1. Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.
2. Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies. (from “Loving Your Enemies”)
3. The day misspent,
the love misplaced,
has inside it
the seed of redemption.
Nothing is exempt
4. A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good. Each should have its own reward.
5. God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.
6. There’s no need to talk about it, because the truth of what one says lies in what one does.
7. So you choose him?’
‘Cal betrayed me, and I betrayed him. And you betrayed us both, in a thousand different ways.’ The words are heavy as stone but right. So right. ‘I choose no one.
8. Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter. The one of us who finds the strength to get up first, must help the other.
9. When someone you love dies, you are given the gift of “second chances”. Their eulogy is a reminder that the living can turn their lives around at any point. You’re not bound by the past; that is who you used to be. You’re reminded that your feelings are not who you are, but how you felt at that moment. Your bad choices defined you yesterday, but they are not who you are today. Your future doesn’t have to travel the same path with the same people. You can start over. You don’t have to apologize to people that won’t listen. You don’t have to justify your feelings or actions, during a difficult time in your life. You don’t have to put up with people that are insecure and want you to fail. All you have to do is walk forward with a positive outlook, and trust that God has a plan that is greater than the sorrow you left behind. The people of quality that were meant to be in your life won’t need you to explain the beauty of your heart. They already understand what being human is—-a roller coaster ride of emotions during rainstorms and sunshine, sprinkled with moments when you can almost reach the stars.
10. Contrary to what we may have been taught to think, unnecessary and unchosen suffering wounds us but need not scar us for life. It does mark us. What we allow the mark of our suffering to become is in our own hands.
11. Redemption, n. Deliverance of sinners from the penalty of their sin through their murder of the deity against whom they sinned. The doctrine of Redemption is the fundamental mystery of our holy religions, and whoso believeth in it shall not perish, but have everlasting life in which to try to understand it.
12. I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.
13. If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.
14. Redemption is something you have to fight for in a very personal, down-dirty way. Some of our characters lose that, some stray from that, and some regain it.
15. It is not true that everyone is special. It is true that everyone was once special and still possesses the ability to recover it.
16. The situation was extraordinary. How someone like Evangeline Jenner could have wrought such a change in St. Vincent, the most worldly of men, was difficult to understand. However, Westcliff had learned that the mysteries of attraction could not always be explained through logic. Sometimes the fractures in two separate souls became the very hinges that held them together.
17. To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.
18. We can be redeemed only to the extent to which we see ourselves.
19. Now the wren has gone to roost and the sky is turnin’ gold
And like the sky my soul is also turnin’
Turnin’ from the past, at last and all I’ve left behind
20. We all long for Eden, and we are constantly glimpsing it: our whole nature at its best and least corrupted, its gentlest and most human, is still soaked with the sense of exile.
21. [No] matter what a waste one has made of one’s life, it is ever possible to find some path to redemption, however partial.
22. Sometimes friends make mistakes. Grievous ones that cry out for us to stay and prove we are true friends.
23. I find something repulsive about the idea of vicarious redemption. I would not throw my numberless sins onto a scapegoat and expect them to pass from me; we rightly sneer at the barbaric societies that practice this unpleasantness in its literal form. There’s no moral value in the vicarious gesture anyway. As Thomas Paine pointed out, you may if you wish take on a another man’s debt, or even to take his place in prison. That would be self-sacrificing. But you may not assume his actual crimes as if they were your own; for one thing you did not commit them and might have died rather than do so; for another this impossible action would rob him of individual responsibility. So the whole apparatus of absolution and forgiveness strikes me as positively immoral, while the concept of revealed truth degrades the concept of free intelligence by purportedly relieving us of the hard task of working out the ethical principles for ourselves.
24. If every time we choose a turd, society, at a great expense, simply allows us to redeem it for a pepperoni, then not only will we never learn to make smart choices, we will also surrender the freedom to choose, because a choice without consequences is no choice at all.
25. God’s relationship with man does not work in a way in which man stumbles and then God has to drop what he is doing in order to lift him up; rather, man stumbles so that God can lift him up. Hence it is utterly impossible to truly diminish his glory.
26. We just philosophize, complain of boredom, or drink vodka. It’s so clear, you see, that if we’re to begin living in the present, we must first of all redeem our past and then be done with it forever. And the only way we can redeem our past is by suffering and by giving ourselves over to exceptional labor, to steadfast and endless labor.
27. To be in Christ — that is redemption; but for Christ to be in you — that is sanctification!
28. Most rich people have a gangster in their ancestry somewhere.
29. Your dignity can be mocked, abused, compromised, toyed with, lowered and even badmouthed, but it can never be taken from you. You have the power today to reset your boundaries, restore your image, start fresh with renewed values and rebuild what has happened to you in the past.
30. It is to the Cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his Master: no path of redemption can make a detour around it.
31. In the end, it is our defiance that redeems us. If wolves had a religion – if there was a religion of the wolf – that it is what it would tell us.
32. When a relationship of love is disrupted, the relationship does not cease. The love continues; therefore, the relationship continues. The work of grief is to reconcile and redeem life to a different love relationship.
33. Your current circumstances are part of your redemption story He is writing.
34. Jesus is God’s way of refusing to give up his dream for the world.
35. We must not offer people a system of redemption, a set of insights and principles. We offer people a Redeemer.
36. Grace abounds in contemporary movies, books, novels, films and music. If God is not in the whirlwind, He may be in a Woody Allen film, or a Bruce Springsteen concert. Most people understand imagery and symbol better than doctrine and dogma. Images touch hearts and awaken imaginations. One theologian suggested that Springsteen’s ‘Tunnel of Love’ album, in which he symbolically sings of sin, death, despair and redemption, is more important for Catholics than the Pope’s last visit when he spoke of morality only in doctrinal propositions.
