"Nevertheless, I would advise you against defensiveness on principle. It precludes the best eventualities along with the worst. At the most basic level, it expresses a lack of faith. . . And often enough, when we think we are protecting ourselves, we are struggling against our rescuer. I know this, I have seen the truth of it with my own eyes, though I have not myself always managed to live by it, the Good Lord knows."
—John Ames in Marilynne Robinson's Gilead, 154



"If I am to love my brother, I must somehow enter deep into the mystery of God's love for him. I must be moved not only by human sympathy but by that divine sympathy which is revealed to us in Jesus and which enriches our own lives by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. The truth I love in loving my brother cannot be something merely philosophical and abstract. It be at the same time supernatural and concrete, practical and alive. And I mean these words in no metaphorical sense. The truth I must love in my brother is God Himself, living in him."
—Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island, 7