When I was doing 'Tales from Hollywood' at the National, I was invited to dinner by the choreographer, Kenneth MacMillan. He told me I had the heart of a dancer and asked me if I'd like to come on at the end of 'Romeo and Juliet' as a friar. I said I'd love to, but sadly, MacMillan died shortly after.
Men do not avail themselves of the riches of God's grace. They love to nurse their cares, and seem as uneasy without some fret as an old friar would be without his hair girdle. They are commanded to cast their cares upon the Lord, but even when they attempt it, they do not fail to catch them up again, and think it meritorious to walk burdened.
Henry Ward Beecher
The Jackdaw sat in the Cardinal's chair! Bishop and Abbot and Prior were there, Many a monk and many a friar, Many a knight and many a squire, With a great many more of lesser degree,-- In sooth a goodly company; And they served the Lord Primate on bended knee. Never, I ween, Was a prouder seen, Read of in books or dreamt of in dreams, Than the Cardinal Lord Archbishop of Rheims.
Richard Harris Barham
The great Bonaventure said that the wise must enhance conceptual clarity with the truth implicit in the actions of the simple... " "Like the chapter of Perugia and the learned memories of Ubertino, which transform into theological decisions the summons of the simple to poverty." I said. "Yes, but as you have seen, this happens too late, and when it happens, the truth of the simple has already been transformed into the truth of the powerful, more useful for the Emperor Louis than for a Friar of the Poor Life.
Friar Laurence: O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities: For nought to vile that on the earth doth live, But to the earth some special good doth give; nor aught so good, but, strain'd from that fair use, Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse: Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied, And vice sometime's by action dignified.
Conceive a world-society developed materially far beyond the wildest dreams of America. Unlimited power, derived partly from the artificial disintegration of atoms, partly from the actual annihilation of matter through the union of electrons and protons to form radiation, completely abolished the whole grotesque burden of drudgery which hitherto had seemed the inescapable price of civilization, nay of life itself. The vast economic routine of the world-community was carried on by the mere touching of appropriate buttons. Transport, mining, manufacture, and even agriculture were performed in this manner. And indeed in most cases the systematic co-ordination of these activities was itself the work of self-regulating machinery. Thus, not only was there no longer need for any human beings to spend their lives in unskilled monotonous labour, but further, much that earlier races would have regarded as highly skilled though stereotyped work, was now carried on by machinery. Only the pioneering of industry, the endless exhilarating research, invention, design and reorganization, which is incurred by an ever-changing society, still engaged the minds of men and women. And though this work was of course immense, it could not occupy the whole attention of a great world-community. Thus very much of the energy of the race was free to occupy itself with other no less difficult and exacting matters, or to seek recreation in its many admirable sports and arts. Materially every individual was a multi-millionaire, in that he had at his beck and call a great diversity of powerful mechanisms; but also he was a penniless friar, for he had no vestige of economic control over any other human being. He could fly through the upper air to the ends of the earth in an hour, or hang idle among the clouds all day long. His flying machine was no cumbersome aeroplane, but either a wingless aerial boat, or a mere suit of overalls in which he could disport himself with the freedom of a bird. Not only in the air, but in the sea also, he was free. He could stroll about the ocean bed, or gambol with the deep-sea fishes. And for habitation he could make his home, as he willed, either in a shack in the wilderness or in one of the great pylons which dwarfed the architecture even of the American age. He could possess this huge palace in loneliness and fill it with his possessions, to be automatically cared for without human service; or he could join with others and create a hive of social life. All these amenities he took for granted as the savage takes for granted the air which he breathes. And because they were as universally available as air, no one craved them in excess, and no one grudged another the use of them.