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Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Quotations under “L”

It’s time to visit my quotation files again. As many of you know, I have a vast collection of quotations that I started collecting when I was a college student. Today my thousands of quotations are on 3 X 5 cards and are stored in seven drawers. Today I thought we would visit the letter “L.” Here are 25 quotations under L. I suggest you read them slowly, pausing after each one…


1) The purpose of law is to prevent the strong from always having their way. (Ovid, first Century Roman poet)

2) All laws are an attempt to domesticate the natural ferocity of the human species. (John Gardner)

3) Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)


4) A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be. (Rosalyn Carter)

5) Good leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation. (Doris Kearns Goodwin)

6) Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders. (Tom Peters)

7) The trouble with being a leader is you can’t tell whether people are following you or chasing you. (Anonymous)


8) The Chinese pictograph for “busy” is composed of two characters: heart and killing.

9) Jesus knows we must come apart and rest awhile, or else we may just plain come apart. (Vance Havner)


10) To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart. (Phyllis Theroux)

11) Letters are among the most significant memorials a person can leave behind them. (Goethe)

12) Never write a letter while you are angry. (Chinese proverb)

13) I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world. (St. Teresa of Calcutta)


14) What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters when compared with what lies within us. (William Morrow)

15) Everything that happens to you is your teacher. The secret is to sit at the feet of your life and be taught. (Polly Berrien Berends)

16) The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it. (William James)


17) Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf. (Proverb)

18) The first duty of love is to listen. (Paul Tillich)

19) Someone has said it is possible “to listen a person’s soul into existence.” I like that. (Catherine de Hueck Doherty)

20) Lead a listening life. Order your outward life so that nothing drowns out the listening. (Thomas Kelly)


21) The love of neighbor in all its fullness simple means being able to say to him or her, “What are you going through?” (Simone Weil)

22) God walks in when we’re loving. (John Powell, SJ)

23) If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each one’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility. (Longfellow)

24) Love cures people—both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it. (Karl Menninger)

25) Twenty percent of a hummingbird’s body weight is its heart.


Do any of these quotations stand out for you? If so, which one(s) and why?

I’m always looking for good quotes. Do you have any quotes that I might copy and file under “L”?

PS: I ask your prayers for the presentation and the weekend retreat I’ll be giving at Siena Retreat Center in Racine, WI Oct. 25-28. I hope to meet some of your there. Check their website ( for details. Thank you!

The word lovely also begins with L. Here is a lovely picture taken by one of the Bergamo retreatants, Pam of Kettering, OH. She said she was walking across the parking lot at Fairmont High School when she glanced down and saw these two heart-shaped leaves on the asphalt–so she took this picture… You never know when beauty is going sneak up on you and surprise you!


The word lively begins with L… Here’s a new lively song by Mercyme called “Grace Got You.” The beat is strong, the words go fast, the message is great: We have much to sing, glide, dance, laugh, and smile about—because God’s Grace has hold of us!


I welcome you to respond below to anything in this post. I love hearing from you!

19 Responses

  1. Good Morning Sister!

    I like the last quote about the hummingbird! We all could use more heart today.

    God bless you as you go to Wisconsin. Please keep us in prayer this weekend as we do our prison ministry retreat (similar to Cursillo) with 42 men. The Holy Spirit will be moving.


  2. Sister Melannie,
    Wonderful reflection. I like #5 from Doris Kearns Goodwin. I learned from reading her, in reference to #12, that Abraham Lincoln actually would write a letter to the person with whom he was angry…….but he would put the letter in a drawer and never send it. Helped him relieve his anger. Many such letters were discovered after his death. A favorite quote of mine, which I’m sure all of us know: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love another.” Thank you again, Sister.
    Ed J.

  3. I was taken aback by the quote… Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal. That is so frightening to me.
    I LOVE the song and look forward to your words each week.
    Thank you!

  4. Everything Hitler did in Germany was LEGAL? How can you say killing innocent people because of their ethnicity is legal? That is murder!

    1. It was “legal” as I understand it, because Hitler was a dictator and he made the “rules” in Germany. What occurred when his “law” wasn’t followed resulted in the atrocities of the Holocaust.

  5. There were several quotes that touched me, but the one that I particularly love is the one from Mother Teresa about being a little pencil in the hand of God. I love the image and plan/hope to share that with my directees. Seeing ourslves in a new and more loving way is always a move forward on our journey.

    Thank you and blessings on your upcoming retreat, Sr. Melannie,

  6. Quotations that stood out were Phyllis Theroux’s about letter-writing; Paul Tillich’s and Catherine Doherty’s about listening; and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s about love.

    I propose a quotation in an “L” category not represented here: Literature! “In connection with personality, it is a curiosity of literature how often what one says of another seems descriptive of oneself.” (Marianne Moore, American poet, 1887-1972). I often call Miss Moore “the Presbyterian Confucius of Brooklyn”! Another Miss Moore-ism:

    “O hate-hardened heart, O heart of iron, iron is iron till it is rust.”

  7. Really like the song. My favorite quote, (that I live by) is from the SEEL program( which I went through, and loved) is that “wherever you are, that is exactly where you should be”. A hummingbird watched over me after a fall several years ago, she definitely had a big heart!

  8. Especially like the Love section- #22
    Thinking of St John PaulII today feast day. ” The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being.” ” Rise and be on your way.”

    1. I big thank you to all who have responded so far. I’m always curious as to which quotations moved you the most. And thank you too for the addition quotes I can file under “L” in my seven drawers of quotes! Gratefully, Melannie

  9. Good Morning Melanie,

    I look forward to your Posts. In the “busyness” of our lives, we so often miss the beauty beneath our feet. I am going to look for my “hearts” today.

    Thank you and Have a blessed day.

  10. I especially liked #10 and #11 since I write so many letters.
    I would like to add List: the way we separate “Sex Offenders” from society by listing them on a Registry. They are our modern day lepers.

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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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