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The Guidance of Quotations

Beyond quotations from the Bible, of which there are many meaningful ones, I love brief pieces of wisdom from other sources, many of which I have put on cards and placed them near my desk so that I can refer to them when I need some encouragement. I read them for inspiration or for a smile, and sometimes for both.

An example of one that makes me smile is from George Burns:

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending: and to have the two as close together as possible!

Another one that makes me smile is from an anonymous source:

If you can stay calm while all around you is in chaos, then you probably haven't completely understood the seriousness of the situation.

There have been others attributed to the French Quaker Stephen Grellet:

I expect to pass through this world but once: any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to my fellow creature, let me do it now: let me not withhold or defer it, for I shall not pass this way again.

And there are these words from the late Roman Catholic Priest, Henri Nouwen:

You are Christian only so long as you constantly pose critical questions to the society in which you live … so long as you stay unsatisfied with the status quo and keep saying that a new world is yet to come.

I love the writings of Thomas Kelley, especially his book, A Testament of Devotion:

Deep within us all is an inner sanctuary of the soul.

I have also kept some writings from persons who were not very friendly to the Christian faith, such as the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche:

I say to you: one must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star.

I even have a quotation from someone named Jim Newby that I have used periodically to try and understand the meaning of life:

So much of the meaning of life can be found in that awkward dance between the search for our true selves, and our need to be in meaningful and spiritual relationships with others.

Finally, there is this quotation from President Woodrow Wilson, his last published words, which are enshrined in stone above his tomb in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.:

The sum of the whole matter is this … our civilization cannot survive materially unless it is redeemed spiritually. It can be saved only by becoming permeated with the Spirit of Christ, and be made free and happy by the practices which spring out of that Spirit.

I hope that these few quotations have been spiritually uplifting for you. What are some of your own favorite quotations that help you grow spiritually?