Without love even the most radical devotion to God is of no value to Him. Let me make sure that sinks in… You can gain all the spiritual gifts in the world. You can take the most radical steps of obedience. You can share every meal with the homeless in your city. You can memorize the book of Leviticus. You can pray each morning for four hours like Martin Luther. But if what you do does not flow out of a heart of love – a heart that does those things because it genuinely desires to do them – it is ultimately worthless to God.
They had learned that Sorhatani expected the same sort of instant obedience as her husband. She had grown up around men of power and had married into the great khan’s family at a very young age. She knew that men prefer to follow, that it takes an effort of will to lead. She had that will.
We are afraid of religion because it interprets rather than observance. Religion does not confirm that there are hungry people in the world; it interprets the hungry to be our brethren whom we allowed to starve.
The best-trained part of us, though, is the mouth, it is always obediently and devoutly shut. And it’s only too true: an open mouth is a yawning fact, the fact that its owner is dwelling with his few thoughts in some other place than the domain and pleasure-garden of attentiveness.
When the term Christian or even Protestant is used, it seldom refers to any particularly evangelical doctrine or way of life. More often it refers to a religion accepted by the large majority, which assures them that God is not so much a Lord who demands obedience as a handyman who is available whenever we need help.
We can’t make you do anything, but we can make you wish you had. – Army saying
The direction a cloud moves is always approved of by the wind.
A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.
There is nothing in the world or the Church – except the church’s disobedience – to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility.
But the culture has failed, almost entirely, in inculcating internal controls on actions that have their origin in authority. For this reason, the latter constitutes a far greater danger to human survival.