Monks Quotes

Quotes tagged as "monks" Showing 1-29 of 29
“You know, I preferred you as an evil monk. Would have made killing you a whole lot easier.”
Chris D' Lacey

Robert Anton Wilson
“Mystics are all a bit funny in the head anyway," the priest added cynically, "which is why the church locks them all up in mental hospitals and euphemistically calls these institutions monasteries.”
Robert Anton Wilson, The Eye in the Pyramid

Karl Marx
“It is well known how the monks wrote silly lives of Catholic Saints over the manuscripts on which the classical works of ancient heathendom had been written.”
Karl Marx

“There are three qualities that every individual must have to achieve success: a Monk’s patience, a Warrior’s courage, a Child’s imagination.”
Sharad Vivek Sagar

Umberto Eco
“But it has often happened that I have found the most seductive depictions of sin in the pages of those very men of incorruptible virtue who condemned their spell and their effects.”
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

Tahir Shah
“Normally I would have been the first to go in search of cannibal monks, particularly as I had heard of a similar tradition at a nunnery in the Philippines. It's the sort of quest I can't resist.”
Tahir Shah, House of the Tiger King: The Quest for a Lost City

W.B. Yeats
“O cowardly amd tyrannous race of monks, persecutors of the bard, and the gleemen, haters of life and joy! O race that does not draw the sword and tell the truth! O race that melts the bones of the people with cowardice and with deceit! ("The Crucifixion Of The Outcast")”
William Butler Yeats

Umberto Eco
“The monkish vows keep us far from that sink of vice that is the female body, but often they bring us close to other errors. Can I finally hide from myself the fact that even today my old age is still stirred by the noonday demon when my eyes, in choir, happen to linger on the beardless face of a novice, pure and fresh as a maiden's?”
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

Idries Shah
“Saying of the Prophet

No monkery in Islam.”
Idries Shah, Caravan of Dreams

Ken Follett
“Being a monk was the strangest and most perverted way of life imaginable. Monks spent half their lives putting themselves through pain and discomfort that they could easily avoid, and the other half muttering meaningless mumbo jumbo in empty churches at all hours of the day and night. They deliberately shunned anything good—girls, sports, feasting and family life.”
Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth

Graeme Simsion
“I had no idea what they sang. I guessed it was all in Latin, but some words could have been French. I didn't need to understand the words to have them touch me. I don't know whether it was the acoustics, the song, the beauty of the singing or the conviction behind it, but there was grandeur and hope in every note.

The frescos flickered in candlelight and stained-glass men looked down upon me benevolently as the monks' singing brought pieces of me apart. Maybe this was why I had come, why I was meant to be here. I saw tears running down Fabiana's cheeks.

Brother Rocher asked in French and English for those wishing to be blessed to come forward. I sat and watched the three Brazilians and half a dozen others move forward in turn. There was a final chant and everyone filed out. Except me.

Centuries of singing, service to others and dedication to something bigger than twenty-first-century materialism had created a peace that permeated the walls. Whatever issues I had with religion were not relevant here. The stillness and austerity gave me a strange sense of comfort, and I seemed to be moving toward some sort of clarity.”
Graeme Simsion, Two Steps Forward

Irina Serban
“The night! When the outside world is hiding in darkness, you have to turn on the light within in order to see where you put your steps.”
Irina Serban, Hiding the Moon

“...maybe I am just your priest - or a churl - perhaps you mistrust me the way the medievals mistrusted monks...”
John Geddes, A Familiar Rain

K.S. Marsden
“You no longer speak of your old friends, your Council, your home. I fear that you are forgetting them, and forgetting your reason for coming here.”

Hunter sighed. “It’s difficult to talk about them, they don’t belong here. Anyway, I thought you wanted me to give up my old life. Congratulations, you’ve won.”

The Abate smiled sadly. “Perhaps I did, I wanted you to abandon your violent past and adopt our ways. But I see that you are giving up everything and taking on nothing. What are you afraid of George?”
K.S. Marsden, The Shadow Falls

Kathleen Norris
“It may be fashionable to assert that all is holy, but not many are willing to haul ass to church four or five times a day to sing about it. It's not for the faint of heart.”
Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography

Frank O'Connor
“I suppose we all have our little hiding-hole if the truth was known, but as small as it is, the whole world is in it, and bit by bit grows on us again till the day You find us out.”
Frank O'Connor, Collected Stories

“...some of the best love poems have been written by monks and nuns...”
John Geddes, A Familiar Rain

“Darkness is a kind of visual silence, and monks love it.”
Matthew Kelty

Idries Shah
“Saying of the Prophet
No monkery in Islam.”
Idries Shah, Caravan of Dreams

