Quotations for Daily Use


"Death reveals that the world is not as it should be but that it stands in need of redemption. Christ alone is the conquering of death." Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. This quote is from Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

"Despite the prayers and tears, and earnest pleading,
And piteous protest o’er a hero’s fall,
Despite the hopeful signs, our hearts misleading,
Death cometh after all

Over the brightest scenes are clouds descending;
The flame soars highest ere its deepest fall;
The glorious day has all too swift an ending;
Night cometh after all

O’er bloom or beauty now in our possession
Is seen the shadow of the funeral pall;
Though Love and Life make tearful intercession,
Death cometh after all"

This is an anonymous poem that was written upon the death of President James A. Garfield in September 1881. It is taken from Destiny Republic by Candice Millard.

"Farewell dear flowers, sweetly your time ye spent.
Fit, while ye lived, for smell or ornament,
And after death for cures.
I follow straight without complaints or grief,
Since if my scent be good, I care not, if
It be as short as yours."

George Herbert, (1593–1633), English metaphysical poet and clergyman

"I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;
Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.
I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.
For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.
I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door."

Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

"Even as he lay dying, Garfield was kind, patient, cheerful and deeply grateful" Almon Ferdinand Rockwell, a close friend of James A. Garfield and of Abraham Lincoln as shared in Destiny Republic by Candice Millard. Rockwell was telling about James Abram Garfield (November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881) who was the 20th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1881, until his assassination later that year.

"I fear coming generations of visitors who pass through this grand corridor will see nothing in the stern, sad face of Garfield to remind them that here was a man who loved to play croquet and romp with his boys upon his lawn at mentor, who read Tennyson and Longfellow at fifty with as much enthusiastic pleasure as at twenty, who walked at evening with his arm around the neck of a friend in affectionate conversation, and whose sweet, sunny, loving nature not even twenty years of political strife could warp." This was written by a reporter gazing at the formal portrait of James A. Garfield hanging in the White House.

"I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life - full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended." Charles Krauthammer (March 13, 1950 – June 21, 2018) was an American political columnist. A prominent conservative political pundit, in 1987 Krauthammer won the Pulitzer Prize for his column in The Washington Post. His weekly column was syndicated to more than 400 publications worldwide. While in his first year studying medicine at Harvard Medical School, Krauthammer became permanently paralyzed from the waist down after a diving board accident that severed his spinal cord at cervical spinal nerve 5. After spending 14 months recovering in a hospital, he returned to medical school, graduating to become a psychiatrist involved in the creation of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III in 1980. He joined the Carter administration in 1978 as a director of psychiatric research, eventually becoming the speechwriter to Vice President Walter Mondale in 1980.

In August 2017, due to his battle with cancer, Krauthammer stopped writing his column and serving as a Fox News contributor. Krauthammer died on June 21, 2018.

"If a man murders you without provocation, your soul bears no burden of the wrong; but all the angels of the universe will weep for the misguided man who committed the murder." 20th USA President James A. Garfield

"In life with Jesus Christ, death as a general fate approaching us from without is confronted by death from within, one’s own death, the free death of daily dying with Jesus Christ. Those who live with Christ die daily to their own will. Christ in us gives us over to death so that he can live within us. Thus our inner dying grows to meet that death from without. Christians receive their own death in this way, and in this way our physical death very truly becomes not the end but rather the fulfillment of our life with Jesus Christ. Here we enter into community with the One who at his own death was able to say, 'It is finished.' " (Deitrich Bonhoeffer, “Circular Letter to the ConfessingChurches August 1941,” cited by Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, 383-84)

"Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread;
Now that I am without you, all is desolate;
All that was once so beautiful is dead.

Your hands once touched this table and this silver,
And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.
These things do not remember you, beloved,
And yet your touch upon them will not pass.

For it was in my heart that you moved among them,
And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes;
And in my heart they will remember always,
—They knew you once, O beautiful and wise."

Conrad Potter Aiken (August 5, 1889 – August 17, 1973) was an American writer, whose work includes poetry, short stories, novels, a play, and an autobiography.

"No one has yet believed in God and the kingdom of God, no one has yet heard about the realm of the resurrected and not been homesick from that hour, waiting and looking forward to being released from bodily existence.
Whether we are young or old makes no difference. What are twenty or thirty or fifty years in the sight of God? And which of us knows how near he or she may already be to the goal? That life only really begins when it ends here on earth, that all that is here is only the prologue before the curtain goes up – that is for young and old alike to think about. Why are we so afraid when we think about death? Death is only dreadful for those who live in dread and fear of it. Death is not wild and terrible, if only we can be still and hold fast to God’s Word. Death is not bitter if we have not become bitter ourselves. Death is grace, the greatest gift of grace that God gives to people who believe in him. Death is mild, death is sweet and gentle; it beckons to us with heavenly power if only we realize that it is the gateway to our homeland, the tabernacle of joy, the everlasting kingdom of peace.
How do we know that dying is so dreadful? Who knows whether in our human fear and anguish we are only shivering and shuddering at the most glorious, heavenly, blessed event in the world?
Death is hell and night and cold if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church.

" . . . parting with a father who had so long watched over our best interests in childhood and in riper age and who was so kind and affectionate to all his children and had grown venerable with time [will] not be a thing of light moment." William Donelson as stated in Andrew Jackson by Jon Meacham

"There is nothing in all the earth that you and I can do for the Dead. They are past our help and past our praise. We can add to them no glory, we can give to them no immortality. They do not need us, but forever and forever more we need them." 20th USA President James A. Garfield

(Writing about abortion:) "To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple act is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that his nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder." Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church.

"We are all travelers in this world. From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth 'till death, we travel between the eternities." Cowboy Prentice Ritter in the TV western Broken Trail

"What shall I think when I am called to die
Shall I not find too soon my life has ended?
The years, too quickly, have hastened by
With so little done of all that I'd intended.

There were so many things I'd meant to try
So many contests I had hoped to win
And lo, the end approaches just as I
Was thinking of preparing to begin."

Unknown English youth writing in Singapore during WWII - taken from Through the Valley of the Kwai by Ernest Gordon

"Who can comprehend how those whom God takes so early are chosen? Does not the early death of young Christians always appear to us as if God were plundering his own best instruments in a time in which they are most needed? Yet the Lord makes no mistakes. Might God need our brothers for some hidden service on our behalf in the heavenly world? We should put an end to our human thoughts, which always wish to know more than they can, and cling to that which is certain. Whomever God calls home is someone God has loved. 'For their souls were pleasing to the Lord, therefore he took them quickly from the midst of wickedness.' ” (Wisdom of Solomon 4) Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

"You will have to learn out there how one sometimes must come to terms with something along before God. It is often very difficult, but these are the most important hours of life." Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. This quote is from Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. Bonhoeffer was writing to his friend, Max Wedemeyer, who had just lost his father.

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