31 August 2010

From Homo Faber

". . .I knew that Ivy, like every woman, really only wanted to know what I felt -- or thought, if I didn't feel anything."

(p28)

26 August 2010

"If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly. . ."

"If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action, God will hear everything that he asks."
--Abba Zeno

25 August 2010

On Parables

"At its simplest a parable is a metaphor or simile drawn from nature or common life, arresting the hearer by its vividness or strangeness, and leaving the mind in sufficient doubt about its precise application to tease it into active thought."

(C. H. Dodd, The Parables of the Kingdom, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1961, p. 5)

24 August 2010

On Tears

"You never know what may cause them. The sight of the Atlantic ocean can do it, or a piece of music, or a face you've never seen before. A pair of somebody's old shoes can do it. Almost any movie before the great sadness that came over the world after the Second World War, a horse cantering across a meadow, the high school basketball team running out onto the gym floor at the start of a game. You can never be sure. But of this you can be sure. whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention."

They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are. More often than not, God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and to summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go to next.

Whistling in the Dark
, Frederick Buechner

23 August 2010

On Love and Lust

Love is the only fortitude against lust.

From Tim Kellers book, The Prodigal God

". . . an irresistible prejudice in your favor"

"He smiled understandingly -- much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five time in life. It faced -- or seemed to face -- the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey."

15 August 2010

Six O'Clock Winter, John Sloan

04 August 2010

Cynicism

". . . the yearbook editors voted him Most Cynical. That pleased him. Gilbert believed disillusionment to be the natural consequence, even the duty, of a mind that could cut through the authorized version to the true nature of things. He made it his business to take nothing on trust, to respect no authority but that of his own judgment, and to be elegantly unsurprised at the grossest crimes and follies, especially those of the world's anointed."

-- Tobias Wolff, Two Boys and a Girl, p103, in The Night in Question

So, accordingly, the cynic:

1. Believes the "official" story masks the "true nature of things" and only she can cut through to it.

2. Models disillusionment as the natural consequence of a superior mind such as hers.

3. Takes nothing on trust.

4. Respects no authority but her own.

5. Feigns "elegant unsurprise" at the grossest misbehaviors; she's unshockable.