Quotes in Chaos, pt. 1

About 15 years ago I began to collect quotes from books I had been reading that were particularly meaningful to me. I now have two volumes of such quotes. I call them, “My black books of quotes.“ because they are hand written in…well, black books. One day I hope to publish these quotes as a special gift that I give to people who are special to me.

You can tell a lot about a person by the quotes they pass on. And you will, no doubt, learn some things about where I am coming from and what is important to me based on my quotes.

My plan right now is to post 8 to 10 special quotes each week that seem pertinent to the times in which we are living. These are quotes for chaotic times. I suggest that you read them slowly and prayerfully and see which one speaks to you the most and listen for the voice of the Spirit asking you what next steps you might take in response.


In our dealings with one another let us be more eager to understand those who differ from us then either to refute them or press upon them our own tradition. (William Temple, archbishop of Canterbury, 1881-1944)

Humility is more important than zeal. (Thomas Merton, 1961)

Crisis does not so much build character, but reveals character. (Russ Ikeda, 2006)

What God demands of me may make me look less perfect to others, and that it may rob me of their support, their affection, their respect. (Thomas Merton 1962)

The best thing I can give to others is to liberate myself from the common delusions and be, for myself and for others, free. (Thomas Merton 1968)

Life is like a vise, at times it will squeeze us. At those moments of pressure, whatever is inside will be found out. (John Maxwell)

Self righteousness is the plague of those who seek God. (Jan Johnson)

We often think God is using us to reform the world when it’s only a matter of our wanting to ventilate our opinions. (Jan Johnson)

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