commonplace book


“The greatness of scholasticism was that it calmly overturned the old formulas while making the least possible change in their elegant outward appearance.”
—Henri de Lubac, SJ

“Hercule Poirot does not run the risk of disarranging his costume without being sure of attaining his object. To do so would be ridiculous and absurd. I am never ridiculous.”
—Hercule Poirot

“I could’ve married them en masse, but they’re people, not cattle.”
—a Las Vegas wedding chaplain

“In his death, the Lord descended into the lowest and deepest regions of what is visible. It is no longer a place of impermanence and death, because there he now is. By his death, he has become the heart of this earthly world, God’s heart in the center of the world, where the world even before its own unfolding in space and time taps into God’s power and might.”
—Karl Rahner

“The modern world’s feverish struggle for unbridled, often unlicensed, freedom is answered by the bound, enclosed helplessness and dependence of Christ—Christ in the womb, Christ in the Host, Christ in the tomb.”
—Caryll Houselander

“I teach atheism to seminarians not out of some smug satisfaction derived from initiating pious young men into the ranks of the undeceived. Nor do I teach it principally to exercise student ability in dialectic. Rather I teach atheism to seminarians to train them in the timeworn art of allegory—of finding Christ wherever indeed he hides.”
—Justin Shaun Coyle, on what atheism offers Christianity

“We are not talking here about the kind of notebook that is patently for public consumption, a structural conceit for binding together a series of graceful pensées; we are talking about something private, about bits of the mind’s string too short to use, an indiscriminate and erratic assemblage with meaning only for its maker.”
—Joan Didion, on keeping a notebook