In a poem entitled, The Gift, Li-Young Lee, says that, at age seven, his father gave him a special gift, something to keep. Reading is like panning for gold, a lot of dirt needs sifting in order to find a wee nugget or two to keep. From what I have sifted through in my readings the past few months, I leave you these few clips, as something to keep.

Mohandas K. Ghandi on the seven social sins:

Politics without principle

            Wealth without work

            Commerce without morality

            Pleasure without conscience

            Education without character

            Science without humanity

            Worship without sacrifice.

Philosopher Emmanuel Mounier on an infectious narcissism sweeping the land which would reduce:

            Sanctity and heroism to success and glory,

    Spiritual force to toughness

            Love to eroticism

            Intelligence to intellectualism

            Reason to cunning

            Meditation to introspection, and

            Passion for truth to the shallowest of sincerities.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, describing a woman and a man maturing in love:

Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity, they enjoyed the miracle of loving each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out old people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs.

Toni Morrison, describing friendship:

She is a good friend. She gathers me. The pieces that I am, she gathers them and then gives them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you have someone who is a friend of your mind.

George Gallup on who’s happy:

Polls show that the happiest people in the USA are the following: Old people, poor people, black and hispanic women, and old women in general … the most ignored, patronized, and disenfranchised people in the society.

Sheldon Vanaukan on feeling as sanctioning infidelity:

Merely being in love with somebody is not a sanction for anything – but it feels like one. The very word “sanction” suggests some sort of sacred approval – a divine okay. But being in love is not a sanction for the betrayal of anyone – your wife or husband, your friend, your children. It’s not a sanction for breaking your word or throwing honour in the dust. Not at all! But what’s so damned important is this: inloveness always seems to be a sanction. People mean to keep their vows, but, then, it seems so good and right. Like a god’s sanction. The sanction of Eros! But it isn’t.

Francis of Assisi on preaching:           

Preach the word of God wherever you go – even use words if necessary!

William Stringfellow, chastising social justice groups for, so often, losing hope in the face of seeming defeat:           

I am old enough to scold you. I listen to your talk, your passion for truth, and I don’t doubt your sincerity, but what is drastically absent in your conversations is mention of the resurrection of Christ. We don’t have to save the world on our own. The victory of God over the forces of death is already assured. We only have to live so that our lives radiate that we believe this.

John Paul II challenging us towards a higher eros:                       

There are those who propound an image of the human person that would enshrine human weakness as a fundamental principle and declare that it is a human right. Well, we will always be weak, but, Christ taught us that, first of all, each man and woman has a right to his or her own greatness.

And finally, Henri Nouwen on what builds up the body:

Nobody is built up by blame, accusations, and gossip.