You are not saintly (a good person) because an organization says so, but rather because you stay connected to the divinity of your origination. You are not intelligent because of a transcript; you are intelligence itself, which needs no external confirmation. You are not moral because you obey the laws; you are mortality itself because you are the same as what you came from.
Father monks, why do you fast! Why do you expect reward in heaven for that?...No, saintly monk, you try being virtuous in the world, do good to society, without shutting yourself up in a monastery at other people's expense, and without expecting a reward up aloft for it--you'll find that a bit harder.
If there is such a thing as saintly renunciation, it is renouncing small gains for better gains; not for no gains, but seeing with open eyes what is better and what is inferior. Even if the choice has to lie between two momentary gains, one of these would always be found to be more real and lasting; that is the one that should be followed for the time.
Hazrat Inayat Khan
Good parents use the mistakes they did in the past when they were young to advice the children God gave to them to prevent them from repeating those mistakes again. However, bad parents always want to be seen as right and appear "angelic and saintly" as if they never had horrible youth days.
For those who fancy that government's projects are uniquely important, or for those who imagine that holding government office makes someone unusually saintly or trustworthy, entrusting government with power that we would never entrust to our neighbors or other private citizens might seem sensible. To me, it's dangerous, unjustified, and unjustifiable.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Life is worth living and no matter what it throws at you it is important to keep your eyes on the prize of the happiness that will come. Even when the Death Railway reduced us to little more than animals, humanity in the shape of our saintly medical officers triumphed over barbarism. Remember, while it always seems darkest before the dawn, perseverance pays off and the good times will return.
If the Word truly became flesh, then God had not only a mother, but also a grandmother, cousins, great-aunts, and weird uncles. If the Word truly dwelt among us, then he was part of a family that, like most, was fairly dysfunctional, a mix of the good and bad, the saintly and the sinful, the glorious and the not so glorious. And this is such good news for us.
Men are tied up to their families and possessions more helplessly than in a prison. There is an occasion for the prisoner to be released, but householders entertain no desire to be relieved from the ties of family. When a man's passion is aroused nothing prevents him from ruining himself. Even into the jaws of a tiger will he jump. Those who are thus drowned in the filth of passion are called the ignorant. Those who are able to overcome it are saintly Arhats.
Yes, the saint was underrated quite a bit, then, mostly by people who didn't like things that were ineffable... a lot of people don't like things that are unearthly, the things of this earth are good enough for them, and they don't mind telling you so. 'If he'd just go out and get a job, like everybody else, then he could be saintly all day long... ' -from 'The Temptations of St. Anthony, ' by Donald Barthelme
If our age in its pride laughs at and rejects Our Lady's Rosary, a countless legion of the most saintly men of every age and of every condition have not only held it most dear and have most piously recited it but have also used it at all times as a most powerful weapon to overcome the devil, to preserve the purity of their lives, to acquire virtue more zealously, in a word, to promote peace among men.
Pope Pius XI
If done "as God wants.' then leadership will surely include intercessory prayer. The saintly Bishop Azariah of India once remarked to Bishop Stephen Neill that he found time to pray daily, by name, for every leader in his extensive diocese. Little wonder that during his thirty years of eldering there, the diocese tripled its membership and greatly increase in spiritual effectiveness
J. Oswald Sanders
Often we want to be somewhere other than where we are, to even to be someone other than who we are. We tend to compare ourselves constantly with others and wonder why we are not as rich, as intelligent, as simple, as generous, or as saintly as they are. Such comparisons make us feel guilty, ashamed, or jealous. It is very important to realize that our vocation is hidden in where we are and who we are. We are unique human beings, each with a call to realize in life what nobody else can, and to realize it in the concrete context of the here and now. We will never find our vocations by trying to figure out whether we are better or worse than others. We are good enough to do what we are called to do. Be yourself!
Henri J.M. Nouwen
So dear to heav'n is saintly chastity, That when a soul is found sincerely so, A thousand liveried angels lackey her, Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt, And in clear dream and solemn vision Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear, Till oft converse with heav'nly habitants Begin to cast a beam on th' outward shape.