John Henry Newman
“The rulers of the world were Monks, when they could not be Martyrs.”
John Henry Newman

M.F. Moonzajer
“The Mullahs and monks, they must worship you instead of empty rooms.”
M.F. Moonzajer, A moment with God ; Poetry

Georges Bernanos
“The usual notion of prayer is so absurd. How can those who know nothing about it, who pray little or not at all, dare speak so frivolously of prayer? A Carthusian, a Trappist will work for years to make of himself a man of prayer, and then any fool who comes along sets himself up as judge of this lifelong effort. If it were really what they suppose, a kind of chatter, the dialogue of a madman with his shadow, or even less—a vain and superstitious sort of petition to be given the good things of this world, how could innumerable people find until their dying day, I won't even say such great 'comfort'—since they put no faith in the solace of the senses—but sheer, robust, vigorous, abundant joy in prayer? Oh, of course—suggestion, say the scientists. Certainly they can never have known old monks, wise, shrewd, unerring in judgement, and yet aglow with passionate insight, so very tender in their humanity. What miracle enables these semi-lunatics, these prisoners of their own dreams, these sleepwalkers, apparently to enter more deeply each day into the pain of others? An odd sort of dream, an unusual opiate which, far from turning him back into himself and isolating him from his fellows, unites the individual with mankind in the spirit of universal charity!

This seems a very daring comparison. I apologise for having advanced it, yet perhaps it might satisfy many people who find it hard to think for themselves, unless the thought has first been jolted by some unexpected, surprising image. Could a sane man set himself up as a judge of music because he has sometimes touched a keyboard with the tips of his fingers? And surely if a Bach fugue, a Beethoven symphony leave him cold, if he has to content himself with watching on the face of another listener the reflected pleasure of supreme, inaccessible delight, such a man has only himself to blame.

But alas! We take the psychiatrists' word for it. The unanimous testimony of saints is held as of little or no account. They may all affirm that this kind of deepening of the spirit is unlike any other experience, that instead of showing us more and more of our own complexity it ends in sudden total illumination, opening out upon azure light—they can be dismissed with a few shrugs. Yet when has any man of prayer told us that prayer had failed him?”
Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest

Andrei Codrescu
“The difference between a modern artist and a Buddhist monk is in the approach. The artist goes into the void empt and returns with a souvenir, if you will. The monk approaches the void with a traditional body of knowledge and arrives at emptiness. Our world, no less than that of the monks, is full of junk that gets in the way of spiritual practice. The artist plays with the junk, the monk orders it into nothingness.”
Andrei Codrescu, Wakefield

Faith Erin Hicks
“You have two things of value: your monastery and your people. Translate the book for me, and I'll let you keep one. Which will it be?”
Faith Erin Hicks, The Stone Heart

“Ignacije bi često znao govoriti da onaj koji ne može provesti jedan dan bez jela ili jednu noć bez spavanja, neće biti dobar isusovac.”
Albert Jou, Rođen da se bori: životopis sv. Ignacija Loyolskog za mlade

William Least Heat-Moon
“What burned in these men that didn't burn in me? A difference of focus or something outside of me? A lack or too much of something? ... I'm not an authority, God knows, but if there is a way to talk into the Great Primal Ears - if Ears there be - music and silence must be the best way.”
William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways

Robert Macfarlane
“Swarms of bees, beetles, soft music of the world, a gentle humming; brent geese, barnacle geese, shortly before All Hallows, music of the dark wild torrent.
(Medieval poem by a monk of Ynys Enlli, an island off the coast of Wales)”
Robert Macfarlane, The Wild Places

Tony Hendra
“The Offices rerooted me in a tradition where, monk or not, I would always be at home. From long ago I knew the power of their repetition, the incantatory force of the Psalms. But they had an added power now. As a kid, the psalmist (or psalmists) had seemed remote to me, the Psalms long prayers which sometimes rose to great poetry but often had simply to be endured. For a middle-aged man, the psalmists' moods and feelings came alive. One of the voices sounded a lot like a modern New Yorker, me or people I knew: a manic-depressive type A personality sometimes up, more often down, sometimes resigned, more often pissed off, railing about his sneaky enemies and feckless friends, always bitching to the Lord about the rotten hand he'd been dealt. That good old changelessness.”
Tony Hendra, Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul

Rosie Thomas
“Bruno wasn't spiritual in the same sense that she was,...but he understood where she was coming from because he related to the mountains. They were his temples, and he made his own pilgrimages among them.”
Rosie Thomas