Friday, January 27, 2012


The redistribution of the world’s wealth cannot be central, the concern for ecology cannot be central, the desire to get out of the rat race cannot be central, the desire for simplicity itself cannot be central.  The moment any of these become the focus of our concern, it has become idolatry.  Only one thing is to be central: the Kingdom of God.  And, in fact, when the Kingdom of God is genuinely placed first, the equitable distribution of wealth, ecological concerns, the poor, simplicity, and all things necessary will be given their proper attention.

Richard J. FosterFreedom of Simplicity


Voluntary simplicity [is] a manner of living that is outwardly more simple and inwardly more rich, a way of being in which our most authentic and alive self is brought into direct and conscious contact with living.  This way of life is not a static condition to be achieved, but an ever-changing balance that must be continuously and consciously made real.  Simplicity in this sense is not simple.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Giving away

Avarice, greed, concupiscence, and so forth are all based on the mathematical truism that the more you get, the more you have.  The remark of Jesus that it is more blessed to give than to receive is based on the human truth that the more you give away in love, the more you are.  It is not just for the sake of other people that Jesus tells us to give rather than get, but for our own sakes too.

Frederick BuechnerWishful Thinking

Thursday, January 19, 2012

True grace

True grace is shocking, scandalous. It shakes our conventions with its insistence on getting close to sinners and touching them with mercy and hope. It forgives the unfaithful spouse, the racist, the child abuser. It loves today's AIDS-ridden addict as much as the tax collector of Jesus' day.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Life is a miracle

For quite a while it has been possible for a free and thoughtful person to see that to treat life as mechanical or predictable or understandable is to reduce it.  Now, almost suddenly, it is becoming clear that to reduce life to the scope of our understanding (whatever "model" we use) is inevitably to enslave it, make property of it, and put it up for sale.... This is to give up on life, to carry it beyond change and redemption, and increase the proximity of despair.

Wendell Berry
Life is a Miracle

Meting out judgement

Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.

Gandalf in The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien