Man with wooden leg escapes prison. He’s caught. They take his wooden leg away from him. Each day he must cross a large hill and swim a wide river to get to the field where he must work all day on one leg. This goes on for a year. At the Christmas party they give him back his leg. Now he doesn’t want it. His escape is all planned. It requires only one leg.
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.
Whereas I formerly believed it to be my bounden duty to call other persons to order, I now admit that I need calling to order myself.
There is a very profound truth in the Greek sophisms proving that it is impossible to learn. We understand little and badly. We need to be taught by those who understand more and better than ourselves. For example, by Christ. But since we do not understand anything, we do not understand them either. How could we know that they are right? How could we pay them the proper amount of attention, to begin with, which is necessary before they can begin to teach us? That is why miracles are needed.
Every illusion carries pain and suffering in the dark folds of the heavy garments in which it hides its nothingness.
In the service of God, you can learn three things from a child, and seven from a thief. From a child you can learn: (1) always to be happy; (2) never to sit idle; and (3) to cry for everything one wants. From a thief you should learn: (1) to work at night; (2) if one cannot gain what one wants in one night to try again the next night; (3) to love one’s co-workers just as thieves love each other; (4) to be willing to risk one’s life even for a little thing; (5) not to attach too much value to things even though one has risked one’s life for them — just as a thief will resell a stolen article for a fraction of its real value; (6) to withstand all kinds of beatings and tortures but to remain what you are; and (7) to believe that your work is worthwhile and not be willing to change it.
God speaks to all individuals through what happens to them moment by moment.
The safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
You can hold back from the suffering of the world, you have free permission to do so, and it is in accordance with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could have avoided.
Although the world is very full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
While others talked about what they would do if they heard that they had to die within that very hour, Saint Charles Borromaeus said he would continue his game of chess. For he had begun it only in honor of God, and he could wish for nothing better than to be called away in the midst of an action undertaken in the honor of God.
If an angel deigns to come, it will be because you have convinced him, not by tears, but by your humble resolve to be always beginning: to be a beginner.
When your heart speaks, take good notes.