at shallow parties.