Christmas reminds us that it is not enough to bring God into our hearts. When God comes, God never comes alone. Jesus asks us to take in his strange friends, his dispossessed and uprooted children, his unpopular causes and projects.

Doris Donnelly

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.

Laurence J. Peter

No matter how many Christmas presents you give your child, there’s always that terrible moment when he’s opened the very last one. That’s when he expects you to say, “Oh yes, I almost forgot,” and take him out and show him the pony.

Mignon McLaughlin

I was in love with the whole world and all that lived in its rainy arms.

Louise Erdrich

There is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.

Milan Kundera

Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression.

Karen Horney

I would never betray a friend to serve a cause. Never reject a friend to help an institution. Great nations may fall in ruin before I would sell a friend to save them.

Edward Abbey

If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.

Thomas Pynchon

When I speak of darkness, I am referring to a lack of knowing. It is a lack of knowing that includes everything you do not know or else that you have forgotten, whatever is altogether dark for you because you do not see it with your spiritual eye. And for this reason it is not called a cloud of the air, but rather a cloud of unknowing that is between you and your God.

The Cloud of Unknowing

He who wishes to teach us a truth should not tell it to us, but simply suggest it with a brief gesture, a gesture which starts an ideal trajectory in the air along which we glide until we find ourselves at the feet of the new truth.

José Ortega y Gasset

Light is half a companion.

Genoese proverb

God, the sky is blue, and the air is shot with gold. A moment ago, we passed a farmyard where a girl about twelve, wearing a blue-and-white dress, stood waving, dwarfed by a lilac bush whose blossoms were already rusted. She seemed to beckon, but of course she was just waving at the world — us — passing by. She would have been alarmed if we’d stopped. But the impression remains that she was inviting us in.

Patricia Hampl and Steven Sorman

A door opens to me. I go in and am faced with a hundred closed doors.

Antonio Porchia

Simplicity of living means meeting life face to face. It means confronting life clearly, without unnecessary distractions, without trying to soften the awesomeness of our existence or mask the deeper magnificence of life with pretentious, distracting, and unnecessary accumulations.

Duane Elgin

I hate American simplicity. I glory in the piling up of complications of every sort. If I could pronounce the name James in any different or more elaborate way I should be in favor of doing it.

Henry James

He prayed as he breathed, forming no words and making no specific requests, only holding in his heart, like broken birds in cupped hands, all those people who were in stress or grief.

Ellis Peters

The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say to him, “What are you going through?”

Simone Weil

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.

Søren Kierkegaard

If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.

Thomas Szasz