“That's the trouble, I can't forget him. He was everything to me, except mine.”
“Their devotion showed me there were no versions of love there was only... Love. That it had no equal and that it was worth searching for, even if that search took a lifetime.”
“Now and then in life, love catches you unawares, illuminating the dark corners of your mind, and filling them with radiance. Once in awhile you are faced with a beauty and a joy that takes your soul, all unprepared, by assault.”
“The shell must be broken before the bird can fly.”
“Was it love of people?' I asked her.
'Of course no,' she snapped sharply. 'How can you love ignorant, brutish people whom you don't even know? Can anyone love filth and squalor? Or lice and rats? Who can love aching weariness, and carry on working, in spite of it? One cannot love these things. One can only love God, and through His grace come to love His people.”
“Love doesn't adhere to time and boundaries does it? It just is.”
“Whoever heard of a midwife as a literary heroine? Yet midwifery is the very stuff of drama. Every child is conceived either in love or lust, is born in pain, followed by joy or sometimes remorse. A midwife is in the thick of it, she sees it all.”
“Circumstances bring people together, and take them apart. One cannot keep up with everyone in a lifetime.”
“I've loved someone since I was seventeen but I can't have him and I can't give him up. So until I can do that no one else will stand a chance.”
“Questions, questions – you wear me out with your questions, child. Find out for yourself – we all have to in the end. No one can give you faith. It is a gift from God alone. Seek and ye shall find. Read the Gospels. There is no other way. Do not pester me with your everlasting questions. Go with God, child; just go with God.”
“Quite suddenly, with blinding insight, the secret of their blissful marriage was revealed to me. She couldn't speak a word of English and he couldn't speak a word of Spanish.”
“Sister Monica Joan murmured, as though to herself, but loud enough to be heard by all, "How perfectly charming. Old enough to know it all, and young enough to blush. Perfectly charming.”
“Quite honestly, a baby covered in blood, still slightly blue, eyes screwed up, in the first few minutes after birth, is not an object of beauty.”
“Now and then in life, love catches you unawares, illuminating the dark corners of your mind, and filling them with radiance. Once in a while you are faced with a beauty and a joy that takes your soul, all unprepared, by assault.”
“Her religious poetry was surprisingly slender, and as I was eager to know more about her religion, I asked her about this aspect of her poetry. She replied with these lines from Keats' Ode to a Grecian Urn: 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty'--that is all Ye know on eath, and all ye need to know'. Do not ask me to immortalise the great Mystery of Life. I am just a humble worker. For beauty, look to the Pslams, to Isaiah, to St. John of the Cross. How could my poor pen scan such verse? For truth, look to the Gospels-- four short accounts of God made Man. There is nothing more to say.”
“Every child is conceived either in love or lust, is born in pain, followed by joy or sometimes remorse.”
“I have a theory that all human babies are born prematurely. Given the human life span – three score years and ten – to be comparable with other animals of similar longevity, human gestation should be about two years. But the human head is so big by the age of two that no woman could deliver it. So our babies are born prematurely, in a state of utter helplessness.”
“The Pill was introduced in the early 1960s and modern woman was born. Women were no longer going to be tied to the cycle of endless babies; they were going to be themselves. With the Pill came what we now call the sexual revolution. Women could, for the first time in history, be like men, and enjoy sex for its own sake. In the late 1950s we had eighty to a hundred deliveries a month on our books. In 1963 the number had dropped to four or five a month. Now that is some social change!”
“I am forced to the conclusion that modern medicine does not know it all.”
“Her constant phrase, "Go with God", had puzzled me a good deal. Suddenly it became clear. It was a revelation - acceptance. It filled me with joy. Accept life, the world, Spirit, God, call it what you will, and all else will follow.”
“I would not have described myself as a committed atheist for whom all spirituality was nonsense, but as an agnostic in whom large areas of doubt and uncertainty resided.”
“One can only love God, and through His grace come to love His people”
“No one can give you faith. It is a gift from God alone. Seek and ye shall find. Read the Gospels. There is no other way.”
“All nuns, by the very fact of their monastic profession, are exceptional people. No ordinary woman could live such a life. There must inevitably be something, or many things, that are outstanding about a nun.”
“It did not occur to me at the time that her radiance had a spiritual dimension, owing nothing to the values of the temporal world.”
“Of course not,” she snapped sharply. “How can you love ignorant, brutish people whom you don’t even know? Can anyone love filth and squalor? Or lice and rats? Who can love aching weariness, and carry on working, in spite of it? One cannot love these things. One can only love God, and through His grace come to love His people.”
“Sister Evangelina had plenty of homespun advice to offer her patients: "Where-ere you be, let your wind go free", to which the reply was always chanted: "In Church and Chapel let it rattle".”
“So, like Jane Austen, who in all her writing never recorded a conversation between two men alone, because as a woman she could not know what exclusively male conversation would be like, I cannot record much about the men of Poplar, beyond superficial observation.”
“Therefore…‘Sing, my darlings, sing, Before your petals fade, To feed the flowers of another spring.”
“What woman worthy of the name Mother would stand on a high moral platform about selling her body if her child were dying of hunger and exposure? Not I.”
“Tris: "What if I don't want to cut up aloe leaves?"
Rosethorn: "Ask me if I care what you want.”
“The greatest creative power you have on earth... is to help others. To ease pain and give joy are your finest powers. Kindness is a human miracle.”
“The worst of it is over now, and I can't say that I am glad. Lose that sense of loss--you have gone and lost something else.”
“Truth or lie... he had always chosen the lie, to spare his little brother any unpleasant truth.”
“Ram, can't you see it doesn't matter anymore what I do, but you, you're still needed at home. You go. If my people are still there, tell them the truth. Let them rejoice that Fergox took me away before I could do any more damage to my country."
"No, I refuse that mission, Princess. See, you are still ordering me around like a ruler--it's in you, it's what you are meant to be, no matter what others are telling you. I've given my word that I'll only escape with you by my side. So forget about yourself for a moment: if you care anything about me, about the fate of my country and yours, you are coming with me or I don't go."
"You've got my little horse still?"
"I believe that in the Islands it is understood that when you accepted it, you took responsibility for my soul. I'm holding you to that, Tashi.”
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