Saint Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 446 quotes )
Romeo: If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. Juliet: Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this; For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss. Romeo: Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too? Juliet: Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer. Romeo: O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do; They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair. Juliet: Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake. Romeo: Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take. Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged. Juliet: Then have my lips the sin that they have took. Romeo: Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again. Juliet: You kiss by the book.
Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get around to being the particular poet or the particular monk they are intended to be by God. They never become the man or the artist who is called for by all the circumstances of their individual lives. They waste their years in vain efforts to be some other poet, some other saint...They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor to have somebody else's experiences or write somebody else's poems.
It appears to me that it [sin] is simply an attempt to penetrate into another and higher sphere in a forbidden manner. You can understand why it is so rare. They are few, indeed, who wish to penetrate into higher spheres, higher or lower, in ways allowed or forbidden. Men, in the mass, are amply content with life as they find it. Therefore there are few saints, and sinners (in the proper sense) are fewer still, and men of genius, who partake sometimes of each character, are rare also. Yes, on the whole , it is, perhaps, harder to be a great sinner than a great saint.
With a new awareness, both painful and humorous, I begin to understand why the saints were rarely married women. I am convinced it has nothing inherently to do, as I once supposed, with chastity or children. It has to do primarily with distractions. The bearing, rearing, feeding and educating of children; the running of a house with its thousand details; human relationships with their myriad pulls--woman's normal occupations in general run counter to creative life, or contemplative life, or saintly life. The problem is not merely one of Woman and Career, Woman and the Home, Woman and Independence. It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off center; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel.
Those who are truly enlightened, those whose souls are illuminated by love, have been able to overcome all of the inhibitions and preconceptions of their era. They have been able to sing, to laugh, and to pray out loud; they have danced and shared what Saint Paul called 'the madness of saintliness'. They have been joyful - because those who love conquer the world and have no fear of loss. True love is an act of total surrender.
I have a hundred-year-old aunt who aspires to sainthood, and whose only wish has been to go into the convent, but no congregation, not even the Little Sisters of Charity, could tolerate her for more than a few weeks, so the family has had to look after her. Believe me, there is nothing so insufferable as a saint, I wouldn't sic one on my worst enemy.
THE UNICORN: The saintly hermit, midway through his prayersstopped suddenly, and raised his eyes to witnessthe unbelievable: for there before him stoodthe legendary creature, startling white, thathad approached, soundlessly, pleading with his eyes. The legs, so delicately shaped, balanced abody wrought of finest ivory. And ashe moved, his coat shone like reflected moonlight. High on his forehead rose the magic horn, the signof his uniqueness: a tower held upright by his alert, yet gentle, timid gait. The mouth of softest tints of rose and grey, whenopened slightly, revealed his gleaming teeth, whiter than snow. The nostrils quivered faintly: he sought to quench his thirst, to rest and find repose. His eyes looked far beyond the saint's enclosure, reflecting vistas and events long vanished, and closed the circle of this ancient mystic legend.
There's a wonderful old Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint,'Dear saint-please, please, please...give me the grace to win the lottery.' This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated statue come to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust,'My son-please, please, please...buy a ticket.
What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did the world would have changed long ago. I do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order. It is a kind of balance that is his glory. He rides the drifts like an escaped ski. His course is a caress of the hill. His track is a drawing of the snow in a moment of its particular arrangement with wind and rock. Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance. Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape.
I got a letter from a sappy woman a while back - she knew I was sappy too, which is to say a lifelong Democrat. She was pregnant, and she wanted to know if I thought it was a mistake to bring a little baby into a world as troubled as this one is. And I replied, what made being alive almost worthwhile for me was the saints I met. They could be almost anywhere. By saints I meant people who behaved decently and honorably in societies which were so often obscene. Perhaps many of us here, regardless of our ages or power or wealth, can be saints for her child to meet.
Patience is more than endurance. A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says--'I cannot stand anymore.' God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God's hands. Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith. 'Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.
And naturally I was reading in the library a few days later from a book about the Indian saint Sri Ramakrishna, and I stumbled upon a story about a seeker who once came to see the great master and admitted to him that she feared she was not a good enough devotee, feared that she did not love God enough. And the saint said, "Is there nothing you love?" The woman admitted that she adored her young nephew more than anything else on earth. The saint said, "There, then. He is your Krishna, your beloved. In your service to your nephew, you are serving God.