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Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

20 Quotations on Life


As many of you know, I collect quotations. I have drawers of 3 X 5 cards filled with thousands of quotes from a wide variety of people. I started doing this as a college student. I file my quotes under topics such as adversity, beauty, happiness, Jesus, love, prayer, writing, etc. Today I will share 20 quotes filed under life. This category has the most quotations in my collection. I suggest you read these quotations slowly and prayerfully. As you do, ask yourself, does this quotation resonate with my experience and beliefs? Or do I disagree with it? Or would I modify it to more accurately reflect what I believe? I hope you have some fun and gather some inspiration from these!



(1) The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved: loved for ourselves, or rather loved is spite of ourselves. Victor Hugo


(2) No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt


(3) When asked by an inquirer if he were God or a magician, the Buddha responded that he was neither. “What are you,” the person insisted. The Buddha said, “I am awake.”


(4) Lord, when we are wrong, make us willing to change. And when we are right, make us easy to live with. Peter Marshall


(5) 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


(Photo by Gosia vrdg -Pexels)


(6) Let us live that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry. Mark Twain


(7) If you want an accounting of your worth, count your friends. Merry Browne


(8) All the art of living lies in the fine mingling of letting go and hanging on. Meister Eckhart

(9) Whether we are living or dying, what counts is being there. If we’ve set up permanent residence in the past or the future, the pain and joy of the present can’t bless us. Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr


(10) Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. Carl Jung


(11) There is no object that we see; no action that we do; no good that we enjoy; no evil that we feel or fear, but we may make some spiritual advantage of all. Anne Bradstreet


(12) Both what we run away from and yearn for are within us. Anthony de Mello, SJ


(Photo by Belle Co – Pexels)



(13) There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to find fault with the rest of us. James Truslow Adams


(14) Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. Annette Funicello


(15) Fortunately, psychoanalysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist. Karen Horney


(16) Rules for the road: 1) What appears to be a detour may be the most important leg of the journey. 2) It’s okay to ask for directions. 3) Too much concern for safety is dangerous. 4) “Enemies” and “aliens” make the best travel companions. 5) Sometimes we travel farthest by sitting still. Anonymous


(17) Why wait? Life is not a dress rehearsal. Marilyn Grey


(18) Forget about productivity once in a while and give yourself permission to goof off. Amy Morin


(19) Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you are still alive, it isn’t. Richard Bach


(20) Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery. Annie Dillard


(Photo by Dhivakaran S – Pexels)





For reflection:


Are there any quotes that touched you today? If so, which one(s)? Why?


Do you have a favorite quote that helps you to live your life well? If so, you can add it to the comments below.


Did any of the pictures in today’s reflection captivate you?



The video I chose is called “Wonderful Life” by Matthew West. It is a tribute to his friend, Ron, who struggled several years with ALS. I couldn’t find a version with the printed lyrics, so let me give you a few of the verses:

“Life can send you flying high… it can bring you to your knees… It’s filled with heartbreak and happiness and everything in between…

Life’s a mountain and a valley, a cradle and a grave…

You laugh until you cry, you cry until you hurt… can’t have one without the other…

Life isn’t always wonderful, but it’s a wonderful life… and this life isn’t all there is.

Life’s broken and beautiful, gone mad and magical, and awfully wonderful life.”


I invite you to comment below on the quotations… the pictures… the song…




13 Responses

  1. Good morning, Sr. Melannie…

    The song, the video, tears to my eyes! It’s a hard to explain. A beautiful sadness, maybe?

    The quotes? As usual, I wish I could memorize them all, but this morning I choose the words of the great Anne Bradstreet, mother of eight who still managed to be our country’s first poet. Life happens every day — the good and the bad — but God happens every day too.

    Have a great week!

