Nothing living should ever be treated with contempt. Whatever it is that lives, a man, a tree, or a bird, should be touched gently, because the time is short. Civilization is another word for respect for life.— Elizabeth Goudge
The most restlessness Elizabeth Goudge quotes you will be delighted to read
Most of the basic truths of life sound absurd at first hearing.
But a hare, now, that is a different thing altogether.
A hare is not a pet but a person. Hares are clever and brave and loving, and they have fairy blood in them. It’s a grand thing to have a hare for a friend.
As this world becomes increasingly ugly, callous and materialistic it needs to be reminded that the old fairy stories are rooted in truth, that imagination is of value, that happy endings do, in fact, occur, and that the blue spring mist that make an ugly street look beautiful is just as real a thing as the street itself.
Could you understand the meaning of light if there were no darkness to point the contrast? Day and night, life and death, love and hatred, since none of these things can have any being at all apart from the existence of the other, you can no more separate them than you can separate the two sides of a coin.
In a world where thrushes sing and willow trees are golden in the spring, boredom should have been included among the seven deadly sins.
She realized with deep respect that this woman had always done what she had to do and faced what she had to face. If many of her fears and burdens would have seemed unreal to another woman, there was nothing unreal about her courage.
This modern craze for putting the young in positions of authority - headmasters in their thirties, bishops without a gray hair on their heads, generals who scarcely need to use a razor - ever since it took hold the world's gone steadily downhill.
Nothing is ever finished and done with in this world.
You may think a seed was finished and done with when it falls like a dead thing into the earth; but when it puts forth leaves and flowers next spring you see your mistake.
The lovers of life, they are children at heart always in their wonder and delight, but they do not grab.
[Salvation] is a curious process of divine burglary.
The first thing to be wrested from one by a God who said 'Thou shalt not steal' is one's good opinion of one's self.
In times of storm and tempest, of indecision and desolation, a book already known and loved makes better reading than something new and untried ... nothing is so warming and companionable.
Humanity can be roughly divided into three sorts of people - those who find comfort in literature, those who find comfort in personal adornment, and those who find comfort in food.
to know perfect happiness a woman may be a mother, but must be a grandmother.
All the best things are seen first of all at a far distance.
autumn days have a holiness that spring lacks .
.. They are like old serene saints for whom death has lost its terror.
What is the scent of water?" "Renewal. The goodness of God coming down like dew.
[I]f you believe in God omnipresent, then you must believe everything that comes into your life, person or event, must have something of God in it to be experienced and loved; not hated.
Faith given back to us after a night of doubt is a stronger thing, and far more valuable to us than faith that has never been tested.
...The simple little words came easily, fitting themselves to the tune that had come out of the harpsichord. It didn't seem to her that she made them up at all. It seemed to her that they flew in from the rose-garden, through the open window, like a lot of butterflies, poised themselves on the point of her pen, and fell off it on to the paper.
I don't think there's anything more tiring ... than expecting people who don't turn up.
For she had discovered that as well as the evil web there was another.
This too bound spirits together, but not in a tangle, it was a patterned web and one could see the silver pattern when the sun shone upon it. It seemed much frailer than the dark tangle, that had a hideous strength, but it might not be so always, not in the final reckoning. (The Child from the Sea)
There always comes, I think, a sort of peak in suffering at which either you win over your pain or your pain wins over you, according as to whether you can, or cannot, call up that extra ounce of endurance that helps you to break through the circle of yourself and do the hitherto impossible. That extra ounce carries you through 'le dernier quart d' heure.' Psychologist have a name for it, I believe. Christians call it the Grace of God.
Writers and painters have a medium that can foster self-effacements.
Actors haven't. An actor can't hide himself behind paper or canvas. If you're not there your art's not there. That's why we actors are often such self-centered objects.
If one's intellectual equipment was not great, one's spiritual experience not deep, the result of doing one's very best could only seem very lightweight in comparison with the effort involved. But perhaps that was not important. The mysterious power that commanded men appeared to him to ask of them only obedience and the maximum of effort and to remain curiously indifferent as to the results.
A well-trained dog is like religion, it sets the deserving at their ease and is a terror to evildoers.
Peace ... was contingent upon a certain disposition of the soul, a disposition to receive the gift that only detachment from self made possible.
Being ill makes you feel what well people call sentimental, but what you feel is nonetheless genuine whatever they call it.
If you lose your reason, you lose it into the hands of God.
...It's the only place where anything is safe. And when you're dead it's only what's there you'll have. Nothing else.
We all of us need to be toppled off the throne of self, my dear," he said.
"Perched up there the tears of others are never upon our own cheek.
Butterflies... not quite birds, as they were not quite flowers, mysterious and fascinating as are all indeterminate creatures.
All human beings have their otherness and it is that which cries out to the heart.
What is the distinguishing mark of an aristocrat?' she asked him suddenly.'Reverence,' he replied.
She long ago accepted the fact that happiness is like, swallows in spring.
It may come and nest under your eaves or it may not. You cannot command it.
Marriage is a very long process.
I've never been one for religion, but yet I've never been what ye could call an unbeliever. What I say is, nothin' don't seem impossible once you've clapped eyes on a whale.
There is always something particularly delightful about exceptions to a rule.
Imagination comes from yourself and can deceive you, but vision is a gift from outside yourself - like light striking on your closed eyelids and lifting them to see what's really there.
One was born a certain sort of person, and though by ceasless struggle one might become as nice as that sort of person ever is, one could never become as nice as a nicer sort of person.
Happy the man who lives long enough to acknowledge his ignorance
There was a good deal to be said, Hilary decided, for middle age and infirmity.
The years in which one demanded much of life were left behind, together with the bitterness of not getting what one wanted. One's values, too, were altered. Gifts that once one took for granted, sunshine and birdsong, freedom from pain, sleep and one's daily bread, seemed now so extraordinarily precious.
The whole universe was stilled as if listening for a voice.
For the space of one heartbeat there was peace on earth. For one fraction of a moment there was no deed of violence wrought on earth, no hatred, no fire, no whirlwind, no pain, no fear. Existence rested against the heart of God, then sighed and journeyed again.
Acting a part is not always synonymous with lying;
it is far often the best way of serving the truth. It is more truthful to act what we should feel if the community is to be well served rather than behave as we actually do feel in our selfish private feelings.
All we are asked to bear we can bear.
The sun is still there... even if clouds drift over it. Once you have experienced the reality of sunshine you may weep, but you will never feel ice about your heart again.
Because of course she had known she must go.
She always did the thing because in obedience lay the integrity that God asked of her. If anyone had asked her what she meant by integrity she would not have been able to tell them but she had seen it once like a picture in her mind, a root going down into the earth and drinking deeply there. No one was really alive without that root.
Don't waste hate on pink geranium.
The elements were "seeking" each other in rage and confusion, and in the fury of the conflict boastful man was utterly humiliated, sucked down, drowned.
I doubt if we nuns are really as self-sacrificing as we must seem to be to you who live in the world. We don't give everything for nothing, you know. The mystery plays fair.
There's much that goes to the makin' of a man or woman into somethin' better than a brute beast, but there's three things in chief, an' they're the places where life sets us down, an' the folks life knocks us up against, an' -- not the things ye get, but the things ye don't get.