Madeleine L’Engle

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“What I believe is so magnificent, so glorious, that it is beyond finite comprehension. To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful, benign Creator is one thing. To believe that this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason. It is so wild that it terrifies some Christians who try to dogmatize their fear by lashing out at other Christians, because tidy Christianity with all answers given is easier than one which reaches out to the wild wonder of God’s love, a love we don’t even have to earn.” — Madeleine L’Engle (1918–2007)

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”

― Madeleine L’Engle

“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”

“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”

“If we commit ourselves to one person for life, this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather, it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession but participation.”

“No long-term marriage is made easily, and there have been times when I’ve been so angry or so hurt that I thought my love would never recover. And then, in the midst of near despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of love again — till next time. I’ve learned that there will always be a next time, and that I will submerge in darkness and misery, but that I won’t stay submerged. And each time something has been learned under the waters; something has been gained; and a new kind of love has grown. The best I can ask for is that this love, which has been built on countless failures, will continue to grow. I can say no more than that this is mystery, and gift, and that somehow or other, through grace, our failures can be redeemed and blessed.”

“Some things have to be believed to be seen.”
Many Waters

“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.”

“Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.”

“I will have nothing to do with a God who cares only occasionally. I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights. It is when things go wrong, when good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly.”

“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. – Mrs. Whatsit”   A Wrinkle in Time

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”

“Just because we don’t understand doesn’t mean that the explanation doesn’t exist.”

“Love of music, of sunsets and sea; a liking for the same kind of people; political opinions that are not radically divergent; a similar stance as we look at the stars and think of the marvelous strangeness of the universe – these are what build a marriage. And it is never to be taken for granted.”   Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage

“The unending paradox is that we do learn through pain.”

“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.  ―  A Ring of Endless Light

“Believing takes practice.”―  A Wrinkle in Time

“We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes.”

“It might be a good idea if, like the White Queen, we practiced believing six impossible things every morning before breakfast, for we are called on to believe what to many people is impossible. Instead of rejoicing in this glorious “impossible” which gives meaning and dignity to our lives, we try to domesticate God, to make his might actions comprehensible to our finite minds.”

“I do not know everything; still many things I understand.” ― A Wrinkle in Time

“We can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts.” ― A Wrinkle in Time

“In my dreams, I never have an age.”

“Death is contagious; it is contracted the moment we are conceived.”

“Don’t try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition.”   A Wrinkle in Time

“I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be… This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages…the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide… Far too many people misunderstand what *putting away childish things* means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I’m with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don’t ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child’s awareness and joy, and *be* fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup.”

“The only way to cope with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly.”
―  A Wrinkle in Time

“I love, therefore I am vulnerable.”
― Walking On Water: Reflections On Faith And Art

“At Tara in this fateful hour,
I place all Heaven with its power,
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And the fire with all the strength it hath,
And the lightning with its rapid wrath,
And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
And the sea with its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness,
And the earth with its starkness:
All these I place,
By God’s almighty help and grace
Between myself and the powers of darkness!”
―  A Swiftly Tilting Planet

“Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it.”

“When we lose our myths we lose our place in the universe.”

“In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own.”

“Like and equal are not the same thing at all. — Meg Murray” ―  A Wrinkle in Time

“Hate hurts the hater more’n the hated.”

“We don’t want to feel less when we have finished a book; we want to feel that new possibilities of being have been opened to us. We don’t want to close a book with a sense that life is totally unfair and that there is no light in the darkness; we want to feel that we have been given illumination.” ―  Walking on Water

“It’s a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand.

“I think that all artists, regardless of degree of talent, are a painful, paradoxical combination of certainty and uncertainty, of arrogance and humility, constantly in need of reassurance, and yet with a stubborn streak of faith in their own validity no matter what.”

“Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.” ―  Swiftly Tilting Planet

“But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.”
Walking on Water

“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”

“Truth is what is true, and it’s not necessarily factual. Truth and fact are not the same thing. Truth does not contradict or deny facts, but it goes through and beyond facts. This is something that it is very difficult for some people to understand. Truth can be dangerous.”

“We look not at the things which are what you would call seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal. But the things that are not seen are eternal.”

“It’s hard to let go anything we love. We live in a world which teaches us to clutch. But when we clutch we’re left with a fistful of ashes.” ―  A Ring of Endless Light

“Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else.”

“Creative scientists and saints expect revelation and do not fear it. Neither do children. But as we grow up and we are hurt, we learned not to trust.”

“A straight line is not the shortest distance between two points.”  A Wrinkle in Time

“Because to take away a man’s freedom of choice, even his freedom to make the wrong choice, is to manipulate him as though he were a puppet and not a person.”

“If it can be verified, we don’t need faith… Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason. Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.”

“That’s the way things come clear. All of a sudden. And then you realize how obvious they’ve been all along.”
― Madeleine L’Engle

“We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are.”

“They are very young. And on their earth, as they call it, they never communicate with other planets. They revolve about all alone in space.”
“Oh,” the thin beast said. “Aren’t they lonely?”  ―  A Wrinkle in Time

“We do learn and develop when we are exposed to those who are greater than we are. Perhaps this is the chief way we mature.”
―  Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage

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