commonplace book


“So there I was, watching this movie, dinner in the oven and a little drunk, when Scrooge stepped onto the screen and instead of enjoying, as I usually do, his deliciously cold persona, I realized that Scrooge’s life is a tragedy, that A Christmas Carol is a story of a man who changes all but too late, and that Scrooge is haunted by time in part because nothing can go back and change the long years of his sorry life into something less blighted and lonely.”
—B. D. McClay, on Scrooge and regret

“There is little opiate delusion in Jesus’s grim warning to his comrades that if they were true to his Gospel of love and justice, they would meet the same sticky end as him. The measure of your love in his view is whether they kill you or not. Christians who are not an affront to the powers-that-be, so he suggests, are not being faithful to his mission.”
—Terry Eagleton on Jesus as a radical

“The way into following Christ inevitably leads to another form of poverty and freedom—the poverty and freedom of love, in which Jesus in the end finally ‘outwitted’ death itself, since he no longer possessed anything that this could have robbed him of. He had given everything, for everyone. Following Christ is a summons … to this kind of poverty and freedom of love.”
—German Synod’s Our hope: a confession of faith for our time, quoted by Johannes B. Metz

“To live Christian hope on the basis of imminent expectation of the second coming does not mean sacrificing its social and political responsibility but the reverse: injecting the urgency imposed by time and the need to act into a responsibility that has been robbed of its tension by extending the expectation of the second coming to infinity—one that has been diluted and deferred.”
—Johannes B. Metz, on apocalyptic religious life

“Being where Jesus is means being in the company of the people whose company Jesus seeks and keeps. Jesus chooses the company of the excluded, the disreputable, the wretched, the self-hating, the poor, the diseased; so that is where you are going to find yourself. If you are going to be where Jesus is, if your discipleship is not intermittent but a way of being, you will find yourself in the same sort of human company as he is in. It is once again a reminder that our discipleship is not about choosing our company but choosing the company of Jesus—or rather, getting used to the fact of having been chosen for the company of Jesus.”
—Rowan Williams, on discipleship

“O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae: venis, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.”
—O Antipohon for December 21