I have had occasion to meet with, in convents for instance, literally saintly examples of practical charity, they have generally had the brisk, decided, undisturbed and slightly brutal air of a busy surgeon, the face in which one can discern no commiseration, no tenderness at the sight of suffering humanity, and no fear of hurting it, the face devoid of gentleness or sympathy, the sublime face of true goodness.
[I did] Some [reading to prep for Expelled]. I read one book cover to cover, From Darwin to Hitler , and that was a very interesting book--one of these rare books I wish had been even longer. It's about how Darwin 's theory--supposedly concocted by this mild-mannered saintly man, with a flowing white beard like Santa Claus--led to the murder of millions of innocent people.
God is not concerned about our plans; He doesn't ask, "Do you want to go through this loss of a loved one, this difficulty, or this defeat?" No, He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, and nobler men and women, or they are making us more critical and fault-finding, and more insistent on our own way. The things that happen either make us evil, or they make us more saintly, depending entirely on our relationship with God and its level of intimacy.
If we lived in a State where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us good, and greed would make us saintly. And we'd live like animals or angels in the happy land that /needs/ no heroes. But since in fact we see that avarice, anger, envy, pride, sloth, lust and stupidity commonly profit far beyond humility, chastity, fortitude, justice and thought, and have to choose, to be human at all... why then perhaps we /must/ stand fast a little --even at the risk of being heroes.
Who would have believed that the daughters of that mighty city would one day be wandering as servants and slaves on the shores of Egypt and Africa, or that Bethlehem would daily receive noble Romans, distinguished ladies, brought up in wealth and now reduced to beggary? I cannot help them all, but I grieve and weep with them, and am completely absorbed in the duties which charity imposes on me. I have put aside my commentary on Ezekiel and almost all study. For today we must translate the precepts of the Scriptures into deeds; instead of speaking saintly words, we must act them.
And when children begin to use their reason, fathers and mothers should take great pains to fill their hearts with the fear of God. This the good Queen Blanche did most earnestly by St. Louis, her son: witness her oft-repeated words, "My son, I would sooner see you die than guilty of a mortal sin;" words which sank so deeply into the saintly monarch's heart, that he himself said there was no day on which they did not recur to his mind, and strengthen him in treading God's ways.
Saint Francis de Sales
So dear to heaven is saintly chastity, That when a soul is found sincerely so, A thousand liveried angels lackey her, Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt, And in clear dream, and solemn vision Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear, Till oft converse with heavenly habitants Begin to cast a beam on the outward shape, The unpolluted temple of the mind, And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence, Till all be made immortal
Virtues are in the middle, the royal way about which the saintly elder (Saint Basil the Great) said, "Travel on the royal way and count the miles." As I said, the virtues are at the midpoint between excess and laxness. That is why it is written, "Do not turn to the right or the left" (Prov 4:27) but travel on the "royal way" (Num. 20:17). Saint Basil also says, "The person who does not allow his thoughts to incline towards excess or deprivation but directs it to the midpoint, that of virtue, is upright in heart."
Dorotheus of Gaza
And Castle nodded sagely. 'So this is a picture of the meaninglessness of it all! I couldn't agree more.' 'Do you really agree?' I asked. 'A minute ago you said something about Jesus.' 'Who?' said Castle. 'Jesus Christ?' 'Oh, ' said Castle. 'Him.' He shrugged. 'People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order, so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say.' 'I see.' I knew I wasn't going to have an easy time writing a popular article about him. I was going to have to concentrate on his saintly deeds and ignore entirely the satanic things he thought and said.
Giraldus claimed that he had heard about Eleanor's adultery with Geoffrey from the saintly Bishop Hugh of Lincoln, who had learned of it from Henry II of England, Geoffrey's son and Eleanor's second husband. Eleanor was estranged from Henry at the time Giraldus was writing, and the king was trying to secure an annulment of their marriage from the Pope. It would have been to his advantage to declare her an adulterous wife who had had carnal relations with his father, for that in itself would have rendered their marriage incestuous and would have provided prima facie grounds for its dissolution.
