The Magnificent Defeat Quotes

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The Magnificent Defeat The Magnificent Defeat by Frederick Buechner
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The Magnificent Defeat Quotes Showing 1-24 of 24
“The love for equals is a human thing--of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles. The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing--the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world. The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing--to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints. And then there is the love for the enemy--love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured's love for the torturer. This is God's love. It conquers the world.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“And now brothers, I will ask you a terrible question, and God knows I ask it also of myself. Is the truth beyond all truths, beyond the stars, just this: that to live without him is the real death, that to die with him the only life?”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning - not home but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“If you have never known the power of God's love, then maybe it is because you have never asked to know it - I mean really asked, expecting an answer.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“Remember Jesus of Nazareth, staggering on broken feet out of the tomb toward the Resurrection, bearing on his body the proud insignia of the defeat which is victory, the magnificent defeat of the human soul at the hands of God.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“Your life and my life flow into each other as wave flows into wave, and unless there is peace and joy and freedom for you, there can be no real peace or joy or freedom for me. To see reality-not as we expect it to be but as it is-is to see that unless we live for each other and in and through each other, we do not really live very satisfactorily; that there can really be life only where there really is, in just this sense, love.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“Faith is stepping out into the unknown with nothing to guide us but a hand just beyond our grasp.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
tags: faith
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief' is the best any of us can do really, but thank God it is enough.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“We are children, perhaps, at the very moment when we know that it is as children that God loves us - not because we have deserved his love and not in spite of our undeserving; not because we try and not because we recognize the futility of our trying; but simply because he has chosen to love us. We are children because he is our father; and all of our efforts, fruitful and fruitless, to do good, to speak truth, to understand, are the efforts of children who, for all their precocity, are children still in that before we loved him, he loved us, as children, through Jesus Christ our lord.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“If we are to believe he is really alive with all that that implies, then we have to believe without proof. And of course that is the only way it could be. If it could be somehow proved, then we would have no choice but to believe. We would lose our freedom not to believe. And in the very moment that we lost that freedom, we would cease to be human beings. Our love of God would have been forced upon us, and love that is forced is of course not love at all. Love must be freely given. Love must live in the freedom not to love; it must take risks. Love must be prepared to suffer even as Jesus on the Cross suffered, and part of that suffering is doubt.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“Like Adam, we have all lost Paradise; and yet we carry Paradise around inside of us in the form of a longing for, almost a memory of, a blessedness that is no more, or the dream of a blessedness that may someday be again.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“Our father. We have killed him, and we will kill him again, and our world will kill him. And yet he is there. It is he who listens at the door. It is he who is coming. It is our father who is about to be born. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“It is not objective proof of God's existence that we want but, whether we use religious language for it or not, the experience of God's presence.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“In honesty you have to admit to a wise man that prayer is not for the wise, not for the prudent, not for the sophisticated. Instead it is for those who recognize that in face of their deepest needs, all their wisdom is quite helpless. It is for those who are willing to persist in doing something that is both childish and crucial.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
tags: prayer
“And because God's love is uncoercive and treasures our freedom - if above all he wants us to love him, then we must be left free not to love him - we are free to resist it, deny it, crucify it finally, which we do again and again. This is our terrible freedom, which love refuses to overpower so that, in this, the greatest of all powers, God's power, is itself powerless.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“There is always the poet, the lunatic, the lover; there is always the religious man who is a queer mixture of the three.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“There is little we can point to in our lives as deserving anything but God's wrath. Our best moments have been mostly grotesque parodies. Our best loves have been almost always blurred with selfishness and deceit. But there is something to which we can point. Not anything that we ever did or were, but something that was done for us by another. Not our own lives, but the life of one who died in our behalf and yet is still alive. This is our only glory and our only hope. And the sound that it makes is the sound of excitement and gladness and laughter that floats through the night air from a great banquet.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“We try so hard as Christians. We think such long thoughts, manipulate such long words, and both listen to and preach such long sermons. Each one of us somewhere, somehow, has known, if only for a moment or so, something of what it is to feel the shattering love of God, and once that has happened, we can never rest easy again for trying somehow to set that love forth not only in words, myriads of words, but in our lives themselves.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“The storyteller's claim, I believe, is that life has meaning—that the things that happen to people happen not just by accident like leaves being blown off a tree by the wind but that there is order and purpose deep down behind them or inside them and that they are leading us not just anywhere but somewhere. The power of stories is that they are telling us that life adds up somehow, that life itself is like a story... it makes us listen to the storyteller with great intensity because in this way all his stories are about us and because it is always possible that he may give us some clue as to what the meaning of our lives is.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“We try to fend off this world we yearn for where men live together as brothers because there is something in each of us that wants to live not for his brother but for himself. We fend it off because we know in our terrible wisdom that the price we must pay for it is death, the death of self and all the values of self, the death that must take place before the life can come.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“It will be no ordinary birth but a virgin birth because the birth of righteousness and love in this stern world is always a virgin birth. It is never men nor the nations of men nor all the power and wisdom of men that bring it forth but always God, and that is why the angel says, 'The child to be born will be called the Son of God.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“The power of God stands in violent contrast with the power of man. It is not external like man's power, but internal. By applying external pressure, I can make a person do what I want him to do. This is man's power. But as for making him be what I want him to be, without at the same time destroying his freedom, only love can make this happen.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“Christ never promises peace in the sense of no more struggle and suffering. Instead, he helps us to struggle and suffer as he did, in love for one another.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
“This is what I think, in essence, prayer is. It is the breaking of silence. It is the need to be known and the need to know. Prayer is the sound made by our deepest aloneness.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat