All of Jesus’ teaching on prayer in the Gospels can be summarized with one word: ask. His greatest concern is that our failure or reluctance to ask keeps us distant from God. But that is not the only reason he tells us to ask anything. God wants to give us good gifts. He loves to give.

— Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life, p. 134

Being Right

Maybe you are in the right. Maybe you are standing on the higher moral ground in this situation, and the other person is clearly wrong. You feel that someone ought to hold the person accountable, and so you are doing your best to bear witness to this injustice — afraid that if you don’t, no one will, and that person will get away with it. Something inside you doesn’t want an injustice to be allowed to stand, unchallenged and unrectified. So you remain attached to being right, but that attachment causes you to suffer. You are the one who is obsessed, and you are the one who is losing sleep over someone else’s actions — therefore, you are the one who will have stress-related health problems. Meanwhile, the villain in this story might be peacefully unconcerned about his wrongdoing and blissfully unaware of your rage — and he is sleeping just fine at night!

— Mary Hayes Grieco, Unconditional Forgiveness, p. 25

Reading as Remembering

But now, in reading my books of escape, I had found another way to respond. It was not a way to rid myself of sorrow but a way to absorb it. Through memory. While memory cannot take sorrow away or bring back the dead, remembering ensures that we always have the past with us, the bad moments but also the very, very good moments of laughter shared and meals eaten together and books discussed.

— Nina Sankovitch, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, p. 72

Becoming Readers

Here is why I have hope for children who have fallen behind and why I call them developing readers instead of struggling ones: these students have the ability to become strong readers. They may lag behind their peers on the reading-development continuum, but they are still on the same path. What they need is support for where they are in their development and the chance to feel success as readers instead of experiencing reading failure. They also need to read and read. Time and time again, I have seen a heavy dose of independent reading, paired with explicit instruction in reading strategies, transform nonreaders into readers.

— Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer, p. 25

Here For You Always

“I am here for you always” — those are a lover’s words. They seek to calm the fear that lurks at the heart of every lover, the fear that one day we will be abandoned and again alone. We can celebrate these words. We can hold to them. It is God’s promise to us to never abandon us. It is this promise to which we must cling when we are in times of darkness.

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 160

Sin Turned on Its Head

Sin and salvation are correlative terms. Salvation is not sin perfectly avoided, as the ego would prefer; but in fact, salvation is sin turned on its head and used in our favor. That is how transformative divine love is. If this is not the pattern, what hope is there for 99.9 percent of the world?

— Richard Rohr, Falling Upward, p. 60


Stories have a way of changing faces. They are unruly things, undisciplined, given to delinquency and the throwing of erasers. This is why we must close them up into thick, solid books, so they cannot get out and cause trouble.

— Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, p. 36

None of Our Business

Removing ourselves from the thick of a situation that is really none of our business is another way of interpreting the meaning of detachment. It doesn’t mean being uninterested in the people who are close to us or in the ultimate outcome of a situation that has ensnared one of them, or not caring about the well-being of anyone else. It simply means letting the affairs of others belong to those rightful parties. This is really good advice and definitely the advice we’d get from a wise grandparent or mentor or God if we sought God’s help.

— Karen Casey, Let Go Now, p. 84

Abuse and Blame

Women have been blamed by society for their unhappiness while being told by their abusers that they have nothing to complain about. Verbal abuse seems so inhuman, so bizarre to anyone seeking mutuality in a relationship that, no matter how deeply she understands that an abuser abuses because he abuses and not because of her, the survivor will almost always find it incredible that any human being would treat another that way. She will conclude, “He wouldn’t do this for no reason at all.” This is why the partner is confused by blame. It is as if she is just not something enough.

— Patricia Evans, Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out, p. 86


Distress stemming from our verbal communication could be markedly alleviated, even with those we presently find difficult, if we were more mindful of our words. If you wait for the other person to speak more skillfully you may have a long wait. You can only control you. If the other person responds favorably to your kinder words, that’s great. If not, then you get to practice patience. When viewed from an egoless perspective, it is a win-win situation.

— Allan Lokos, Patience, p. 108