I keep thinking of Kon-Tiki as we fly along... the ocean is very blue. Sometimes we fly over white cloud banks that extend for miles and miles to the horizon.I feel content and very appreciative of the sunshine and good company, the little things which mean so much." This from a young man going to war. "No peace treaty, no international government, is any good at all without the spirit underneath it. I look to the principles of a Christian life, not stopping at a 'gentlemanly' Christian life but working toward a saintly one. I hope one day to find and work toward God." And I never even knew what religion [Doug Bradlee] was, some sort of Protestant, I suppose.
We expect the world of doctors. Out of our own need, we revere them; we imagine that their training and expertise and saintly dedication have purged them of all the uncertainty, trepidation, and disgust that we would feel in their position, seeing what they see and being asked to cure it. Blood and vomit and pus do not revolt them; senility and dementia have no terrors; it does not alarm them to plunge into the slippery tangle of internal organs, or to handle the infected and contagious. For them, the flesh and its diseases have been abstracted, rendered coolly diagrammatic and quickly subject to infallible diagnosis and effective treatment. The House of God is a book to relieve you of these illusions; it ... displays it as farce, a melee of blunderers laboring to murky purpose under corrupt and platitudinous superiors.
THE UNICORN: The saintly hermit, midway through his prayers stopped suddenly, and raised his eyes to witness the unbelievable: for there before him stood the legendary creature, startling white, that had approached, soundlessly, pleading with his eyes. The legs, so delicately shaped, balanced a body wrought of finest ivory. And as he moved, his coat shone like reflected moonlight. High on his forehead rose the magic horn, the sign of his uniqueness: a tower held upright by his alert, yet gentle, timid gait. The mouth of softest tints of rose and grey, when opened slightly, revealed his gleaming teeth, whiter than snow. The nostrils quivered faintly: he sought to quench his thirst, to rest and find repose. His eyes looked far beyond the saint's enclosure, reflecting vistas and events long vanished, and closed the circle of this ancient mystic legend.
Rainer Maria Rilke
By far, the most important distortions and confabulations of memory are those that serve to justify and explain our own lives. The mind, sense-making organ that it is, does not interpret our experiences as if they were shattered shards of glass; it assembles them into a mosaic. From the distance of years, we see the mosaic's pattern. It seems tangible, unchangeable; we can't imagine how we could reconfigure those pieces into another design. But it is a result of years of telling our story, shaping it into a life narrative that is complete with heroes and villians, an account of how we came to be the way we are. Because that narrative is the way we understand the world and our place in it, it is bigger than the sum of its parts. If on part, one memory, is shown to be wrong, people have to reduce the resulting dissonance and even rethink the basic mental category: you mean Dad (Mom) wasn't such a bad (good) person after all? You mean Dad (Mom) was a complex human being? The life narrative may be fundamentally true; Your father or mother might really have been hateful, or saintly. The problem is that when the narrative becomes a major source of self-justification, one the storyteller relies on to excuse mistakes and failings, memory becomes warped in its service. The storyteller remembers only the confirming examples of the parent's malevolence and forgets the dissonant instances of the parent's good qualities. Over time, as the story hardens, it becomes more difficult to see the whole parent - the mixture of good and bad, strengths and flaws, good intentions and unfortunate blunders. Memories create our stories, but our stories also create our memories.
