Best 300 of Marilynne Robinson quotes - MyQuotes

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Marilynne Robinson
By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

...if you ever wonder what you've done in your life, and everyone does wonder sooner or later, you have been God's grace to me, a miracle, something more than a miracle.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

A letter makes ordinary things seem important.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Light is constant, we just turn over in it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

I am interested in Scripture and theology. This is an interest that I can assume I would share with a pastor, so that makes me a little bit prone to use that kind of character, perhaps, just at the moment. Then there is also the fact that, having been a church member for many years, I am very aware of how much pastors enrich people's experience, people for whom they are significant. I know that it's a kind of custom of American literature and culture to slang them. I don't think there is any reason why that needs to be persisted in.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Say that we are a puff of warm breath in a very cold universe. By this kind of reckoning we are either immeasurably insignificant or we are incalculably precious and interesting. I tend toward the second view.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Sometimes my doubt seems intuitive, but most likely it derives from an implausibility or a logical problem I may at first find difficult to identify and articulate. It is interesting to me to work through questions that arise in this way.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

While the Citizen can entertain aspirations for the society as a whole and take pride in its achievements, the Taxpayer, as presently imagined, simply does not want to pay taxes. The societal consequences of this aversion--failing infrastructure, for example--are to be preferred to any inroad on his or her momentary fiefdom.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

The accessibility and effective immortality of actual information is a magnificent phenomenon, a beautiful extension of human consciousness. It is too bad people find so many ways to abuse the internet, but that's just how things are.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Of my conception I know only what you know of yours. It occurred in darkness and I was unconsenting... By some bleak alchemy what had been mere unbeing becomes death when life is mingled with it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

If we focused on using the opportunities we have, which are very great by any standard - health, longevity, comfort and privacy, endless resources of culture and information - we would not just navigate this world, we would leave a good inheritance to succeeding generations.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

We [Americans] inherited British law, which is like the new "reforms" that are being made now, in the sense that people are permanently entrapped in debt, if they once fall into bankruptcy. The reason that the law was changed in American history - the whole early period of the formation of the country was moving away from British law into a law that is generated here and that conforms to the sense of what is appropriate here.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

[John] Calvin treats experience as essentially visionary and revelatory from moment to moment, addressed to the individual perceiver, the individual soul. Where this is assumed preconceptions can only distract and obscure, though, of course, as human beings we can never wholly free ourselves of them.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

remembering and forgiving can be contrary things

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Another factor that seems to me to be equally important is the great myth and rationale of 'the modern,' that it places dynamite at the foot of old error and levels its shrines and monuments. Contempt for the past surely accounts for a consistent failure to consult it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Characters more or less present themselves to me. I don't know their origins. I think if I did, if I seemed to myself to fabricate them, I could not induce suspension of disbelief in myself in the way writing fiction requires.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

She was a music I no longer heard, that rang in my mind, itself and nothing else, lost to all sense, but not perished, not perished.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

A little too much anger, too often or at the wrong time, can destroy more than you would ever imagine.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

There are pleasures to be found where you would never look for them

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

I have mentioned the qualitative difference between Christianity as an ethic and Christianity as an identity. Christian ethics goes steadfastly against the grain of what we consider human nature: the first will be last, to him who asks give, turn the other cheek, judge not. Identity on the other hand appeals to a constellation of the worst human impulses. It is worse than ordinary tribalism because it assumes a more than virtuous “us” on one side and on the other a “them” who are very doubtful indeed, who are in fact a threat to all we hold dear.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

The moon looks wonderful in this warm evening light, just as a candle flame looks beautiful in the light of morning. Light within light...It seems to me to be a metaphor for the human soul, the singular light within that great general light of existence.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

„It all means more than I can tell you. So you must not judge what I know by what I find words for.” (Gilead, p 114)

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

...At this very moment I feel a kind of loving grief for you as you read this, because I do not know you, and because you have grown up fatherless, you poor child...You are drawing those terrible little pictures that you will bring me to admire, and which I will admire because I have not the heart to say one word that you might remember against me.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Generosity is also an act of freedom, a casting off of the constraints of prudence and self-interest.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

There is never just one transgression. There is a wound in the flesh of human life that scars when it heals and often enough seems never to heal at all.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

I think the essence of family is that you have to agree to it, and then supply, out of your imagination and capacity for loyalty, the contents of it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

We have opted for petty determinisms - childhood trauma, genetic inheritance, social conditioning, etc. - that have made us comparatively passive. We seem to prefer to find excuses - which are really nothing more than the embrace of determinism, a sort of Stockholm syndrome relative to whatever we can claim as limitation. I am fascinated by the more enabling self-understanding. It has helped me to find my way out of the cloying comforts that are offered by prevalent psychological models.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Scatter the names of all those who have ever lived over the surface of the knowable cosmos, and it would remain, for all purposes, as unnamed as it was before the small, anomalous flicker of human life appeared on this small, wildly atypical planet.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

If you confront insult or antagonism, your first impulse would be to respond in kind. But if you think, as it were, This is an emissary sent from the Lord, and some benefit is inteded for me, first of all the occasion to demonstrate my faithfulness, the chance to show that I do in some small degree participate in the grace that saved me, you are free to act otherwise than as circumstances would seem to dictate. You are free to act by your own lights. You are freed at the same time of the impulse to hate or resent that person.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

