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Quotes About Vocation

Quotes tagged as "vocation" (showing 1-30 of 83)
Anaïs Nin
“You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you're not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn't a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.”
Anaïs Nin

W.H. Auden
“You owe it to all of us to get on with what you're good at.”
W.H. Auden

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.”
Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation

Annie Dillard
“I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you.”
Annie Dillard

Flannery O'Connor
“There is no excuse for anyone to write fiction for public consumption unless he has been called to do so by the presence of a gift. It is the nature of fiction not to be good for much unless it is good in itself.”
Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose

Thomas Merton
“Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice �out there� calling me to be something I am not. It comes from a voice �in here� calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God.”
Thomas Merton

Jerry Bridges
“Every day is important for us because it is a day ordained by God. If we are bored with life there is something wrong with our concept of God and His involvement in our daily lives. Even the most dull and tedious days of our lives are ordained by God and ought to be used by us to glorify Him.”
Jerry Bridges, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts

Thomas Merton
“For each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God's will, to be what God wants us to be.”
Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

André Gide
“The truth is that as soon as we are no longer obliged to earn our living, we no longer know what to do with our life and recklessly squander it.”
André Gide, Journals, 1889-1949

Immanuel Kant
“As nature has uncovered from under this hard shell the seed for which she most tenderly cares - the propensity and vocation to free thinking - this gradually works back upon the character of the people, who thereby gradually become capable of managing freedom; finally, it affects the principles of government, which finds it to its advantage to treat men, who are now more than machines, in accordance with their dignity.”
Immanuel Kant, An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment?

J.R.R. Tolkien
“A great dread fell on him, as if he was awaiting the pronouncement of some doom that he had long foreseen and vainly hoped might after all never be spoken. An overwhelming longing to rest and remain at peace by Bilbo's side in Rivendell filled all his heart. At last with an effort he spoke, and wondered to hear his own words, as if some other will was using his small voice.
"I will take the Ring," he said, "though I do not know the way.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

Theodore Guerin
“We are not called upon to do all the good that is possible, but only that which we can do.”
Theodore Guerin, Journals and Letters of Mother Theodore Guerin

James Jones
“And the strange thing was he had never loved her more than in that moment, because at that moment she had become himself.

But thats not love, he thought, thats not what she wants, not what any of them want, they do not want you to find yourself in them, they want instead that you should lose yourself in them. And yet, he thought, they are always trying to find themselves in you. [...]

And it seemed to him then that every human was always looking for himself, in bars, in railway trains, in offices, in mirrors, in love, especially in love, for the self of him that is there, someplace, in every other human. Love was not to give oneself, but find oneself, describe oneself. And that the whole conception had been written wrong. Because the only part of any man that he can ever touch or understand is that part of himself he recognises in him. And that he is always looking for the way in which he can expose his sealed bee cell and reach the other airtight cells with which he is connected in the waxy comb.

And the only way he had ever found, the only code, the only language by which he could speak and be heard by other men, could communicate himself, was with a bugle. If you had a bugle here, he told himself, you could speak to her and be understood, you could play Fatigue Call for her, with its tiredness, its heavy belly going out to sweep somebody else's streets when it would rather stay home and sleep, she would understand it then.

But you havent got a bugle, himself said, not here nor any other place. Your tongue has been ripped out. All you got is two bottles, one nearly full, one nearly empty.”
James Jones, From Here to Eternity

Pope Benedict XVI
“Each of you has a personal vocation which He has given you for your own joy and sanctity. When a person is conquered by the fire of His gaze, no sacrifice seems too great to follow Him and give Him the best of ourselves. This is what the saints have always done, spreading the light of the Lord ... and transforming the world into a welcoming home for everyone.”
Pope Benedict XVI

Wendell Berry
“The two ideas, justice and vocation, are inseparable.... It is by way of the principle and practice of vocation that sanctity and reverence enter into the human economy. It was thus possible for traditional cultures to conceive that "to work is to pray." (pg. 258, The Idea of a Local Economy)”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

W.H. Auden
“In the eyes of others a man is a poet if he has written one good poem. In his own he is only a poet at the moment when he is making his last revision to a new poem. The moment before, he was still only a potential poet; the moment after, he is a man who has ceased to write poetry, perhaps forever.”
W.H. Auden, The Dyer's Hand

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“It's hard luck always having to be a judge.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Night Flight

Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Every industrious man, in every lawful calling, is a useful man. And one principal reason why men are so often useless is that they neglect their own profession or calling, and divide and shift their attention among a multiplicity of objects and pursuits.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Josephine Baker
“Is that what they call a vocation, what you do with joy as if you had fire in your heart, the devil in your body?

