Quote Of The Day

This is quoted from Kierkegaard’s Spiritual Writings, translated by George Pattison:

“Every good and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of Lights, in whom is no change or shadow of turning.”

These words are so healing, so curative, and yet how often has the penitent soul understood them in such a way as to let itself be healed by them; how often has it understood not only the seriousness of the judgement it implies but also its merciful grace?

Or, my listener, perhaps you never had occasion to find these words difficult? Were you always satisfied with yourself, so satisfied that you perhaps thanked God that you were not like other people? Did you perhaps get so clever as to understand the deep meaning in the meaninglessness saying that it was good not to be like other people?

I admit that I am sometimes proud enough to be glad that I am not like other people. It’s not a comforting position; to not be like other people is to feel misunderstood and alone, with only the authenticity of self to assuage the deep seated uneasiness. To be like other people, on the other hand, is to deny some part of who you are as an individual, and is like a slow death, a constant drip of water eventually wearing through your artificial skin and penetrating deep within your being, forcing you to make a decision: Is this who I am, or is it not?

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2 responses to “Quote Of The Day”

  1. The Dandler says :

    What a great quote! Thanks for sharing (and keep reading Kierkegaard and sharing your thoughts about what you’re reading, ok?)! An amazing philosopher worthy of your blog, for sure.

    It is something to meditate on, isn’t it? That everything good we ever do or produce or are comes from God – we can’t take any credit for it, and so basically all humans are the same: weak and unremarkable, apart from what God decides to give them. Very humbling indeed.

    I hope you’re reading the Dandler. I’m posting letters from the priest, Francois Fenelon, to his disciple who was in the midst of despair, rebellion, and depression. The letters can be found under the tag Letting Go and I’m on about 10 out of 40. While I sort out my own existential depression, I’ve found it helpful that Fenelon can write for me. I recommend it for you highly! His letter are replete with the concept of Death and the death of the Self in order to find real life. Fenelon helps to make it clear: the existential realization of death is accurate and, furthermore, necessary for true Christian conversion. Christ says, everyone is dying – so why don’t you choose to come and die with me. The difference between everyone else and the Christian is that the Christian is called to die voluntarily, whereas everyone else dies against their will.

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