30+ quotes from Home by Marilynne Robinson

Quotes from Home

Marilynne Robinson ·  325 pages

Rating: (17.1K votes)


“There's so much to be grateful for, words are poor things.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“She knew that was not an honest prayer, and she did not linger over it. The right prayer would have been, Lord . . . I am miserable and bitter at heart, and old fears are rising up in me so that everything I do makes everything worse.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“I think hope is the worst thing in the world. I really do. It makes a fool of you while it lasts. And then when it's gone, it's like there's nothing left of you at all . . . except what you can't be rid of.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“Weary or bitter of bewildered as we may be, God is faithful. He lets us wander so we will know what it means to come home.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“There is a saying that to understand is to forgive, but that is an error, so Papa used to say. You must forgive in order to understand. Until you forgive, you defend yourself against the possibility of understanding.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“It is possible to know the great truths without feeling the truth of them.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“What an embarrassment that was, being somewhere because there was nowhere else for you to be.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“God does not need our worship. We worship to enlarge our sense of holy, so that we can feel and know the presense of the Lord, who is with us always. He said, Love is what it amounts to, a loftier love, and pleasure in a loving presence.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“That odd capacity for destitution, as if by nature we ought to have so much more than nature gives us. As if we are shockingly unclothed when we lack the complacencies of ordinary life. In destitution, even of feeling or purpose, a human being is more hauntingly human and vulnerable to kindnesses because there is the sense that things should be otherwise, and then the thought of what is wanting and what alleviation would be, and how the soul could be put at ease, restored. At home. But the soul finds its own home if it ever has a home at all.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“All bread is the bread of heaven, her father used to say. It expresses the will of God to sustain us in this flesh, in this life. Weary or bitter or bewildered as we may be, God is faithful. He lets us wander so we will know what it means to come home.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“How to announce the return of comfort and well-being except by cooking something fragrant. That is what her mother always did. After every calamity of any significance she would fill the atmosphere of the house with the smell of cinnamon rolls or brownies, or with chicken and dumplings, and it would mean, This house has a soul that loves us all, no matter what. It would mean peace if they had fought and amnesty if they had been in trouble. It had meant, You can come down to dinner now, and no one will say a thing to bother you, unless you have forgotten to wash your hands. And her father would offer the grace, inevitable with minor variations, thanking the Lord for all the wonderful faces he saw around his table.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“Prayer is a discipline in truthfulness, in honesty.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“Why should a family with eight rambunctious children bother owning anything that could be damaged? They sat on the arms of their mother's overstuffed chair while she read to them, and they hung over the back of it, and they pinched and plucked at its plushy hide.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“He will talk to me a little while, too shy to tell me why he has come, and then he will thank me and leave, walking backward a few steps, thinking, Yes, the barn is still there, yes, the lilacs, even the pot of petunias. This was my father's house. And I will think, He is young. He cannot know that my whole like has come down to this moment.
That he has answered his father's prayers.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“She thought, If I or my father or any Boughton has ever stirred the Lord's compassion, then Jack will be all right. Because perdition for him would be perdition for every one of us.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“That's what the family is for,' he said. 'Calvin says it is the Providence of God that we look after those nearest to us. So it is the will of God that we help our brothers, and it is equally the will of God that we accept their help and receive the blessing of it. As if it came from the Lord Himself. Which it does. So I want you boys to promise me that you will help each other.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“It seems as though the conclusions are never as interesting as the questions. I mean, they’re not what you remember.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“You never bother me, Glory. It's remarkable how much you don't bother me. Almost unprecedented.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“She wept easily. This did not mean that she felt things more deeply than others did. It certainly did not mean that she was fragile or sentimental or ready to bring that sodden leverage to bear on the slights that came with being the baby of the family.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“The young might have been restless around any primal fire where an elder was saying, Know this. Certainly they would have been restless. Their bodies were consumed with the business of lengthening limbs, sprouting hair, fitting themselves for procreation.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“You must forgive in order to understand.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“The joke seemed to be that once they were very young and now they were very old, and that they had been the same day after day and were somehow at the end of it all so utterly changed. In a calm, affectionate way they studied each other. Ames”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“You must forgive in order to understand. Until you forgive, you defend yourself against the possibility of understanding.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“Weary or bitter or bewildered as we may be, God is faithful. He lets us wander so we will know what it means to come home.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“She was afraid to be angry and that made her angry.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“Home. What kinder place could there be on earth, and why did it seem to them all like exile? Oh,”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“...her father was soothed by these attentions, as if pain were an appetite for comforting of just this kind.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“It is like a voice heard from another room, singing for the pleasure of the song, and then you know it, too, and through you it moves by accident and necessity down generations. Then, why singing? Why pleasure in it? And why the blessing of the moment when another voice is heard, dreaming to itself?”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“How oddly holiness situated itself among the things of the world, how endlessly creation wrenched and strained under the burden of its own significance.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


