I have a one-legged friend and I asked her what they said to John at the gate. She said she reckoned they said, The lame shall enter first. This may be because the lame will be able to knock everybody else aside with their crutches.

Children know by instinct that hell is an absence of love, and they can pick out theirs without missing.

Don't let me ever think, dear God, that I was anything but the instrument for Your story-just like the typewriter was mine.

A perception is not a story, and no amount of sensitivity can make a story-writer out of you if you just plain don't have a gift for telling a story.

Nothing is like it used to be, lady, he said. The world is almost rotten.

The horrible thought she had had before the accident was that the house she had remembered so vividly was not in Georgia but in Tennessee. Bailey.

Do you have any books the faculty doesn't particularly recommend?

You might as well go one place as another," he said. "That's all I know.

My heroine already is, and is Hulga.

Conviction without experience makes for harshness.

Accepting oneself does not preclude an attempt to become better.

The first product of self-knowledge is humility.

There is a certain embarrassment about being a storyteller in these times when stories are considered not quite as satisfying as statements and statements not quite as satisfying as statistics; but in the long run, a people is known, not by its statements or its statistics, but by the stories it tells.

A working knowledge of the devil can be very well had from resisting him.

With a volley of blasts it emerged from the shed, moving in a fierce and stately way. Mr. Shiftlet was in the driver's seat, sitting very erect. He had an expression of serious modesty on his face as if he had just raised the dead.

And as for that strangeness in your gut, that comes from you, not the Lord. When you were a child you had worms. As likely as not you have them again.

The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention.

In yourself right now is all the place you've got.

She felt that she would have to be much more than just a doctor or an engineer. She would have to be a saint...

The trouble with the world was that nobody stopped or took any care.

Yet she could see by their shocked and altered faces that even their virtues were being burned away.

The old woman's three mountains were black against the dark blue sky and were visited off and on by various planets and by the moon after it had left the chickens.

It's easier to bleed than sweat, Mr. Motes.

How would he know if time was going backwards or forwards or if he was going with it?

I watch the stock-car races sometimes but you don't see anything but cars. I know about Fireball Roberts though and I watched an interview with Tiny Lunn. He is a huge dead-serious innocent-faced boy who must have made it big, he had just won the one in Jacksonville when I saw him but he never smiled once.

Our age not only does not have a very sharp eye for the almost imperceptible intrusions of grace, it no longer has much feeling for the nature of the violences which precede and follow them.

It was love without reason, love for something futureless, love that appeared to exist only to be itself, imperious and all demanding, the kind that would cause him to make a fool of himself in an instant.

The type of mind that can understand good fiction is not necessarily the educated mind, but it is at all times the kind of mind that is willing to have its sense of mystery deepened by contact with reality, and its sense of reality deepened by contact with mystery.

In spite of himself, Enoch couldn't get over the expectation that the new jesus was going to do something for him in return for his services. This was the virtue of Hope, which was made up, in Enoch, of two parts suspicion and one part lust.

I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted.

There a series of Catholic rituals and teachings had offered her young life a coherent universe. By 1946, Savannah had for O'Connor ceded to the university world of Iowa, where new influences, including intellectual joys, brought with them questions and skepticism.

The fiction of Ayn Rand is as low as you can get re fiction. I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail. She makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky.

When a book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry is to take over God's business.

Thomas had inherited his father's reason without his ruthlessness and his mother's love of good without her tendency to pursue it. His plan for all practical action was to wait and see what developed.

The lights drifted farther away the faster he ran and his feet moved numbly as if they carried him nowhere. The tide of darkness seemed to sweep him back to her, postponing from moment to moment his entry into the world of guilt and sorr.

When people have told me that because I am a Catholic, I cannot be an artist, I have had to reply, ruefully, that because I am a Catholic I cannot afford to be less than an artist.

Poorly written novels -- no matter how pious and edifying the behavior of the characters -- are not good in themselves and are therefore not really edifying.

Do you think, Mr. Motes, she said hoarsely, that when you're dead, you're blind?

He had the feeling that everything he saw was a broken-off piece of some giant blank thing that he had forgotten had happened to him.

He was singing a hillbilly song that sounded half like a love song and half like a hymn.

Parker sat for a long time on the ground in the alley behind the pool hall, examining his soul. He saw it as a spider web of facts and lies that was not at all important to him but which appeared to be necessary in spite of his opinion.

She would have been a good woman, the Misfit said, if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.

I have enough energy to write with and as that is all I have any business doing anyhow, I can with one eye squinted take it all as a blessing.

What they have to say about themselves makes me think that there is a lot of ill-directed good in them.

The fiction writer has to engage in a continual examination of conscience. He has to be aware of the freak in himself.

Parker had an extra sense that told him when there was a woman nearby watching him.

The world was made for the dead. Think of all the dead there are...There's a million times more dead than living and the dead are dead a million times longer than the living are alive...

I guess a good man IS hard to find!

When there is a tendency to compartmentalize the spiritual and make it resident in a certain type of life only, the spiritual is apt gradually to be lost.