Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea…

Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive, as we did during World War II. And then, to mention the subject at all is to be greeted with howls of anger. It is not that people think this too high and difficult a virtue; it is that they think it hateful and contemptible. ‘That sort of thing makes me sick.’ they say. And half of you already want to ask me, ‘I wonder how you’d feel about forgiving the Gestapo if you were a Pole or a Jew?’

So do I. I wonder very much. Just as when Christianity tells me that I must not deny my religion even to save myself from death or torture, I wonder very much what I should do when it came to the point. I am not trying to tell you in this book what I could do—I can do precious little—I am telling you what Christianity is. I did not invent it. And there, right in the middle of it, I find, ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.’ There is no slightest suggestion that we are offered forgiveness on any other terms. It is made perfectly clear that if we do not forgive we shall not be forgiven. There are no two ways about it.

~ C. S. Lewis, via a post on the Little Portion Hermitage blog.

Oh, the liberty that is released…

Oh, the liberty that is released in our hearts when we let go of the opinions of others! The less we are mesmerized by human voices, the more we are able to hear the Divine voice. The less we are manipulated by the expectations of others, the more we are open to the expectations of God.

~Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (quote found via the Twitter feeds of Jonathan McIntosh and Caleb Sigler. Thanks guys!)

This is our destiny…

We are disciples of Jesus Christ whose power and influence reach to most corners of the world. We are called to bring healing, help and hope to the places where it is needed most, especially to the most vulnerable of our fellow members of the Body of Christ. We, too, have the Spirit of the Lord upon us, and we have been anointed to embody the mission of Christ in our lives and in our world.

This is our destiny; this is what we are called to do. The greatest tragedy of all would be for us to settle for anything less.

~Francis Gunn, OFM from “Thoughts on Impact of Haiti’s Catastrophe

We cannot be content…

We cannot be content, no matter how high the general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people — whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth — is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed and insecure.

~Franklin D. Roosevelt, as quoted by Leo Hindery, Jr. in “America’s Dirty Little Secret: Who’s Really Poor in America?

Imitate little children…

In all your affairs rely wholly on divine Providence, through which alone you must look for success; labor, nevertheless, quietly on your part to cooperate with its designs, and then you may be assured, if you trust as you ought in God; the success which shall come to you shall be always that which is the most profitable for you, whether it appear good or bad according to your private judgment. Imitate little children who, as they with one hand hold fast by their father, and with the other gather strawberries or blackberries along the hedges; so you, gathering and handling the goods of this world with one hand, must with the other always hold fast the hand of your heavenly Father, turning yourself towards him from time to time to see if your actions or occupations be pleasing to him; but above all things take heed that you never leave his protecting hand nor think to gather more, for should he forsake you, you will not be able to go a step further without falling to the ground.

~Saint Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life