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Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Another Dip into My Quote Collection

Those of you who have being reading this blog for awhile know that I collect quotations. I have seven small file drawers crammed with 3 X 5 cards on which I have written thousands of quotes over the years, mostly from books or magazines I’ve read. I wrote about my collection in my post for June 1, 2015. (If you want to access it, just go to the box entitled “Search” on the lower left of this page and type in “My Quotation Collection.”)

For today’s blog, I simply want to share a few of my quotes with you. As I always say, if

(Source: RobertCheaib: Pixabay)
(Source: RobertCheaib: Pixabay)

someone else has said it well (and better than I ever could!), why not just copy down what they have said and give them the credit. These fifteen quotations are on a variety of topics and written by a variety of individuals. I will give you the general topic before each quote:

1) Life: “Everything that happens to you is your teacher. The secret is to learn to sit at the feet of your life and be taught.” (Polly Berrien Berends)

2) God: “There is no proof for the existence of God, only witnesses.” (Rabbi Abraham Heschel)

3) Love: “Unless you love someone, nothing makes sense.” (W.H. Auden)

4) Friendship: “I always held that the great high privilege, relief, and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing.” (Katherine Mansfield)

5) Doubt: “Doubt is faith’s cousin.” (Fr. Don Cozzens.)

6) Community: “Love needs someone else. Joy is something shared. Peace is mediated. Patience is interactive. Generosity is toward. These communal activities have no reality except with another.” (Cedric Mayson)

7) Humor: “A grace to pray for—that our self-interest, which is inescapable, shall never cripple our sense of humor, that fully conscious self-scrutiny which alone can save us.” (Dag Hammarskjold)

8) Housework: “Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?” (Phyllis Diller)

9) Prayer: “The only people who pray well are those who continue to pray. Perseverance is the only mark of ‘success’ in prayer.” (Richard Rohr)

10) Adversity: “Let us thank God that he makes us live among the present problems; it is no longer permitted for anyone to be mediocre.” (Pope Pius XI wrote this is the 1930’s. It was one of Dorothy Day’s favorite quotes.)

(Source: OpenClipart: Pixabay)
(Source: OpenClipart: Pixabay)

11) Holiness: “You do not have to be holy to love God. You have only to be human. Nor do you have to be holy to see God in all things. You have only to play as a child with an unselfish heart.” (Matthew Kelty, Trappist Monk)

12) Hope: “Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Invite one to stay.” (Maya Angelou)

13) Skepticism: “I’m so skeptical I can’t believe it!” (I.B. Singer)

14) Death: “When it comes time to die, make sure others will not merely say, ‘Isn’t it too bad she died.’ But rather, ‘Isn’t it wonderful that she lived.’” (anonymous)

15) Loving: “There are a hundred paths through the world. / Every one of them is easier than loving. / But who wants easy?” (Mary Oliver)

Do any of these quotes touch your heart today? If so which one(s)? And why?

Do you have a favorite quote that has nourished or inspired you?

Sometimes we try too hard in life. We try too hard in prayer, in our personal relationships, even in being good. This song by Amy Grant with James Taylor reminds us: “Don’t Try So Hard.” “God gives you the grace… God’s not leaving.” I hope you like it:


Do you have anthing you’d like to share with us—about the quotations or song?

21 Responses

  1. Good Morning, Sister Melannie,

    Each of these quotes is worthy of meditation. I liked them all, especially the Mary Oliver’s.

    “Prayer is an appointment with God.” (Michael Casey)

  2. I love Richard Rohr’s quotation about the need to persevere in prayer. All of the quotations are thought-provoking; Phyllis Diller’s is just downright funny. Thank you for these.

  3. I love the song! Listening to it has been a great way to begin a new week. I love your blog! Thank you, Sister Melannie, for giving Mondays a special touch.

  4. PURPOSE: The purpose of my life is to enjoy myself, be kind to others, and learn from my experiences. Soooo, “I have a pulse; therefore I have a purpose.” That works for me! So do these sayings:
    “Good spouse, happy house “- and ” no pasa nada” (it’s all good).