    1. Good morning, John, Once again your words drove me to action! I went to Wikipedia and read the entry on Anne Bradstreet to refresh my memory of her life and her place in American literature. She was a remarkable woman, living in this “country” before it was a country. I often wondered, how could a 17th Century mother of eight find time to write poetry?! She was severely criticized for writing and publishing books! Her brother-in-law took some of her writings to England and had them published–with her consent. She lived at a time when men were deemed far more intelligent than women. She was told she should have a needle in her hand–and not a pen! Anyway, thanks for your comment, John… I too was moved by the song and video. Last year my cousin, Sister Ellenann, died of an illness very similar to ALS. My eyes still fill with tears when I recall her passing… Melannie

  2. I love quotes.
    I, too, am a collector of quotes and have been since elementary school.

    The first quote made me think of another one from Victor Hugo:
    ” To love another person is too see the face of God” – Les Miserables

    The second quote reminded me of another one that I thought was Eleanor Roosevelt, but couldn’t confirm:
    “What other people think of you if none of your business”
    It has a similar message that speaks to self-esteem.

    #9 from Sr Macrina Wiederkehr is a great reminder to be present

    The music video was so moving. It brought tears to my eyes.

    My page-a-day calendar this year is “Church signs”. Here are some of my favorites:

    “There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: pushing down our pulling up”

    “If the grass is greener on the other side, fertilize yours.”

    ” Be the things you loved most about the people who are gone.”

    “You don’t have to show up to every argument you are invited to.”

    “Truce is stronger than friction.”

    “The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.”

    1. Sherri, It was good hearing from another quote collector. I too love the one from Les Miserables… And your church sign quotes were great! I especially liked: “Be the things you loved most about the people who are gone.” How wise is that? Thanks for your beautiful addition to my blog! Melannie

  3. Sherri – I really like “Truce is stronger than friction” … a much needed reminder during these trying times!

    One of my favorite “life” quotes is: “Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.”

    Once when I was on retreat, I shared with my Director that my aunt and uncle seemed more to be existing (by choice) rather than living. They were missing out on so much! My Director told me that she had decided: “I would rather live while I was dying rather than die while I was was living … Certainly words that I try to embrace.

    PS – I collect quotes too!

    1. Mary, I agree with you: Sherri’s “truce quote” is a needed reminder for our times. And I liked the “life quote” you gave us. So much depends on our attitude toward life, doesn’t it? Is it a mystery or a problem? And your retreat director’s words are very wise! Thank you, Mary, for enriching my blog with your words! Melannie

  4. Good morning Sister, each week I seek out your blog and I am always inspired, uplifted and I walk away with words of wisdom. Matthew West’s song brought tears to my eyes. I pray I always remember how magically wonderful this life is no matter the struggles and burdens. We never walk alone. Thank you, & I always enjoy reading the comments of other followers of your blog. Peace

  5. Linda, Thank you for your positive words about my blog. They gave me a big boost! I too was moved by West’s song and the courage of his friend. It takes faith to call life “wonderful” when we are facing significant hardships… Thank you for your comment, Linda. My readers’ comments enrich my blog every time! Melannie

  6. As to the song and the video, well, I guess I just needed a good cry.

    For a long time, I haven’t been receiving Sunflower Seeds. Today it finally occurred to me to go find you, Sister Melanie. Thank you for continuing to enlighten, encourage, entertain, and find
    what’s best about this crazy world.

    1. Jean, Yes, sometimes crying is good… Soon I will be launching the updated version of my blog. We are hoping the new version will fix our subscribing problem and all subscribers will receive the new version automatically… I appreciate your positive response to my blog. I’m glad you found me again! Thank you for looking! Melannie

  7. ” The meaning of life is that it ends .”—- Franz Kafka. I am mourning and celebrating the life well-lived of the First Lady of the 39th President, Eleanor, Rosalynn Smith- Carter. Truly, the impermanence of life : aging, illness, dying and death is a reminder to do good, be kind and be grateful for the gift of life.

    Thank you, Sister Melannie for your meaningful blog posts.

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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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