commonplace book


“What you’ll fail at is everything. You will not maximize your potential. You will not escape time’s grip. But neither can time escape God’s grip; and what God intends to make of both you and it is thankfully not up to you to determine.”
—Phil Christman, on time management

“If, as Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians, those whose works will have merited no reward at the end of days will have to be saved “as though by fire” when the damnable works they did leave behind are consumed, the insatiable bibliophile may prove to have chosen a particularly combustible vice to indulge.”
—David Bentley Hart

“to say that all talk about God is ‘tainted with failure’ is not to say that we can make no true affirmative statements about God. We can. but ultimately they fail, not of truth, but of God.”
—Denys Turner

“Nicodemus never does understand what Jesus is saying about salvation; nor, apparently, is he meant to; nor, actually, can I.”
—Sarah Ruden on John 3

“In this final scene Roupenian depicts well (to my mind it was probably the best moment in the story) how shame and regret at what cannot be undone can turn into further violence—when one, having lost all hope of undoing the damage done, doubles down.”
—Anastasia Berg, on “Cat Person”

                                           “… Awake, his wounds
bleeding still, his foot upon the tomb, Christ
who bore our life to its most wretched end,
having thrust off like a blanket the heavy lid,
stands. …
. . . . . . . . .
And we who were sleeping, seeking the dead
among the dead, dare to be awake. We who see
see we are forever seen, by sight have been
forever changed. The morning at last
has come. The trees, once bare, are green.”
—Wendell Berry, “Early in the year by my friends’ gift”

“For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every child loved, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.”
—Maggie Smith, “Good Bones”