Josephine Baker

Samuel R. Delany
“You begin to suspect, as you gaze through this you-shaped hole of insight and fire, that though it is the most important thing you own — never deny that for an instant — it has not shielded you from anything terribly important. The only consolation is that though one could have thrown it away at any time, morning or night, one didn't. One chose to endure. Without any assurance of immortality, or even competence, one only knows one has not been cheated out of the consolation of carpenters, accountants, doctors, ditch-diggers, the ordinary people who must do useful things to be happy. Meander along, then, half blind and a little mad, wondering when you actually learned — was it before you began? — the terrifying fact that had you thrown it away, your wound would have been no more likely to heal: indeed, in an affluent society such as this, you might even have gone on making songs, poems, pictures, and getting paid. The only difference would have been — and you learned it listening to all those brutally unhappy people who did throw away theirs — and they do, after all, comprise the vast and terrifying majority — that without it, there plainly and starkly would have been nothing there; no, nothing at all.”
Samuel R. Delany, Dhalgren

“If you find what you do each day seems to have no link to any higher purpose, you probably want to rethink what you're doing.”
Ronald A. Heifetz, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World

Charles Dickens
“I never heard that it had been anybody’s business to find out what his natural bent was, or where his failings lay, or to adapt any kind of knowledge to him. He had been adapted to the verses and had learnt the art of making them to such perfection. I did doubt whether Richard would not have profited by some one studying him a little, instead of his studying them quite so much.”
Charles Dickens, Bleak House

Dorothy L. Sayers
“The two men sat silent for a little, and then Lord Peter said:

"D'you like your job?"

The detective considered the question, and replied:

"Yes—yes, I do. I know it to be useful, and I am fitted to it. I do it quite well—not with inspiration, perhaps, but sufficiently well to take a pride in it. It is full of variety and it forces one to keep up to the mark and not get slack. And there's a future to it. Yes, I like it. Why?"

"Oh, nothing," said Peter. "It's a hobby to me, you see. I took it up when the bottom of things was rather knocked out for me, because it was so damned exciting, and the worst of it is, I enjoy it—up to a point. If it was all on paper I'd enjoy every bit of it. I love the beginning of a job—when one doesn't know any of the people and it's just exciting and amusing. But if it comes to really running down a live person and getting him hanged, or even quodded, poor devil, there don't seem as if there was any excuse for me buttin' in, since I don't have to make my livin' by it. And I feel as if I oughtn't ever to find it amusin'. But I do.”
Dorothy L. Sayers, Whose Body?

Evelyn Waugh
“Cordelia: I hope I've got a vocation.

Charles: I don't know what that means.

Cordelia: It means you can be a nun. If you haven't a vocation it's no good however much you want to be; and if you have a vocation, you can't get away from it, however much you hate it.”
Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

Benjamin Moser
“Vocation is different from talent. One can have vocation and not have talent; one can be called and not know how to go.”
Benjamin Moser, Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector

“Here is a truth that most teachers will not tell you, even if they know it: Good training is a continual friend and a solace; it helps you now, and assures you of help in the future. Good education is a continual pain in the neck, and assures you always of more of the same.”
Richard Mitchell, The Gift of Fire

Raniero Cantalamessa
“In any love-story there are usually two stages or phases. There is the initial stage, where love is expressed by the giving of gifts, especially the gift of self. Then there comes a time when it is no longer enough to give gifts to the beloved, but one has to be ready to suffer for her or for him. Only then can it be seen whether the love is real. In the story of a vocation to consecrated virginity there are also usually two stages. There is the initial stage of the vocation, when, spurred on by grace and attracted by the ideal, one joyfully and enthusiastically says, "Yes, Lord, here I am!" Then comes the time of solitude of heart, of weariness, of crisis, when, in order to maintain that "Yes," one has to die”
Raniero Cantalamessa, Virginity: A Positive Approach to Celibacy for the Sake of the Kingdom of Heaven

Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I have no expectation that any man will read history aright who thinks that what was done in a remote age, by men whose names have resounded far, has any deeper sense than what he is doing today.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“Making money isn't hard in itself,' he complained. 'What's hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting one's life to.”
Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

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