When you encounter another person…it is as if a question is being put to you. So you must think, What is the Lord asking of me in this moment, in this situation? If you confront insult or antagonism, your first impulse will be to respond in kind. But if you think, as it were, This is an emissary sent from the Lord, and some benefit is intended for me, first of all the occasion to demonstrate my faithfulness, the chance to show that I do in some small degree participate in the grace that saved me, you are free to act otherwise than as circumstances would seem to dictate. You are free to act by your own lights. You are freed at the same time of the impulse to hate or resent that person. He would probably laugh at the thought that the Lord sent him to you for your benefit (and his), but that is the perfection of the disguise, his own ignorance of it…I am reminded of this precious instruction by my own great failure to live up to it recently…

By Anonym 18 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Someone told me recently that a commentator or some sort had said, "The United States is in spiritual free-fall." When people make such remarks, such appalling judgements, they never include themselves, their friends, those with whom they agree. They have drawn, as they say, a bright line between an "us" and a "them." Those on the other side of the line are assumed to be unworthy of respect or hearing, and are in fact to be regarded as a huge problem to the "us" who presume to judge "them." This tedious pattern has repeated itself endlessly through human history and is, as I have said, the end of community and the beginning of tribalism.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Nothing true can be said about God from a posture of defense.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

When you encounter another person, when you have dealings with anyone at all, it is as if a question is being put to you. So you must think, What is the Lord asking of me in this moment, in this situation?

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

When things are taking their ordinary course, it is hard to remember what matters. There are so many things you would never think to tell anyone. And I believe they may be the things that mean most to you, and that even your own child would have to know in order to know you well at all.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

It is the sad privilege of blood relations to love him despite all.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Any father…must finally give his child up to the wilderness and trust to the providence of God. It seems almost a cruelty for one generation to beget another when parents can secure so little for their children, so little safety, even in the best circumstances. Great faith is required to give the child up, trusting God to honor the parents’ love for him by assuring that there will indeed be angels in that wilderness.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

We have demythologized prematurely, that we've actually lost the vocabulary for discussing reality at its largest scales. The idea that myth is the opposite of knowledge, or the opposite of truth, is simply to disallow it. It is like saying poetry is the opposite of truth.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

A sermon is a form that yields a certain kind of meaning in the same way that, say, a sonnet is a form that deals with a certain kind of meaning that has to do with putting things in relation to each other, allowing for the fact of complexity reversal, such things. Sermons are, at their best, excursions into difficulty that are addressed to people who come there in order to hear that.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

There is clearly a feeling abroad that God smiled on our beginnings, and that we should return to them as we can. If we really did attempt to return to them, we would find Moses as well as Christ, Calvin, and his legions of intellectual heirs. And we would find a recurrent, passionate, insistence on bounty or liberality, mercy and liberality, on being kind and liberal, liberal and bountiful, and enjoying the great blessings God has promised to liberality to the poor.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

It is hardship that makes clear who the "fighters" are.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Cultures cherish artists because they are people who can say, Look at that.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

My reputation is largely the creature of the kindly imaginings of my flock, whom I chose not to disillusion, in part because the truth had the kind of pathos in it that would bring on sympathy in its least bearable forms.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Every sorrow suggests a thousand songs and every song recalls a thousand sorrows and so they are infinite in number and all the same.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

My politics, and my religion as well, are based entirely on the loveliness and value of ordinary human lives. The creaky apparatus called politics shelters or oppresses or threatens these lives, and is therefore of interest.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

I think probably one of the important things that happened to me was growing up in Idaho in the mountains, in the woods, and having a very strong presence of the wilderness around me. That never felt like emptiness. It always felt like presence.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

She conceived of life as a road down which one traveled, an easy enough road through a broad country, and that one's destination was there from the very beginning, a measured distance away, standing in the ordinary light like some plain house where one went in and was greeted by respectable people and was shown to a room where everything one had ever lost or put aside was gathered together, waiting.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Protestantism, of course, is much more explicitly divided into different traditions - the Pentecostals, the Anglicans. But there is the main tradition of Protestantism that comes out of the Reformation and that produced people like Kant and Hegel and so on, who are not normally thought of as being people writing in a theological tradition, although Hegel, of course, wrote theology his whole life.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

I am trying to describe what I have never before attempted to put into words. I have made myself a little weary in the struggle. It was one day as I listened to baseball that it occurred to me how the moon actually moves, in a spiral, because while it orbits the earth it also follows the orbit of the earth around the sun. This is obvious, but the realization pleased me. There was a full moon outside my window, icy white in a blue sky, and the Cubs were playing Cincinnati.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

„It all means more than I can tell you. So you must not judge what I know by what I find words for.” (p 114)

By Anonym 16 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

In the First Epistle of Peter we are told to honor everyone, and I have never been in a situation where I felt this instruction was inappropriate. When we accept dismissive judgements of our community we stop having generous hopes for it. We cease to be capable of serving its best interests.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Marilynne Robinson

Faith takes a great many forms, suited to a variety of sensibilities, and mine happens to suit me very well.