Truth is what is true, and it's not necessarily factual. Truth and fact are not the same thing. Truth does not contradict or deny facts, but it goes through and beyond facts. This is something that it is very difficult for some people to understand. Truth can be dangerous.
The truly great books are flawed: The Brothers Karamazov is unwieldy in structure; a present-day editor would probably want to cut the Grand Inquisitor scene because it isn't necessary to the plot. For me The Brothers Karamazov is one of the greatest novels ever written, and this is perhaps because of, rather than in spite of, its human faults.
Behind the violence of the birthing of galaxies and stars and planets came a quiet and tender melody, a gentle love song. All the raging of creation, the continuing hydrogen explosions on the countless suns, the heaving of planetary bodies, all was enfolded in a patient, waiting love.
If it can be verified, we don't need faith... Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason. Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.
In the evening of life we shall be judged on love, and not one of us is going to come off very well, and were it not for my absolute faith in the loving forgiveness of my Lord I could not call on him to come.
But she was one of those people who change very little between twenty and sixty. Instead of growing and developing into whatever kind of creatures they are, slowly and consistently, they have three periods of their lives, with sharp lines of demarcation between them: they are children, then grownups, then old men and women. Suddenly.
I think that all artists, regardless of degree of talent, are a painful, paradoxical combination of certainty and uncertainty, of arrogance and humility, constantly in need of reassurance, and yet with a stubborn streak of faith in their own validity no matter what.
The story comes, and it is pure story. That's all I set out to write. But I don't believe that we can write any kind of story without including, whether we intend to or not, our response to the world around us.
If we commit ourselves to one person for life, this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather, it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession but participation.
I found myself earnestly explaining to the young minister that I did not believe in God, 'but I've discovered that I can't live as though I didn't believe in him. As long as I don't need to say any more than that I try to live as though I believe in God, I would very much like to come to church--if you'll let me.
A love which depends solely on romance, on the combustion of two attracting chemistries, tends to fizzle out. The famous lovers usually end up dead. A long-term marriage has to move beyond chemistry to compatibility, to friendship, to companionship. It is certainly not that passion disappears, but that it is conjoined with other ways of love.
So the challenge I face with children is the redemption of adulthood. We must make it evident that maturity is the fulfillment of childhood and adolescence, not a diminishing; that it is an affirmation of life, not a denial; that it is entering fully into our essential selves.
It's a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand. It stops us from taking anything for granted. It has also taught me about living in the immediate moment.
The name of God is so awe-full, so unpronounceable, that it has never been used by any of his creatures. Indeed, it is said that if, inadvertently, the great and terrible name of God should be spoken, the universe would explode.
So I know, with a sense of responsibility that hits me with a cold fist in the pit of my stomach, that what I am is going to make more difference to my own children and those I talk to and teach than anything I tell them.
The compulsion for me to get my cotton-pickin' fingers on my fellow man is the natural result of my belief that I have the word. If I do have the word and feel surrounded by unmolded clay, I have no choice but to mold. When I do this, I begin playing God, and as a result usually raise the devil.