37. Yes, a dark time passed over this land, but now there is something like light.
38. If Christ is God, He cannot sin, and if suffering was a sin in and by itself, He could not have suffered and died for us. However, since He took the most horrific death to redeem us, He showed us in fact that suffering and pain have great power.
39. Between the radiant white of a clear conscience and the coal black of a conscience sullied by sin lie many shades of gray–where most of us live our lives. Not perfect but not beyond redemption.
40. On Schopenhauer in Black and White] Schopenhauer’s views of love are flawed. Love can’t be merely an illusion of the mind to aid in procreation, but the path to redemption for an otherwise violently selfish species. Past human greatness has proven that when challenged, love can overpower impulsive instinct, and in essence, the vilest aspects of our nature.
41. Your job today is to pass gas. You do that and we can start feeding you liquids. No fart, no food.
42. Even there, in the mines, underground, I may find a human heart in another convict and murderer by my side, and I may make friends with him, for even there one may live and love and suffer. One may thaw and revive a frozen heart in that convict, one may wait upon him for years, and at last bring up from the dark depths a lofty soul, a feeling, suffering creature; one may bring forth an angel, create a hero! There are so many of them, hundreds of them, and we are all to blame for them. […] If they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground.
43. Usually redemption implies rescue – being saved. What were you being saved from?’ he inquired, his voice carefully neutral. ‘Ugliness.
44. Murderers don’t get forgiven just because we promise to be good from now on. We have to earn our way back. One hundred is the price. One hundred lives for each we took. That seems fair. That’s how we get whole again and that’s our work, from now until as long as it takes.
45. It was suffering and incapacity that created all afterworlds – this, and that brief madness of bliss which is experienced only by those who suffer deeply.
Weariness that wants to reach the ultimate with one leap, with one fatal leap, a poor ignorant weariness that does not want to want any more: this created all gods and afterworlds.
46. Saving you is the only thing that will bring me peace for all the wrong I have done. That is my truth
47. The Jewish people and their fate are the living witness for the absence of redemption. This, one could say, is the meaning of the chosen people; the Jews are chosen to prove the absence of redemption.
48. He believed in redemption, the inchoate grace in every person he met. It was one of the few things he had to believe in, the possibility of beauty when faced with the reality of so much ugliness.
49. Purification and redemption are such recurrent themes in ritual because there is a clear and ubiquitous need for them: we all do regrettable things as a result of our own circumstances, and new rituals are frequently invented in response to new circumstances.
50. To be saved is here, local and mortal
51. Emma, if I had to march an eternity in slavery it would be worth it knowing that you are safe. They can bind my wrists and shackle my feet, but they can’t take away my memories, my heart. If I had to see you grow old from a distance with someone else, it would have been worth it. I have had more than one lifetime to learn that our love can only come around once.
52. There’s a certain amount of ambiguity in my background, what with intermarriages and conversions, but under various readings of three codes which I don’t much respect (Mosaic Law, the Nuremberg Laws, and the Israeli Law of Return) I do qualify as a member of the tribe, and any denial of that in my family has ceased with me. But I would not remove myself to Israel if it meant the continuing expropriation of another people, and if anti-Jewish fascism comes again to the Christian world—or more probably comes at us via the Muslim world—I already consider it an obligation to resist it wherever I live. I would detest myself if I fled from it in any direction. Leo Strauss was right. The Jews will not be ‘saved’ or ‘redeemed.’ (Cheer up: neither will anyone else.) They/we will always be in exile whether they are in the greater Jerusalem area or not, and this in some ways is as it should be. They are, or we are, as a friend of Victor Klemperer’s once put it to him in a very dark time, condemned and privileged to be ‘a seismic people.’ A critical register of the general health of civilization is the status of ‘the Jewish question.’ No insurance policy has ever been devised that can or will cover this risk.
53. There will be no redemption because the men who run this place do not want redemption. They want to be as near to hell as they can.
54. No man can walk so long in the Shadow that he cannot come again to the Light.
55. The fragility of our era is this, too: we don’t believe that there is a chance for redemption; for a hand to raise you up; for an embrace to save you, forgive you, pick you up, flood you with infinite, patient, indulgent love; to put you back on your feet. We need mercy.
56. Where but in the very asshole of comedown is redemption: as where but brought low, where but in the grief of failure, loss, error do we discern the savage afflictions that turn us around: where but in the arrangements love crawls us through
57. It’s hard. Being 15, 16, 17. You get so angry. You want to do something with that anger. I guess try to find some other way to let it out. Don’t kill people. Don’t kill yourself. Let yourself grow up a little. Then you might start to think differently about things. You might get new opportunities to do something with your life that you never thought possible as a teenager.” — Thomas Harvey from the upcoming novel, “Nikki White: Polar Extremes” (Nikki, #3)
58. The miracle of redemption spreads like a leaven throughout the regions of the earth if properly strategized
59. God has such gladness every time he sees from heaven that a sinner is praying to Him with all his heart, as a mother has when she sees the first smile on her baby’s face.
60. The organist was almost at the end of the anthem’s long introduction, and as the crescendo increases the cathedral began to glitter before my eyes until I felt as if every stone in the building was vibrating in anticipation of the sweeping sword of sound from the Choir.
The note exploded in our midst, and at that moment I knew our creator had touched not only me but all of us, just as Harriet had touched that sculpture with a loving hand long ago, and in that touch I sensed the indestructible fidelity, the indescribable devotion and the inexhaustible energy of the creator as he shaped his creation, bringing life out of dead matter, wresting form continually from chaos. Nothing was ever lost, Harriet had said, and nothing was ever wasted because always, when the work was finally completed, every article of the created process, seen or unseen, kept or discarded, broken or mended – EVERYTHING was justified, glorified and redeemed.