  5. Sr. Melannie,
    The song spoke to me this morning, in fact, I listened to it twice. After the death of my father a little of a year ago, I have been sorting through all the mixed up emotions and feelings that sometimes comes after a death. I have spent most of my life trying to please and not feeling good enough, and in this past year I have been trying way too hard. Trying too hard to figure out my past relationship with my father and how it has impacted all of my other relationships. The lyrics that spoke to me were, “stop thinking you’re not worth it”, “You’re lovely even with your scars” and “don’t try so hard, God gives you the grace”. It is as though the song gives me permission to let go and tells me it is okay to not try so hard. Thank You.

  6. Dear Sr. Melannie,
    I love these quotes. I also write down quotes as they inspires me. I am amassing quite a collection. Must figure out how to catalogue them.

    “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
    – Albert Einstein

  7. Thank you, Sister Melannie, for sharing these quotes. I, too, am a collector of quotes and am delighted to know I’m not the only one who does this. I’m going to learn calligraphy so that I can perhaps frame a few or create a scrapbook of several of them. Cheers from a fellow lover of words.

  8. Dear Melanie,
    I always look forward to your songs. This song resonated with who I am and how I live. Thank you for this beautiful message.

  9. Dear Sr. Melannie,
    The comment by Rabbi Heschel touched me deeply as I am reminded to close the deep chasm between what I believe and how I live my life.
    I love all words that Mary Oliver utters as well. She sees through the chaos into the heart of God’s creation

  10. Hello, Melanie,

    I like the quotes from Phyllis Diller and IB Singer because they tickled me silly. I love the one from Richard Rohr because it was a great comfort. Because ambiguities used to paralyze me, my mother would say “Eat the meat and leave the bones.”

    Thank you for providing so much meat!

  11. Sr. Melanie, I absolutely Love the Mary Oliver quote. It gave me chills. I have a million favorite quotes, but haven’t written any of them in any accessible fashion. Perhaps I will start today!
    Thank you, as always, for your wise perspective.

    May you be blessed in your work,

  12. My favorite quote right now: Be kind to everyone you meet….you don’t know what burden they’re carrying. And we all have something.
    Sending late condolences to you Sr. Melannie. Your post about your sister was very moving. May your pain be eased by the comfort of others.

  13. Thanks again for the reflection and sharing, Melannie. One of my favorite quotes is from The Little Prince: “It is only with the heart that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” (And, of course: “It’s the time you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important.”)

  14. Hi Sister Melannie, I just recently discovered your blog and enjoy it very much. I also write quotes and bible verses that touch my heart on 3×5 cards and save them for reference. I was moved by the one on DEATH. I am a nurse in a nursing home and thought it was a great perspective on Living. Then my next favorite was on Life… that my experiences are the teacher. To contemplate that … being quiet to reflect and listen… but yet I took the feet part as a doing part to L I V E. ??
    Also, I’m sorry for your loss of your sister. Isn’t it wonderful that she lived!
    It’s abit cold here in MN but warm hugs and prayers are being sent your way!

  15. Sr. Melannie…how generous of you to share your quote collection
    with us ! In my working life I was a librarian and in our Reference area,
    we had a huge, amazing book called “Stevenson’s Book of Quotations”.
    At the time of my retirement, the book was ready to be discarded (it
    was falling apart), so it came with me.
    One of my favourite quotes is from Woody Allen: “I’m not afraid of
    dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

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Hi and welcome to my blog! I’m Sister Melannie, a Sister of Notre Dame residing in Chardon, Ohio, USA. I’ve been very lucky! I was raised in a loving family on a small farm in northeast Ohio. I also entered the SNDs right after high school. Over the years, my ministries have included high school and college teaching, novice director, congregational leadership, spiritual direction, retreat facilitating, and writing. I hope you enjoy “Sunflower Seeds” and will consider subscribing below. I’d love to have you in our “sunflower community.” Thank you!

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