Sunflower Seeds logo

Sunflower Seeds


Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Quotations Filed under F

As I have said before, I collect quotations. I have thousands of them written or typed on 3 X 5 file cards. Today I’d like to share a few of these quotes with you. I randomly chose the letter F.  So here are some quotations filed under F.


1. Failure is just another way to learn to do something right. (Marian Wright Edelman)

2. The formula for failure: Try to please everybody. (Herbert Swope)


3. Strong faith in a weak plank will get you wet. Weak faith in a strong plank will get you across the river. (anonymous)

4. (In honor of the baseball playoffs!): Faith is living between first and

On the way to second base… (Source: Pixabay)

second base. Faith is the in-between space where you’re not sure you’ll make it to second base. You’ve let go of one thing and haven’t yet latched onto another. Most of us choose the security of first base. (Richard Rohr)

5. The opposite of faith is not doubt; it is certainty. (Anne Lamott)


6. People are shaped the most not by what they want but by what they fear. (anonymous)

7. Fear is not a bad place to start a spiritual journey. (Kathleen Norris)

8. We must constantly build dykes of courage to hold back the flood of fear. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

9. What would I do if I were not afraid? (Martha Manglesdorf)


10. Aeronautics was neither an industry nor a science. It was a miracle.

The miracle of flight… (Source: Pixabay)

(Igor Sikorsky)

11. Can the magic of flight ever be carried by words? I think not. (Michael Parfit)


12. The one who seeks revenge should dig two graves. (Chinese proverb)

13. Forgiveness is having given up all hope for a better past. (Anne Lamott)

14. When we forgive, we don’t deny the hurt that we have received. We don’t deny that it was wrong… But we acknowledge that there is more to the offender than the offense. (Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk)


15. Every generation of Americans needs to know that freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought. (Pope John Paul II)

16. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. (Janis Joplin song in the early 1970’s)


17.  A free press has a major function of keeping the government itself informed as to what the government is doing. (Walter Cronkite)


18. Making up your mind is like making a bed; it usually helps to have

Friends… (Source: Pixabay)

someone on the other side. (Gerald Horton Bath)

19. Between good friends, just drinking water is sweet enough. (Chinese proverb)

20. Friends are family you choose for yourself. (Jane Addams)

Some of us have heavy hearts… with the tragedy in Las Vegas… the devastation of the recent hurricanes and earthquakes… and other troubling news… The song today is “God Is Love” by Natalie Acciani. I find this song hauntingly beautiful. I especially love the lines: “only love can end the madness, only love can heal the pain.”


Did any of these quotes stand out for you? If so which one and why?

Do you have a quotation about one of these topics that you would like to share with us?

Any other thoughts about this reflection or song?

22 Responses

  1. Sr. Melannie,
    In these troubling time, the song was perfect. Thanks for reminding me that “only love can heal the madness.” That brought a tear to my eye.

    God bless you for the Monday morning blogs. A great way to start the week.


  2. Oh, excellent quotations, Sr Melannie!

    The two that stood out, well, three, really:

    1. Richard Rohr’s quotation about clinging to the security of first base. When I played baseball nearly 40 years ago, I was a clinger to first base, deathly afraid of being picked off! (Not that I got to first all that often.)

    2. Archbishop Pilarczyk explains forgiveness so beautifully with those last few words, especially.

    3. Janis!

    1. Dear Tom, Thank you for letting us know the quotes that struck you. I smiled when you recounted your baseball playing experience… And yes, the Archbishop’s last few words really touched me too. Thank you for reading my blog and responding! Sr. Melannie

  3. Flying is the second greatest thrill known to humans. Landing is the first! Anonymous.
    Igor Sikorsky’s quote is so appropriate Aeronautics…it is a miracle!

    1. Dear Nancy, Your comment about flying reminds me of what my nephew Matt (a pilot) says when I ask him, “How’s the flying going?” He says, “I’ve had the same number of landings as takeoffs. That’s good!”… Thank you for responding! Sr. Melannie

  4. Thank you for more quotes. I message a quote to my children every morning so they know I’m ok. If they don’t get one,they better check on me. They appreciate words of encouragement each day and You never know which one might be perfect to help them through that day.

  5. Today’s post and the accompanying song are a fitting tribute to today’s celebration of Thanksgiving in Canada, Despite all the bad things that are happening in our world, Sr. Melannie. we thrive on faith and hope
    ” FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
    “I know not what the future may be, but I know who holds the future.” Ralph Abernathy
    We are not alone in our struggle for love and peace.

