"Some deficiency must be forgiven all, because all are men; and more must be allowed to pass uncensured in the greater part of the world, because none can confer upon himself abilities....It is, however, reasonable, to have perfection in our eye, that we may always advance toward it."
(Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), "The Benefits of Human Society")
"The trouble into which your dissipations and distractions throw you, your sense of separation from God and all your resistance to what is good would cease if you received these painful states humbly; they are neither sins nor spiritual evils, but merely the loving chastisement of your Father, who uses this way of purifying you from all the stains of your former life. All that saddens you and makes you think you are lost will, if borne with patience, humility, and conformity to God's will, be changed into a treasure which will enrich you more in one day than would a whole year of consolation and ecstasies." (St. Claude de la Colombiere, Letters,1679)
"I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep."--Willa Cather, My Antonia
...what we shall be has not yet been revealed...(1 John 3:2)
"The more mature hope becomes, the more clearly it perceives the nonsense of a mere existence running toward death. Hope is continually being confirmed in little, outwardly insignificant but irrefutable ways. How? In the sparks that flash forth in love's response. Summoned by love, hearts recognize each other now here and now there....This is a spark from the immense fire that burns in its unapproachable center. Hope would not exist if it did not come from the immense fire at the heart of things, if eternal love--contrary to appearances--were not the meaning of life." (Hans Urs von Balthasar, You Crown the Year with Your Goodness)