Tag: 2021 September Quote of the Day

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You read the New Testament and the assumption Jesus makes continually is that people know the difference immediately between good and evil… And that is in part what faith means. It doesn’t even require discussion. It means that there is an implicit knowledge — very ancient if not eternal — which human beings really share […]

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When We Allow Life to Change Us


No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.  —Heraclitus

Anyone who thinks that life is too routine and that hardly anything changes has gotten himself into a rut. We can allow ourselves to be numbed by our daily routines, bored with the predictability of our days, and dwell on the many things we don’t have or we’d like to have.

Instead, though, we can notice the richness of each day as we move through it. For me, there are a great many things that pique my attention or give me joy. When I get up early in the morning, I will notice the stillness that rests in the house; somehow that day’s silence has its own soothing quality. Or on my walk, I’ll notice a new blossom on my lemon tree; a walker who has an English mastiff who’s decided to stop and greet me; or an armadillo that scampers blindly to find his breakfast.

Who Am I and Who Are You?


If I am I because I am I, and you are you because you are you, then I am I and you are you. But if I am I because you are you, and you are you because I am I, then I am not I and you are not you! —Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Kotzk

The first time I read this quotation, my eyes crossed! In fact, I read it a couple of times to understand what the good rabbi was trying to say. (I must assume that he wrote it with some amusement.)

But the actual meaning that I deduce from his words is powerful and a reminder that no matter how we try to isolate ourselves and our connection with others, deep or superficial, long-term or recent, they touch our hearts, minds, and souls in a way that is impossible to measure.

The Four Hardest Things to Say in the English Language


No, one of them isn’t Worcestershire Sauce:

“There are four things that lead to wisdom. You ready for them?” She nodded, wondering when the police work would begin. “They are four sentences we learn to say, and mean.” Gamache held up his hand as a fist and raised a finger with each point. “I don’t know. I need help. I’m sorry. I was wrong.”

The quote is from Louise Penny’s Three Pines mystery series.  For years, it was one of my favorites, and I’ve mentioned it, and recommended it a few times here.  Unfortunately, Ms. Penny went irremediably woke several years ago, and things haven’t been the same since.  (Unclear whether she suffers from Trump Derangement Syndrome, Trudeau Infatuation Syndrome (she’s a Canadian), or–the newest and increasingly widespread, mutated variant of the malady, Reality Rejection Syndrome. Whatever it is, it has not improved her storytelling or her writing, and the last few books have been disappointing, to say the least.)

Quote of the Day: Chesterton’s Virtue Challenge


“Charity means pardoning the unpardonable, or it’s no virtue at all. Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it’s no virtue at all. And faith means believing the incredible, or it’s no virtue at all.” — G.K. Chesterton

When Catholics pray the Rosary, it’s common practice to begin by praying for an increase of the theological virtues — faith, hope, and charity — before entering into the mysteries of Christ’s life while praying the decades. Even though I follow this practice, I find Catholic-convert Gilbert Keith Chesterton’s challenge a hard saying, especially in our nation’s current moment.

I’ve never been a fan of either secondhand forgiveness or blanket condemnation. It’s why I don’t subscribe to forgiveness of cold-blooded murder. Crimes of fear or passion, maybe. But, not heinous murder. The only people with standing to forgive a heinous murderer are dead.

American Greatness: Can We Redeem Ourselves?


“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

This quote grabbed my attention because I realized that I may no longer agree with any of it. I know that Tocqueville is admired and celebrated, but I wonder if he could have foreseen what would happen to this country so many years later.

I do think in some ways we are, or at least were, an enlightened country. To me, enlightenment is not a steady state, but a process, and compared to the rest of the world, we were head and shoulders above the rest. We were known for our honoring freedom and opportunity; many who dreamt of coming to this country believed our streets were paved with gold. No other country could offer a life where a person could succeed through hard work and persistence.

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I took the quote I’m presenting here from the book The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell. From the book’s summary on Amazon: “In The Bomber Mafia, Malcolm Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to […]

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Quote of the Day: ‘Whether It Is True or Not…’


It’s my fond hope (I’m using the word “fond” in the old-fashioned sense of “foolish,” because I really do know better, given the fondness–using it this time in the modern sense–of the mainstream media for memory-holing inconvenient facts), that those words, spoken by Joe Biden to the President of Afghanistan on July 23, 2021 as follows (emphasis mine):

Hey look, I want to make it clear that I am not a military man any more than you are, but I have been meeting with our Pentagon folks, and our national security people, as you have with ours and yours, and as you know and I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren’t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban. And there’s a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.

live to haunt Joe Biden for whatever remains of his sorry time in office, every time he opens his mouth.