  6. Number 14 is a beautiful description of forgiveness. Thankfully we have the grace from God to actually forgive when we have been deeply hurt. Beautiful examples in the news of family members who can forgive the killer of a loved one.

    1. Dear Marie, Thank you for reminding us that we forgive with the grace of God… Like you, I am always amazed when I hear of someone forgiving the killer of their loved one. What courage and faith and love. Thanks again, Marie! Sr. Melannie

  7. Loved the song and I recognized my greatest problem in: ” The formula for failure is trying to pease everyone.” The other quotation the hit home this morning was: “What would I do if I were not afraid?” There is a pilgrimage my husband & I would love to take but we are afraid that we physically couldn’t make the trip. We need to pray about it and be realistic but not forgo it just out of fear.
    Thanks for your blog. We look forward to Mondays.

    1. Dear Jean, The first time I heard the quote: “What would I do if I were not afraid?” I was really struck by it. I reflected on it for quite some time, getting in touch with my fears that hold me back from doing or saying or writing certain things… I’ll pray that you and your husband can make a wise and free decision about that trip… Sr. Melannie

  8. Hi Melannie,
    I like #14 on forgiveness because we all can make mistakes but hopefully all of us ar, and can achieve being a better person.

  9. A little late in responding to this one, Sr. Melannie…just got back from spending a weekend with friends and family hiking Gunstock mountain in New Hampshire. Beautiful! My daughter Kate was with us, and she’s a big Anne Lamott reader, and so my heart was gladdened to see you read her, too! (Have you read her book on style called Bird by Bird?). Really love the Archbishop’s quote about forgiveness. Well, take care. Your Indians are still in it, but my Red Sox just got eliminated!

    1. Dear John, I bet it was great hiking in New Hampshire this time of year… Glad your daughter appreciates Anne Lamott too. And yes, I did read “Bird By Bird.” It’s a must-read for all writers, don’t you think? Sorry about your Red Sox… And I’m still hoping for our Cleveland Indians to go all the way. Tomorrow’s game is crucial… Thanks for writing, John! Melannie

  10. I so look forward to your inspirational readings, pictures, & songs. All of this combines to ground me in what really matters. Your ministry serves to quiet the soul, motivate the spirit, & take comfort in having a relationship with God. The quote that struck me was #15 from Pope John Paul II. Freedom is also a privilege we acquired through the sacrifice of those that came before us & it is incumbent upon us to remember we all have a responsibility to speak up, act upon, and/or defend freedom…it truly is our greatest gift.

  11. Sister Melannie,
    I found the quotes about fear comforting particularly the one from Kathleen Norris. “Fear is not a bad place to begin a spiritual journey.”
    Sometimes the only emotion I can name about a particular moment in my life is fear. I think I see it as an end in itself and not a place to begin something else, something better. St. Ignatius was right is urging us to find God in all things.

  12. These are beautiful, but the one that made me think the most was Anne LaMott’s statement on faith, how the opposite of faith is not doubt; it is certainty.
    Thank you for sharing, and I always enjoy the songs at the end.
    God bless you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Blog Posts

(Please note: Today’s reflection deals with a very disurbing topic: war. Some of you may find this reflection very difficult to read. I understand. I found it very difficult to write.) Memorial Day will be celebrated next Monday in the U.S. This is the day set aside to remember and

Today I’m sharing with you a famous prayer/poem/ written by St. John Henry Newman. But first, a few words about this saint canonized by Pope Francis in October 2019. John Henry Newman (1801-1890) was born in London, England, the eldest of six children. His father was a banker. As a

Meet Sr. Melannie

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!

Subscribe to Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Upcoming Events

Finding God in the Ordinary and Amazing: An Afternoon with Sister Melannie

Sunday, May 19, 2024 – 1:30 – 4:00 Central – via zoom

Sponsored by the Portiuncula Center for Prayer – Frankfort, Illinois

Fee: Donation

For details visit: [email protected]

Weekend retreat at Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center, Pulaski, PA
October 11-13, 2024

October 11-13, 2024

Details to follow

Retreat with the Sisters of Loretto, Nerinx, KY
September 8-13, 2024

September 8-13, 2024

Details to follow

Retreat at Lial Renewal Center, Whitehouse, OH
August 11-18, 2024

August 11-18, 2024

Retreat at Heartland Center for Spirituality, Great Bend, KS
April 14-19, 2024

April 14-19, 2024

Details to follow