When you are quite well enough to travel, Latimer, I shall take you home with me. The journey will amuse you and do you good, for I shall go through the Tyrol and Austria, and you will see many new places. Our neighbours, the Filmores, are come; Alfred will join us at Basle, and we shall all go together to Vienna, and back by Prague... ' My father was called away before he had finished his sentence, and he left my mind resting on the word Prague with a strange sense that a new and wondrous scene was breaking upon me: a city under the broad sunshine, that seemed to me as if it were summer sunshine of a long-past century arrested in its course-unrefreshed for ages by dews of night, or the rushing rain-cloud; scorching the dusty, weary, time-eaten grandeur of a people doomed to live on in the stale repetition of memories, like deposed and superannuated kings in their regal gold inwoven tatters. The city looked so thirsty that the broad river seemed to me a sheet of metal; and the blackened statues, as I passed under their blank gaze, along the unending bridge, with their ancient garments and their saintly crowns, seemed to me the real inhabitants and owners of this place, while the busy, trivial men and women, hurrying to and fro, were a swarm of ephemeral visitants infesting it for a day. It is such grim, stony beings as these, I thought, who are the fathers of ancient faded children, in those tanned time-fretted dwellings that crowd the steep before me; who pay their court in the worn and crumbling pomp of the palace which stretches its monotonous length on the height; who worship wearily in the stifling air of the churches, urged by no fear or hope, but compelled by their doom to be ever old and undying, to live on in the rigidity of habit, as they live on in perpetual midday, without the repose of night or the new birth of morning. A stunning clang of metal suddenly thrilled through me, and I became conscious of the objects in my room again: one of the fire-irons had fallen as Pierre opened the door to bring me my draught. My heart was palpitating violently, and I begged Pierre to leave my draught beside me; I would take it presently. ("The Lifted Veil")
Faded icon of the gilded halo, Once illuminating, inspiring; Admirers, enemies, lovers, family, A distant memory trodden under foot. Evanescent existence; flickering fame, A quintessence of reflections Incidentally etched on ancient relics. Can we conjure your presence? We barely remember Joseph Warren as the person who dispatched Paul Revere on his famous ride, and as the hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill, where he was killed in action. It wasn't always that way. For almost a century Warren was one of the most important and remembered founders of the fledgling American nation. John Trumbull's painting 'Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, ' a renowned icon of American history, dates from that period. In it scarlet uniformed British soldiers, heavily armed and personally led by their officers, have just overwhelmed American entrenchments atop Breed's Hill, within sight across the Mystic River of Boston. In the background loom the eponymous Bunker Hill and the village of Charlestown, its houses and churches aflame, a smoky cloud framing the battlefield. The Americans, a motley amalgam of raw militia, countrymen and workers, try unsuccessfully to fend off the onslaught. New England's Pine Tree flag still stands within the American dirt fort in the unseasonably hot and breezeless early summer afternoon. The red coated attackers, brandishing the colors of the United Kingdom, will take it down in a moment. It is June 17, 1775: The defenders of an embryonic American Liberty are about to be defeated in a British Pyrrhic victory. In the forefront, Colonel William Prescott commands the Americans while rotund General Israel Putnam vainly shouts orders in the background. British Generals Burgoyne and Clinton command the British attackers as Major John Pitcairn, leader of the marines falters, mortally wounded, yet still supported by a soldier. British and Americans have fallen indiscriminately on the field among the detritus of battle. In the foreground, a finely dressed figure lies prostrate, his sword dropped to the earth. Prescott wards off a bayonet thrust by an onrushing British infantryman. It is a thrust the enemy's own superior officer, Colonel Small, curiously appears to want deflected. But the targeted figure already lies supine, looking skyward in a saintly blank stare. He is suspended momentarily in a halo of tranquility amongst the mayhem. This dying man can no longer smell the acrid, dense black powder smoke that hangs low in the windless oppressive heat, obscuring the afternoon sun. He pays no heed to the shouts of men nor the eerie lull in the previously deafening gunfire. The animation, his admonishments of others to action, the thrill and fear of battle, all suddenly calm. A single bullet annihilates in an instant inspiring words, the force of personality, the martial spirit in action, the reality and complexity of a human being. Dr. Joseph Warren, the central figure, moves from life to legend. Trumbull's iconic painting raises unanswered questions about its subject. How did a physician come to assume such a responsible role in this engagement? How did he meet his fate within sight of his home town? Why was he famous throughout the young United States as a model for involved citizenship? Was there any truth to the cynicism of his political enemies? Most compelling of all-why has this once beloved leader been so long and unjustifiably forgotten? This biography of Joseph Warren answers these and other questions. It utilizes modern analytical methods, uncovers new material, and sheds new light on 'established' facts... Please join me in getting to know Joseph Warren, accompanying him on his lifetime's journey to Bunker Hill, and considering the fate of his reputation and memory long after his heroic demise.