Quote Title Quotation Source
When Things Begin Clicking and Falling into Place I had found this hole in the world: the fact that one must somehow find a way of loving the world without trusting it; somehow one must love the world without being worldly. I found this projecting feature of Christian theology like a sort of hard spike, the dogmatic insistence that God was personal, and had made a world separate from Himself. The spike of dogma fitted exactly into the hole in the world it had evidently been made to go there and then the strange thing began to happen. When once these two parts of the two machines had come together, one after another, all the other parts fitted and fell in with an eerie exactitude. I could hear bolt after bolt over all the machinery falling into its place with a kind of click of relief. Having got one part right, all the other parts were repeating that rectitude, as clock after clock strikes noon. Instinct after instinct was answered by doctrine after doctrine. Or, to vary the metaphor, I was like one who had advanced into a hostile country to take one high fortress. And when that fort had fallen the whole country surrendered and turned solid behind me. The whole land was lit up. as it were, back to the first fields of my childhood. All those blind fancies of boyhood which in the fourth chapter I have tried in vain to trace on the darkness, became suddenly transparent and sane. I was right when I felt that roses were red by some sort of choice: it was the divine choice. I was right when I felt that I would almost rather say that grass was the wrong color than say it must by necessity have been that color: it might verily have been any other. My sense that happiness hung on the crazy thread of a condition did mean something when all was said: it meant the whole doctrine of the Fall. Even those dim and shapeless monsters of notions which I have not been able to describe, much less defend, stepped quietly into their places like colossal caryatides of the creed. The fancy that the cosmos was not vast and void, but small and cozy, had a fulfilled significance now, for anything that is a work of art must be small in the sight of the artist; to God the stars might be only small and dear, like diamonds. And my haunting instinct that somehow good was not merely a tool to be used, but a relic to be guarded, like the goods from Crusoe s ship even that had been the wild whisper of something originally wise, for, according to Christianity, we were indeed the survivors of a wreck, the crew of a golden ship that had gone down before the beginning of the world.
But the important matter was this, that it entirely reversed the reason for optimism. And the instant the reversal was made it felt like the abrupt ease when a bone is put back in the socket. I had often called myself an optimist, to avoid the too evident blasphemy of pessimism. But all the optimism of the age had been false and disheartening for this reason, that it had always been trying to prove that we fit into the world. The Christian optimism is based on the fact that we do not fit into the world. I had tried to be happy by telling myself that man is an animal, like any other which sought its meat from God. But now I really was happy, for I had learnt that man is a monstrosity. I had been right in feeling things as odd, for I myself was at once worse and better than all things. The optimist s pleasure was prosaic, for it dwelt on the naturalness of everything; the Christian pleasure was poetic, for it dwelt on the unnaturalness of everyting in the light of the supernatural. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
You Must Be Led By Christ, Not Men Moreover if we are firmly gripped by a true picture of life with Jesus and are moving by experience deeper and deeper into its reality, we will be able, strongly but calmly, to resist the mistakes and abuses of religious authority. From the local congregation up to the highest levels of national and international influence, we hear people and groups claiming that they have been divinely guided as to what we are to do. Dallas Willard – Hearing God ©1984 InterVarsity Press
When Abiding, You Get What You Ask For We enter the sacred chamber on our knees. We still our thoughts and words, and say, Lord, teach us to pray. Give us thy holy desires, and let our prayer be the very echo of thy will. Give us thy Spirit as our advocate within. Open our eyes to see our great high priest and advocate above, and help us so to abide in Him, and to have His Word so abiding in us, that we shall ask what we will, and it shall be done unto us. A. B. Simpson – The Life of Prayer – circa 1890, © 2007 Bridge-Logos
The Kiss of Life The friend who cleaves to his friend in the spirit of Christ is made one heart and soul with him (Acts 4:32). Ascending to the friendship of Christ through the stages of love, he is made one spirit with him (1 Cor. 6:17) in a single kiss. The holy soul sighs for that kiss, saying, “Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth” (Song 1:1). Alfred of Rievaulx, From Spiritual Friendship circa 1150; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Discerning Between Soul and Spirit When you go to prayer, you should deliver yourself wholly up into the hands of God with perfect resignation, making an act of faith, believing that you are in the divine presence, afterwards remaining in that holy repose with quietness, silence, and tranquility, and endeavoring for a whole day, a whole year, and your whole life to continue that first act of contemplation by faith and love… by this you will be undeceived and know what is the perfect and spiritual manner of prayer, and be advised what is to be done in internal recollection. You will know that to the end that love may be made perfect and pure, it is expedient to curtail the multiplication of sensible and fervent acts, the soul continuing quiet and resting in that inward silence. Because tenderness, delight, and sweet sentiments, which the soul experiences in the will, are not purely spiritual, but are acts blended with the sensibility of nature. Nor is it perfect love, but sensible pleasure, which distracts and hurts the soul. Miguel De Molinos – The Spiritual Guide, 1675 – excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Who Are You in Relationship With? Sin is not a creation, it is a relationship. The essential nature of sin is my claim to my right to myself. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
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