"We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel... is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become."
"Friendship is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness. Friendship not only helps us see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with someone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn. A friend knows our difficulties and shadows and remains in sight, a companion to our vulnerabilities more than our triumphs, when we are under the strange illusion we do not need them. An undercurrent of real friendship is a blessing exactly because its elemental form is rediscovered again and again through understanding and mercy. All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die."
"A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words. This may sound easy. It isn’t. A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling — not knowing or believing or thinking. Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself. To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."
"Be patient with everyone, but above all, with yourself…Do not be disheartened by your imperfections, but always rise up with fresh courage. How are we to be patient in dealing with our neighbor’s faults if we are impatient in dealing with our own?"
"God seeks Himself in us, and the aridity and sorrow of our heart is the sorrow of God who is not known in us, who cannot yet find Himself in us because we do not dare to believe or to trust the incredible truth that He could live in us, and live there out of choice, out of preference. But indeed, we exist solely for this, to be the place He has chosen for His presence, His manifestation in the world, His epiphany. But we make all this dark and inglorious because we fail to believe it, we refuse to believe it. It is not that we hate God, rather that we hate ourselves, despair of ourselves. If we once began to recognize, humbly but truly, the real value of our own self, we would see that this value was the sign of God in our being, the signature of God upon our being."
"To be whole is to be part; true voyage is return."
"You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you."
"In the course of looking deeply within ourselves, we may challenge notions that give comfort before the terrors of the world."
"It is we who are passing when we say time passes."
The truth will never be complete
In any mind or time. It will never
Be reduced to an explanation.
What you have is only a sack of fragments
Never to be filled: old bones, fossils,
Facts, scraps of writing, sprawls of junk.
You know yourself only poorly and in part,
The best and the worst maybe forgotten.
However you arrange the pieces, however
Authentic, a story is what you’ll have,
An artifact, for better or worse.
So go ahead. Gather your findings into
A plausible arrangement. Make a story.
Show how love and joy, beauty and goodness,
Shine out amongst the rubble.
"Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love."
"We’ve got to let the awkwardness be there. Then we see God on the street corner and we see God in the people who look like they’re not having the best day. We see God over and over and over again until we realize that what we’re seeing is ourselves. We wouldn’t have the capacity to see God if that wasn’t who we are in every moment, every day."
"Anything that can be lost was never truly ours, anything that we cling to only imprisons us."
"When you don’t have self-critical thinking in a religion, you always lack the prophetic instinct."
"What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but absence of self-criticism."
"You understand so little of what is around you because you do not use what is within you."
"Fear is the static that prevents me from hearing myself."
"The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself."
"Authentic spirituality is always about changing you. It's not about trying to change anyone else."
"I do take my work seriously and the way to do that is not to take yourself too seriously."