1 Memorial Day does not honor the Confederate dead. They fought against the United States, not for it.
2 St. Benedict advises us to keep death always before our eyes. This is not negative; it means about the same as “live life to the full,” since death gives meaning and value to human life.
3 Admitting that faith fills a psychological need no more invalidates faith than acknowledging the chemical aspects of sexual attraction invalidates enduring human love.
4 Existence is not a puzzle to be solved but a narrative to be lived and told anew, person by person.
5 One can’t really know a religion from the outside. However much one learns about a religion remains mere information unless one commits oneself to its particular language, rituals, and traditions.
6 Religious and nonreligious people embrace contradictions and should do so without shame. They believe in absolute truth and absolute contingency.
7 Compassion differs from pity. With compassion, your pain flares in my nerves. With pity, I project my lament for myself onto your suffering.
8 Can one language be adequate for the fiery moments of inspiration and the many seemingly fireless days of ordinary time?
9 It is possible to live and love more fully even as death draws near.
10 Poetry is words
Summoned into lines
Armed and trained
To rout defenders
And capture hearts.
Churchill Postscript 1: "If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground." 1940-05-28, to his full cabinet.
Churchill Postscript 2: "[W]hen we remind ourselves of the frightful tyrannies and cruelties with which the German armies, their gauleiters and subordinate tormentors, are now afflicting almost all Europe; when we read every week of the mass executions of Poles, Norwegians, Dutchmen, Czechoslovaks, Yugoslavs and Greeks; when we see these ancient and honored countries, of whose deeds and traditions Europe is the heir, writhing under this merciless alien yoke, and when we see their patriots striking back with every week a fiercer and more furious desperation, we may feel sure that we bear the sword of justice, and we resolve to use that sword with the utmost severity to the full and to the end." 1942-06-30, Guildhall, London (Onwards, 130-31)