Quotes in Chaos, pt. 6

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 handwritten 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.


The older I grow, the more I listen to people who don’t talk much. (Germaine Glien)

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They are either speaking or preparing to speak. (Steven Covey)

Life for too many leaders is a blur of activity and planning, with sparse occasions for reflection, replenishing, rejoicing, and responding to the relationship the Lord is inviting them to experience and enjoy with him. The urgent crowds out the essential. Doing ignores being. Developing skills becomes more important than shaping character. (Transformational Coaching)

I think the chief reason why we have so little joy is that we take ourselves too seriously. (Thomas Merton)

Speaking of the many distractions we face when attempting to pray, Henry Nouwen said, “Our inner life often looks like a banana tree full of jumping monkeys.“

We can gradually step beyond our need to judge others and our inclination to evaluate everybody and everything. (Henri Nouwen)

Imagine your having no need at all to judge anybody. Imagine your having no desire to decide whether someone is a good or bad person. Imagine your being completely free from the feeling that you have to make up your mind about the morality of someone’s behavior. Imagine that you could say, “I am judging no one!“ Imagine…wouldn’t that be true inner freedom? (Henry Nouwen)

The desert fathers believed that simply not speaking is a very important practice. Too often our words are superfluous, inauthentic, and shallow. It is a good discipline to wonder in each new situation if people would be better served by our silence then by our words. (Henry Nouwen)

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