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Charity is the way to follow God most closely and the quickest way to find him. The soul understands God better when it lives charity with greater refinement, for God is love.
Money comes and goes, yeah? These kids of ours? That’s a one time deal.
It is at once the safeguard and the glory of mankind that they are easy to lead and hard to drive.
When our relatives are at home, we have to think of all their good points or it would be impossible to endure them. But when they are away, we console ourselves for their absence by dwelling on their vices.
Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.
It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.
Love can only be learnt by loving.
Although there is a natural desire for sexual mating, there are also natural desires for conjugal love, parental care, familial bonding, and enduring friendship. Mr. Hefner might satisfy his desire for promiscuous mating, but his pleasure will be shallow and momentary. Marriage and family life promote our fullest happiness over a whole life. And that’s why the image of an 80-year-old Hefner surrounded by his bunnies evokes both disgust and pity among mature people. We know that such a life is deeply unsatisfying in its shallowness and thus bad because it’s undesirable for any sensible human being.
My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.
An adventure is, by nature, a thing that comes to us. It is a thing that chooses us, not a thing that we choose… [In] order that life should be a story or romance to us, it is necessary that a great part of it, at any rate, should be settled for us without our permission … The thing which keeps life romantic and full of fiery possibilities is the existence of these great plain limitations which force all of us to meet the things we do not like or do not expect.
How little the dying seem to need—
A drink perhaps, a little food,
A smile, a hand to hold, medication,
A change of clothes, an unspoken
Understanding about what’s happening.
You think it would be more, much more,
Something more difficult for us
To help with in this great disruption,
But perhaps it’s because as the huge shape
Rears up higher and darker each hour
They are anxious that we should see it too
And try to show us with a hand-squeeze.
We panic to do more for them,
And especially when it’s your father,
And his eyes are far away, and your tears
Are all down your face and clothes,
And he doesn’t see them now, but smiles
Perhaps, just perhaps because you’re there.
How little he needs. Just love. More Love.
Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future.
They face each other, my father in a white jacket,
rented for the day, my grandfather
in a dark suit, tie too short, a light felt
dress hat with a dark band, the shadow
of the brim covering his eyes.
Graduation is over. They’ve just
come home from the high school. There’ll be
a little party. Before everyone goes inside,
someone, one of your brothers, says, “Wait,
we need a photo of Gilbert and Pa.
How about over there by the tree? Gilbert,
stand in front of the bench. Pa, you stand,
next to him. Okay, look at each other. That’s good.
Gilbert, don’t hide your diploma.” So
you hold the roll of paper a bit higher.
Dad, that bench is so close, right behind you,
if you backed up at all, you’d have to
sit down. Go ahead. Sit with your dad.
There’s enough room for the two of you,
and smile. He’ll reach his arm around you and
tell you how proud he is.
Now, the tall pine is gone, slashed in a storm.
The large yard, now covered by the house built
by one of your brothers, then shared
with his son and his son’s wife
until last year when your brother
came home one night to find them
inside, refusing to open the doors.
There he stood, on his own front steps, 89,
locked out, forever.
I would like to stand in the space
between you and your dad, and say,
“Let’s sit together on this bench. Let’s talk
about the things that frighten us,”
and we’d talk about boilers that explode,
long trips on rough seas to small islands,
why a son, given everything,
would turn on his father, his family,
the love of family.
Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a big fucking television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disk players and electrical tin openers…choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on the couch, watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life. But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?
Whoever you hate -will- end up in your family. If you’re homophobic, you gonna have a gay son.
I believe that more unhappiness comes from this source [the family] than from any other—I mean from the attempt to prolong family connections unduly and to make people hang together artificially who would never naturally do so.