Archive – Samples

SAMPLE QUOTES from "The Thorn and the Rose"

Does that mean I am never sad, that I never rebel, always acquiesce, and love life no matter what the circumstances? No, far from it. I believe that I know and share the many sorrows and sad circumstances that a human being can experience, but I do not cling to them, I do not prolong such moments of agony. They pass through me, like life itself, as a broad, eternal stream, they become part of that stream, and life continues. And as a result all my strength is preserved, does not become tagged on to futile sorrow or rebelliousness.
Etty Hillesum
Happiness you enjoy, what is wrong with it? When happiness has gone and you have become sad, what is wrong with sadness? Enjoy it. Once you become capable of enjoying sadness, then you are neither.
And this I tell you: if you enjoy sadness, it has its own beauties. Happiness is a little shallow; sadness is very deep, it has a depth to it. A man who has never been sad will be shallow, just on the surface. Sadness is like a dark night, very deep. Darkness has a silence to it, and sadness also. Happiness bubbles; there is a sound in it. It is like a river in the mountains; sound is created. But in the mountains, a river can never be very deep; it is always shallow. When the river comes to the plain it becomes deep, but the sound stops. It moves as if not moving. Sadness has depth.

Pleasures are shallow, sorrows deep.
Chinese proverb
Great joys make us love the world. Great sadnesses make us understand the world.
Kent Nerburn
Wherever the soul of man turns, unless towards God, it cleaves to sorrow, even though the things outside itself to which it clings may be things of beauty.
St. Augustine
"Blessed are those who mourn."... Who then are the mourners? The mourners are those who have caught a glimpse of God's new day, who ache with all their being for that day's coming, and who break out into tears when confronted with its absence.... They are the ones who realize that in God's realm of peace there is neither death nor tears and who ache whenever they see someone crying tears over death. The mourners are aching visionaries.
Nicholas Wolterstorff
Waste not fresh tears over old griefs.
What's gone and what's past help should be past grief.
Let Love clasp Grief lest both be drown'd.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
How easy it is to mourn when I see tearing down, to fail to see that that is part of building. It cannot, or should not, be separated from building up. For without the tearing down of twigs, there would be no building of nests.
Jane Grayshon
There is only one way of being cured of sadness, and that is to dislike being sad.
Louis Evely
If you want blessings, don't fear sufferings. The sorrows of individuals today often become the blessings of the future.
Chen Duxiu
The law would say that to be patient under suffering is best, and that we should not give way to impatience, as there is no knowing whether such things are good or evil; and nothing is gained by impatience; also, because no human thing is of serious importance, and grief stands in the way of that which at the moment is most required.
What is most required?
That we should take counsel about what has happened, and when the dice have been thrown order our affairs in the way which reason deems best; not, like children who have had a fall, keeping hold of the part struck and wasting time in setting up a howl, but always accustoming the soul forthwith to apply a remedy, raising up that which is sickly and fallen, banishing the cry of sorrow by the healing art.

If it were possible for us to see further than our knowledge extends and out a little over the outworks of our surmising, perhaps we should then bear our sorrows with greater confidence than our joys. For they are the moments when something new, something unknown, has entered into us. The more patient, quiet and open we are in our sorrowing, the more deeply and the more unhesitatingly will the new thing enter us, the better shall we deserve it, the more will it be our own destiny.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Do not let sorrow take possession of your heart and agitate it; keep it outside the bounds of your heart and hasten to soften and restrain it, so that it may not prevent you from reasoning soundly and acting rightly.
Lorenzo Scupoli
Hope is the second soul of the unhappy.
Johann Goethe
Joy and pain are not opposed, but only the kinds of joy and pain. There are infernal joys and pains, healing joys and pains, celestial joys and pains.
Simone Weil
Overcome any bitterness that may have come because you were not up to the magnitude of the pain that was entrusted to you. Like the mother of the world who carries the pain of the world in her heart, each of us is part of her heart and is, therefore, endowed with a certain measure of cosmic pain. You are sharing in the totality of that pain. You are called upon to meet it in joy instead of self-pity. The secret: offer your heart as a vehicle to transform cosmic suffering into joy.
Sufi saying
Verily, verily I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
This universe where we are living, and of which we form a tiny particle, is the distance put by Love between God and God. We are a point in this distance. Space, time, and the mechanism that governs matter are the distance. Everything that we call evil is only this mechanism.
Simone Weil
For the human personality the decisive factor in making deprivation bear fruit is love. Love, one might say, changes the sign of deprivation from minus to plus.
Paul Tournier
Let the burden be never so heavy, love makes it light.
Robert Burton
The most difficult thing of all - yet the most essential - is to love life, even when you suffer, because life is all.
Leo Tolstoy
As love brings sorrow, sorrow also brings love.
Meister Eckhart
When pain is to borne, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all.
C. S. Lewis
Suffering is perhaps the only wellspring of genuine love in the human person. Does not the mystery of evil and suffering consist in this, that without suffering, people would no longer know what love is and would no longer be capable of it? For me, to love is essentially to suffer with another. I fear that where there is no suffering, love, too, has been banished.
Bernard Kemp
Yet, over and over I find people who are living witnesses of this mystery - that by opening their heart to pain, they also opened it to love, and, so, found incredible peace.
Antoinette Bosco
And the suffering, the ocean of human suffering, and the hatred and all the fighting? Yesterday I suddenly thought: there will always be suffering, and whether one suffers from this or from that really doesn't make much difference. It is the same with love. One should be less and less concerned with the love object and more and more with love itself, if it is to be real love. People may grieve more for a cat that has been run over than for the countless victims of a city that has been bombed out of existence. It is not the object but the suffering, the love, the emotions, and the quality of these emotions that count. And the big emotions, those basic harmonies, are always ablaze and every century may stoke the fire with fresh fuels, but all that matters is the warmth of the fire.
Etty Hillesum
The wind of sorrows driving your boat is a wind of love, and that is a wind that goes faster than lightening.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux

The complete book has almost 1000 quotes, some shorter and many longer than the ones extracted here. They are also grouped together by category and arranged in a progressive sequence. The overall theme is that it is possible for each of us to turn our unavoidable sufferings into positive emotions and a deeper understanding of life and its meaning.