“It seemed to her there was a peacefulness about him that came with resignation, with the extinction of that last hope, like a perfect humility undistracted by the possible, the unrealized, the yet to be determined.”
― Marilynne Robinson, quote from Home


About the author

Marilynne Robinson
Born place: in Sandpoint, Idaho, The United States
Born date November 26, 1943
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Popular quotes

“Boredom is the inner conflict we suffer when we lose desire, when we lack a lacking.”
― Robert McKee, quote from Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting


“Given the complexity of the chore, “escapees,” as free-floating fecal material is known in astronautical circles, plagued the crews. Below is an excerpt from the Apollo 10 mission transcript, starring Mission Commander Thomas Stafford, Lunar Module Pilot Gene Cernan, and Command Module Pilot John Young, orbiting the moon 200,000-plus miles from the nearest bathroom. CERNAN:…You know once you get out of lunar orbit, you can do a lot of things. You can power down…And what’s happening is— STAFFORD: Oh—who did it? YOUNG: Who did what? CERNAN: What? STAFFORD: Who did it? [laughter] CERNAN: Where did that come from? STAFFORD: Give me a napkin quick. There’s a turd floating through the air. YOUNG: I didn’t do it. It ain’t one of mine. CERNAN: I don’t think it’s one of mine. STAFFORD: Mine was a little more sticky than that. Throw that away. YOUNG: God almighty. [And again eight minutes later, while discussing the timing of a waste-water dump.] YOUNG: Did they say we could do it anytime? CERNAN: They said on 135. They told us that—Here’s another goddam turd. What’s the matter with you guys? Here, give me a— YOUNG/STAFFORD: [laughter]… STAFFORD: It was just floating around? CERNAN: Yes. STAFFORD: [laughter] Mine was stickier than that. YOUNG: Mine was too. It hit that bag— CERNAN: [laughter] I don’t know whose that is. I can neither claim it nor disclaim it. [laughter] YOUNG: What the hell is going on here?”
― Mary Roach, quote from Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void


“As the geometer intently seeks
to square the circle, but he cannot reach, through thought on thought, the principle he needs, so I searched that strange sight.”
― Dante Alighieri, quote from La Divina Comedia


“It’s difficult to have fun or to achieve concentration when your ego is engaged in what it thinks is a life-and-death struggle.”
― W. Timothy Gallwey, quote from The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance


“In 1908 Johnny Hayes won the Olympic marathon in what a spectator at the time described as “the greatest race of the century.” Hayes’s winning time, which set a world record for the marathon, was 2 hours, 55 minutes, and 18 seconds. Today, barely more than a century later, the world record for a marathon is 2 hours, 2 minutes, and 57 seconds—nearly 30 percent faster than Hayes’s record time—and if you’re an eighteen- to thirty-four-year-old male, you aren’t even allowed to enter the Boston Marathon unless you’ve run another marathon in less than 3 hours, 5 minutes. In short, Hayes’s world-record time in 1908 would qualify him for today’s Boston Marathon (which has about thirty thousand runners) but with not a lot to spare. That same 1908 Summer Olympics saw a near disaster”
― K. Anders Ericsson, quote from Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise


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