Quotations about   holiness

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Laughter is carbonated holiness.

Anne Lamott (b. 1954) American novelist and non-fiction writer
Plan B, ch. 5 “Holy of Holies 101” (2004)
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Added on 12-May-22 | Last updated 1-Jun-22
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Out of instinct for self-preservation, and logically enough, [the mind] asks, “If it is a good and holy thing to be punished, must it not also be a good and holy thing to punish?” It answers that it is; and our earth becomes the hell it is. Thus we human beings plant in ourselves the perennial blossom of cruelty — the conviction that if we hurt other people we are doing good to ourselves and to life in general.

Rebecca West (1892-1983) British author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer [pseud. for Cicily Isabel Fairfield]
“Pleasure Be Your Guide,” The Nation, “Living Philosophies” series #10 (25 Feb 1939)
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Adapted into Clifton Fadiman, I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Certain Eminent Men and Women of Our Time (1952).
Added on 19-Apr-21 | Last updated 19-Apr-21
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He who tries to be holy in order to be happy will assuredly be neither.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
Christian Mysticism, Lecture 1 (1899)
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Added on 27-Jul-20 | Last updated 27-Jul-20
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But also I say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,
when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.

Mary Oliver (1935-2019) American poet
“Poppies,” Blue Iris (2004)
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Added on 31-Mar-20 | Last updated 31-Mar-20
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For the holy are susceptible too to evil, even as you and I, signori; they too are helpless before sin without God’s aid. … And the holy can be fooled by sin as quickly as you or I, signori. Quicker, because they are holy.

William Faulkner (1897-1962) American novelist
“Mistral,” These 13 (1931)
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Added on 10-Mar-20 | Last updated 10-Mar-20
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Although we tend to think about saints as holy and pious, and picture them with halos above their heads and ecstatic gazes, true saints are much more accessible. They are men and women like us, who live ordinary lives and struggle with ordinary problems. What makes them saints is their clear and unwavering focus on God and God’s people.

Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) Dutch Catholic priest and writer
Bread for the Journey (1996)
Added on 18-Mar-16 | Last updated 18-Mar-16
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It is a great deal better to live a holy life than to talk about it. We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Light-houses don’t ring bells and fire cannon to call attention to their shining — they just shine.

Moody - light-houses - wist_info quote

Dwight Lyman "D. L." Moody (1837-1899) American evangelist and publisher
(Attributed)

Sometimes quoted, "they just shine on."
Added on 27-Jan-16 | Last updated 27-Jan-16
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Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.

Abraham Joshua Heschel
Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) Polish-American rabbi, theologian, philosopher
“No Religion Is an Island,” Union Theological Seminary Quarterly Review (Jan 1966)
Added on 8-Jan-16 | Last updated 8-Jan-16
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It is the passion that is in a kiss that gives to it its sweetness; it is the affection in a kiss that sanctifies it.

Christian Nestell Bovee (1820-1904) American epigrammatist, writer, publisher
Intuitions and Summaries of Thought, Vol. 1 (1862)
Added on 27-Dec-13 | Last updated 17-Jan-20
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It is easier to make a saint out of a libertine than out of a prig.

George Santayana (1863-1952) Spanish-American poet and philosopher [Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruíz de Santayana y Borrás]
The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress, Vol. 3 “Reason in Religion,” ch. 11 “Spirituality and Its Corruptions” (1905-06)
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Added on 13-Sep-13 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
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In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action.

Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) Swedish diplomat, author, UN Secretary-General (1953-61)
Markings (1955) [tr. Sjoberg, Auden (1964)]
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Added on 21-May-08 | Last updated 16-Oct-17
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We despise all reverences and all objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our list of sacred things. And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Following the Equator (1897)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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